Thursday, May 29, 2014

Middle School Counselors Should Learn About College Admissions


Middle School Counselors should learn the ins and outs of college admissions.  Just because we are not writing letters of recommendation to colleges, knowing what colleges are looking for, understanding financial aid, and understanding the different majors and career paths, are all important in helping middle school students and their parents prepare for the roads that forge ahead.  As a former high school counselor, I know how important it is to have a strong middle school career.  How well you do in middle school prepares you for classes you will take in high school.  Classes in high school prepare you for college.

According to a recent Harris Poll survey, 92% of all 7th and 8th graders report that they plan to attend college, however less that half indicate that they know what classes to take in high school to get there.  

As counselors, it is our duty to help students become career and college ready.  Middle school is early to start picking out specific colleges, but it is not too early to learn about the different college choices and what it takes to get in.  Why is that math class important?  Why are writing skills important?  What types of classed and skills should someone be good at if they are looking a career in business or computer science or the medical professions?  

So how does one learn about college admissions if they are not a high school counselor?  Not many middle school counselors would attend a CollegeBoard Fall Workshop on SATs or meet with an admission counselor as they are doing their high school visits.  It might also be hard to attend other conferences that deal directly with the high school counselor and unjustified for districts to accrue the expense associated with these events.

Fortunately, we live in the age of technology.  College Week Live is a great resource for high school and middle school counselors alike.  They have webinars on a variety of topics.  The next one is coming up on June 10 about STEM careers.  


STEM Condition Report

June 10, 2014 @ 1:00 - 2:00PM EST
College Week Live will broadcast its STEM Condition Report. In this report, they take a detailed look at the expressed and measured interest of students in STEM majors and occupations and align that data with their aptitudes in Science and Math. College Week Live have also developed a STEM categorization which helps parents, educators, STEM Councils, as well as business and industry leaders, focus on the strengths of current programs and initiatives. 
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Sign up Now     Already Registered? Login Here

In addition to this live webinar, they also have recorded past webinars that you can view at any time.  Below you will find a listing of their on demand series.

Supporting LGBT students through the College Admissions Process

Now On Demand
For LGBTQ youth, applying and transitioning to college can be a difficult process – finding supportive campuses and being able to open up about oneself in the application can be emotionally difficult. This presentation allows counselors to guide students in figuring out supportive and safe campuses and exploring resources that will continue to nurture their development.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
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I'm Ready for College, but Can't Find My Backpack

Now On Demand
This session will review and teach some executive functioning strategies and key areas of support that can help students with learning differences, such as ADHD and with Autism Spectrum Disorders transition successfully to college and will:
  • Assist with understanding how a lack of strong executive functioning is a major reason why students fail in high school and college.
  • Teach some executive functioning strategies that can help this growing population transition successfully to college.
  • Present some effective intervention strategies to help students succeed.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
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The Condition of College and Career Readiness of First Generation Students

Now On Demand
College and career readiness among 2013 first generation students who took the ACT test shows slow but steady improvement, particularly in the key areas of math and science, according to ACT's yearly report, The Condition of College and Career Readiness 2013. This has occurred as the number of first gen test-takers continues to dramatically increase. This session will review the findings of the newly released 2013 report and discuss the changes from the 2012 report.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
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Counseling Students About Financial Aid

Now On-Demand
Join us for this session to get information and resources from the U.S. Department of Education that you can use to effectively provide financial aid information to high school students. A brief overview of the FAFSA process will be provided as well as a discussion of the Department's recently launched Federal Student Aid Toolkit website.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Watch Now

College Readiness in the Facebook Era

Now On-Demand
How can high school counselors and advisors use students' fixation with social media to foster college readiness? In this session, we'll share proven practices for using social media to create more open and effective communication with students and parents. Participants will learn how to create an engaging Facebook page, use Twitter more effectively, and start a counselor blog.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Watch Now

Supporting Dreamers

Now On-Demand
In this timely session, attendees will gain step-by-step advice to help undocumented students realize their college dreams. This includes gaining an understanding of financial aid info and finding scholarships associated with undocumented students, as well as insights into the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, UCLA IDEAS, and Educators for Fair Consideration programs that give students a way to afford higher education.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Watch Now

National Training for Counselors & Mentors

Now On-Demand
National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM) covers how to support students and their families in preparing financially for college. In this course, professional trainers will provide comprehensive up-to-date information regarding federal and state student aid programs, scholarship searches, and financial aid fraud. Participants learn how to access free resources such as fact sheets, brochures, and PowerPoint presentations to help them help their students. After the training, participants will receive ongoing information and support.
This program was approved by the National Board of Certified Counselors.
Watch Now


In addition to College Week Live, there are many other resources out there.  I also like to access NCAA Eligibility Center and NACAC.  You will find a lot of information on both of these sites.

What do you do to learn about college admissions and why is it important to you?  Leave a comment below or join in the conversation by one of the ways below:

  • The Middle School Counselor Facebook Page
  • Carol's Pinterest Boards
  • The Middle School Counselor on Twitter
  • Caught In The Middle School Counselors (Facebook Group)
  • High School Counselors' Network(Facebook Group)
  • Elementary School Counselor Exchange (Facebook Group)
  • The Middle School Counselor App


  • 10 comments:

    1. This is awesome Carol! Thanks for the information!

      ReplyDelete
    2. I completely agree Carol! Thanks for the great information. While attending graduate school at James Madison University I helped with the middle school visit program (http://www.jmu.edu/osap/MSVP.shtml). I am hoping program initiatives like this one will spread around the country to colleges and universities. Researchers are found that by getting middle school students ON a college campus before they enter high school can increase the students likelihood to attend college in the future. It gives them the ability to picture themselves at college. I was just hired as a middle school counselor. I am not sure if they have a college culture there yet but that is certainly one of my goals if they do not. Thank you again!
      -Elizabeth
      thespiritedschoolcounselor.wordpress.com

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