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Scholar Program 2019

Scholar Program 2019


By: Kate Dobson, Assistant Director of International Admissions, Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis; Joe Tavares, High School Counselor, Jakarta Intercultural School

As an International ACAC member, you’ve surely heard about the Scholar Program. Now in its sixth year, it fully funds professional development for counselors who work with high-achieving, low-income students in under-resourced schools or community organizations around the world.

Each year’s cohort of Scholars are selected through a competitive nomination, application, and review process.  They attend the annual International ACAC conference and post-conference bus tour, and are paired with mentors who will support them for a year.


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President's Corner: Finding Words to Live By

President’s Corner:  Finding Words to Live By

by Aaron Andersen, International ACAC President
June, 2019
 

As we close out another academic year in much of the world, and many of us are preparing for a restful break - - and the start of our annual conference - - this is always a good time to reflect upon the past year of our Association.

Immediately I’m drawn to recall the list of highlights shared by our executive board members, in our final bi-monthly meeting last week.  To me, a fan of ‘All Things Listed’, I mentally drew up a 2018-19 Top Five for International ACAC list in my mind:

1) Regional Institutes in India and Eastern Europe – hosting successful PD events in two vibrant and engaging countries.  India and Bulgaria both represent critical important sectors of international education.




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CONFERENCE NETWORKING TIPS

Conference Networking Tips

 

"Best part of the conference - - oh the NETWORKING!"  This is often a common refrain by conference attendees, not just International ACAC's annual event, but most professionals will often claim the No.1 aspect of a given proffesional development event is the chance to meet and share with colleagues.  Now the benefits of networking are not disputed, however it is the act of networking that often is taken for granted.  In fact just as many people likely will say how exhausting a conference is because of all the networking.  If the very thought of talking and puting yourself out there is making you sweat, here are a few helpful tips to get you prepared for the next International ACAC conference.

1. Do Your Homework

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Member Engagement Survey

The field of international admissions and counseling has multiple topics and trends that influence and shape our profession. With the 2018/19 academic cycle nearing an end in many parts of the world, now is a good time to review which of these topics that relate to our Association are most on the minds of our members. International ACAC seeks feedback on membership status, the pillars of our strategic plan, regional networks, and voter participation to ensure we focus our energy in the right areas as we head into planning our summer Executive Board meetings.

Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey

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Grant Application Period for Europe Regional Institute Extended until April 15th

Grant Application Period for Europe Regional Institute Extended until April 15th

The 2019 Europe Regional Institute is fast approaching. Just over a month from now, colleagues from around the world will meet at the historic American College of Sofia in Bulgaria for International ACAC’s first-ever dedicated professional development conference focused on international university admissions in this region of the continent. We’re honored by the positive response we’ve received from you as registrations continue to grow.

The Faculty Co-Chairs have put together a stellar faculty to address compelling topics that are key to understanding the region’s students and university systems. We’re keen to share this learning, networking and recruiting opportunity with as many colleagues as possible. To that end, we hope you’ll take us up on our request that you share the attached invitation to attend the Europe Regional Institute with those contacts you know would benefit from the International ACAC brand of professional development. Some of them might not even be members (yet!), but we bet that, if they got to know us at our best- when we’re generously sharing our knowledge with others or engaging in effective and enjoyable networking with colleagues- they’d be just as hooked as those of us who are already members.

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"IB very confused": the new math courses and me

"IB very confused": the new math courses and me

by Tu Anh Gilmore


 

Sitting behind my counselor’s desk, I often find my days in conversations with the Grade 10s as they decide on which IB Course selections they ought to choose to best fit their life’s trajectory. It is easy to simply say, “Just do what you are good at...pick the courses that you are naturally talented in and like.” Well for me, this answer isn’t good enough. Whilst I have now found my life’s calling in a career that is almost perfectly in tune and playing to the strengths of my Via Character Analysis and true passions, the journey here wasn’t without great financial costs and extra dedicated time.

I picked a first career that I was good at: Maths. But after advancing to lead IB workshops in mathematics, I realised the greater intersection was yet to come. And after taking the full plunge, I find myself in my happy place. In this intersection lies my responsibility within my own communities and the greatest impetus for my change in career: IB recognition in math through high school and college counseling, in order to change one life at a time.


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CONFERENCE FUNDING REQUEST TEMPLATE

Conference Funding Request Template

Many counselors attend the International ACAC Conference thanks to the support of their school's administration. However, sometimes just finding the time to write a letter of request can be a challenge.
 
If you need help requesting funding for this valuable professional development opportunity, International ACAC has drafted the following letter template to get you started. 

INSTRUCTIONS: Simply access the template from this blog post, copy the content into a word document, edit and personalize, mail to your principal/superintendent, cross your fingers ... 
 

 





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The Mystery Fair

by Barbara Chen

In 1998, every Friday a mystery guest would come and read a book to my daughter’s entire kindergarten class. This ritual was the source of great excitement as each week, students would try to figure out who would be coming in to read, and what type of book they’d chose. The mystery guest was usually a parent, aunt, uncle or grandparent of one of the students. The teachers loved this tradition because it exposed students to a variety of styles of books from multiple English-speaking countries. Books and authors previously unheard of were now sought after in the weekly library visit, and given as birthday gifts. In a nutshell, this was story-time on steroids.

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FIVE TAKE AWAYS FROM NACAC 2018

FIVE TAKEAWAYS FROM THE NACAC 2018 CONFERENCE

By Aaron Andersen, President International ACAC
   
 
1. Our Voices Matter: Proposed Membership Plan Withdrawn.
 
The proposed membership plan that NACAC Board & Staff had developed over past 16 months was sent back to the drawing board after it faced considerable pressure at the General Membership meeting. The amendments to the NACAC bylaws, that would have set the plan in motion, even after adjustments to individual counsellor & retiree categories in the days before and a delayed rollout to 2021, met numerous friendly amendments on the Membership floor. After nearly 90 minutes of debate on the floor, it became clear that there would be trouble with the numerous changes, and lengthy deliberation exposed the concerns many members felt about the process. Finally, a NACAC Board member made a motion to withdraw the entire amendment… and that motion was nearly unanimously passed on the floor.
 
2. International ACAC: Making Noise on the Assembly Floor
 
Earlier on Saturday, your International ACAC delegates were very active during the five-hour Assembly Meeting. “The NACAC Assembly functions as a governing body that initiates, advises and provides consent on association and professional issues. Assembly delegates are elected for three-year terms by the NACAC voting members in the Affiliates.” It is during Assembly that the NACAC Board of directors and president is elected, and changes to the SPGP: CEPP are debated and voted. International ACAC made two formal motions. The first involves a request to NACAC to review the affiliate jurisdiction of the Admission Practices Procedure - to better allow a voice for our AP Committee team to represent our members in National AP cases. The second motion made was to form a NACAC Commission to review standardized testing access and barriers to International students. After considerable debate, which helped to draw the attention to both, particularly the testing access issues international students, both motions passed!
 
3. Diversity: Three Year Training Commitment
 
During the International ACAC Membership meeting the Association announced that we will be providing diversity training workshops in advance of the annual conference, free of charge to all members. The Executive Board, HQ staff, and committee members will be all required to participate. For those who cannot attend, and/or also want to engage throughout the year, we are researching an online training program. To fund this commitment, we have added $50,000 in the 2019 to cover costs of the program to ensure all members will have access.
 
4. Opportunity Grants: Launching This Month
 
Those in attendance at the International ACAC Membership Meeting learned that the latest initiative of the Global Fund, Opportunity Grants, will be launched in October. It was announced that members would be able to apply for funding for projects and events for a total of $3,000 each. Funding requests will be made online through the Association website, and can cover anything from local student information events, bus programs for college fairs, or professional development requests.
 
5. Collective Power of NACAC
 
Overall this was one of the most powerful NACAC Conferences i have ever attended. Likely it had much to do with my position this time as a President of an affiliate, but in addition, it was something else that I know many others felt. It was the inspiring opening speech by NACAC President David Burge and the high quality of sessions (many focusing on student access and a growing number on international issues). It was the energy in our own membership meeting attended by well over 200, and above all it was the buzz throughout the week collectively knowing that we can make a difference, not only by having a voice in our own profession, but helping our students who will be the change for tomorrow.
 
Yet I am reminded that many of our colleagues have never experienced the National Conference. So let’s continue to find ways to share our collective voice and power with one another. And as my fellow President Class friend and SACAC president Jessica Jaret Sant put it: “I’m inspired by so many of you who are as committed to supporting the new faces in our ranks as you are the kids you serve each day.” She put out a challenge for all of us to how we might serve and support one another better. Let us all take up that challenge, and focus on just being the best you can be to one another.
 
I’m deeply grateful for the chance to represent International ACAC and am all the more committed in the continued work we will do together!

2018 Association Annual Award Winners: In Their Words

Association Annual Award Winners: In Their Words

Last Spring the International ACAC board placed their votes for three awards that honor leaders in our field. These include the Distinguished Service Award, the Rising Star Award, and the Peter Hauet Lifetime Achievement Award. This year the awards went to some inspiring individuals who have made big contributions to International ACAC over the years.

Jenny Tassell and Christine Grover were selected for the International ACAC Rising Star Award for their service to their students and our community, especially due to their tireless work in organizing the recent International ACAC Regional Institute in Panama City.

Jenny writes, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great honor.  There is really no other association like International ACAC.  I have been lucky enough to have some amazing mentors who have encouraged me to keep pushing myself towards goals that have seemed too challenging at times.  Fred Johnson, Juan Camilo Tamayo, Ray Marx, Meg Mahoney, Christine Grover, and Jolynn Vallejo to name a few.  Everyone in this association wants its members to become more involved and they will encourage you every step of the way. 

In Panama it all started with helping to create the Panama School Counselor Association (PASCA).  With the amazing counselors in Panama we worked hard to help Panama become a place that was easy to navigate and welcoming to all university reps that came here.  We created the PASCA website which has become a model for other countries. 

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What characteristics do colleges seek in an applicant? Ask Amazon's Jeff Bezos.

What characteristics do colleges seek in an applicant? Ask Amazon’s Jeff Bezos.

Written by Barbara Carletta Chen

 

A recent article on CNBC’s website revisited Amazon Founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ 1998 Letter to Shareholders in which he shared his three essential interview questions for new hires. The article struck a chord; not because I am seeking a job with Amazon, but because it was published on August 1st, the day The Common Application went live for the 2018-2019 application year.


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Calling all members with an interest in UK Advocacy

Calling all members with an interest in UK Advocacy

A UK All Party Parliamentary Group is currently conducting an inquiry into international students in the UK. Details of the inquiry:  

http://www.exeduk.com/appg-for-international-students/inquiry

The Advocacy and Outreach Committee are keen to submit a written response to this by the deadline of 3rd September.

The focus of the response will be from high school and independent counsellors as our UK HE members views will be represented by UUK. We will however work with UUK to ensure our responses are coordinated as much as possible. In order to capture the views of high school and independent counsellors AOC have developed a brief survey for high school and independent members:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BPMQ2LT



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TOP TEN 2018 CONFERENCE MOMENTS

Top Ten 2018 Conference Moments

By Aaron Andersen
President, International ACAC 

In July 2018, International ACAC hosted our 25th annual Conference at Tulane University and Loyola University New Orleans.  It was an incredible week of learning, sharing, connecting with friends, and southern hospitality in New Orleans.  You can read the official Press Release HERE... but I thought I'd take a minute to share my personal favorite moments from the conference...in no particular order...

Top Ten 2018 Conference Moments

1.  Dr. Michael White creating and performing a song for our conference on the topic of Peace, right on the spot during our Conference Opening session.


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CONFERENCE PIN TRADING - HISTORY & TIPS

Conference Pin Trading - History & Tips

This year for the first time we are inviting all attendees to bring lapel pins from their home country or state or institution to kick-off a tradition of conference pin trading.  Collect and exchange pins from new-friends you meet during breaks and sessions, and wear them on your ID lanyards.  Another great way to connect with colleagues around the world.

Pin trading has a history that dates back to the early modern Olympics. In advance of the 1896 Games, three pins were designed, one for judges, one for athletes, and one for officials.  Since then, pins have become highly collectible and a favourite tradition of the Olympics. Spectators and athletes come prepared to share and trade pins from their home countries, a custom of exchanging international greetings and a simple pin as an gesture of friendship.

For the International ACAC Conference, pin trading can serve the same role... with over 70 different countries represented our annual event can rival an Olympics for global scale.  With the number of new comers each year to the summer conference Pin Trading can also serve as an excellent way to 'break the ice' with a stranger as the exchange of collectibles can lead to a great conversation.

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WHY THE FACEBOOK GROUP IS MEMBERSHIP REQUIRED

As Strong As Our Membership - Why The Facebook Group is Members Only

by Aaron Andersen
President-Elect, International ACAC
University of British Columbia


Recently there has been questions raised regarding the International ACAC policy enacted several years ago to restrict the Facebook Group to a closed group that requires membership in the Association. 
 As the VP Communications during the years the Board adopted this policy for the Facebook page, I wanted to address the reasons behind this approach. 






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COUNTER POINT: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

 




Counter point: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

In a professional WeChat admissions group, a high school counselor in southern China lamented that she couldn’t get parents to come to information sessions at her school hosted by admission officers from lesser known U.S. universities. Several colleagues, including myself, proffered suggestions: create a fact sheet about the university, advertise the event in Chinese on her school’s WeChat account, and provide translation on the day of the event. Since this was a counselor I had come to know through multiple exchanges, I then messaged her privately and joked that she should say representatives from an Ivy League school would be joining the unknown school. I guaranteed she’d have a full house. We laughed, but it wasn’t funny; it was true.


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INTERNATIONAL ACAC SCHOLARS 2017

INTERNATIONAL ACAC Scholars 2017

By Joan Liu
University Advisor, United World College of South East Asia


 Shabana Basij-Rasikh dressed as a boy to go to school, because under the Taliban, educating women was forbidden. When Shabana was at Middlebury College, she founded the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). One of reasons why was because she wanted girls to have the access to secondary education that she did not have.

A humanitarian, educator, and women's rights champion, Shabana is just one of the 12 incredible educators joining us this year in Cleveland, as part of the Scholars Program. The International ACAC Scholars Program supports high-impact counselors working with academically talented, but under-resourced students as they seek to gain access to higher education outside their home countries. This program is one key way that International ACAC actively promotes access to higher education for international students around the world.

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FIRST TIMERS FAQ

Conference First Timers FAQ

By Johanna Fishbein and Michael Maki

Q: Where is the conference information?

A:
You can access all of the conference information from internationalacac.org/conference   Everything you need to know (schedules, sessions) is on here so visit it frequently!

Q: Do people really stay in the dorms?
A:
Yep! Reliving your younger years in a dorm room is part of the International ACAC experience, but it is not a requirement. You can find information about on campus and off campus housing here: case.edu/iacac2017/lodging

If you do decide to stay in the dorms (most attendees do), it can be a really great way to meet people. You can put down the name of someone you’d like to stay with or be randomly assigned which can be fun too. Everyone in the dorms is very friendly and welcoming and you will always have your own bedroom, although you may be sharing a bathroom.




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COUNSELING OFFICE MODELS AT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

Finding the Right Fit: A Look at Counselling Models at International Schools 

By Robbie Jefferiss
United World College South East Asia, Singapore
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Counseling international students on university options is an increasingly complex and challenging role. The breadth and diversity of university choices continues to expand as a steady stream of new opportunities emerge; from new joint global ventures between established universities, to the ever expanding list of programs taught in English throughout Europe. The expertise and depth of knowledge needed to “master” multiple higher education systems, and provide advocacy and support for students and families is often more than a full time job. 


However, the diversity of options that stand before our students, is often matched by the diversity of ‘hats’ we wear at our schools. Depending on the size of your school, you may also be the social emotional counselor, a teacher, IB coordinator, assistant principal, registrar, house parent, homeroom advisor, coach, etc. etc. The breadth  of our experiences and the diversity of our schools is what makes working at international schools fascinating; no two schools or programs are alike. Similarly, the role of college counselor at your school may have emerged from various groundings. It may have grown organically from a teacher’s part time additional role, or perhaps from a British, American, or mixed international foundation, sometimes with various heads of school carrying their own perception of the role. A recent article published by Shaun McElroy in The International Educator has prompted discussions on Facebook and beyond, looking at the various models used at international schools.  So we decided to explore these in more depth with some insight from some experienced counselors who have worked in different models.







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INTERNATIONAL ACAC 2017 PRE & POST-CONFERENCE

International ACAC 2017
Pre and Post-Conference Offerings: The Power of Three


Hone and enhance your summer learning! Join us for an extended stay in Cleveland this summer by adding on a pre or post-conference offering:


The Professional Development committee has worked this year to offer engaging and energetic programs that will compliment the annual summer conference:

  • For admission professionals with five or more years of experience we have collaborated with Case Western Reserve’s Weatherhead School of Management to offer a custom leadership program for a small cohort of individuals wishing to focus on developing their leadership potential. 
  • For school counselors, educational consultants, and your inner Jedi - The Pre-Conference Institute; International University Counseling 101 has returned for those with 0-2 years of experience.  Come network with other international school counselors and superhero admission professionals - learn from the most charismatic and fun-loving people in the profession!
  • Go Athletes! A special post-conference workshop on advising student athletes will take place to wrap up your time in Cleveland, OH.  Learn how to best advise your burgeoning athletes in the university process!
     

Pre-Conference Institute: Monday, July 10 & Tuesday, July 11
International University Counseling 101

Are you an international school counselor or educational consultant who is new to guiding students in international admissions and university counseling? Do you feel that you would like to learn more about fundamental topics in the field of international admissions? If so, be sure to sign up for the Pre-Conference International Counseling 101 workshop created especially counselors and consultants with 0-2 years experience. In the two days that lead into main International ACAC Conference, experienced counselors and university admissions representatives will present on a wide variety of topics to help you feel more comfortable, confident, and knowledgeable in your work with students as they prepare for post-secondary life and studies. See more detailed information here





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