Counselor View: The Value of International Counselor Fly-in
By Kelly Braun
Int'l School of Sacred Heart, Tokyo
The contents of my suitcase are strewn across my bedroom floor, new college swag separated from laundry, toiletries that exploded twice waiting to be cleaned for the third time, and just enough room to maneuver around the bed to sleep and then make it to work in the morning. I've just returned from a week long international counselor fly-in and unfortunately there is just not time between returning home and school on Monday to deal with things like suitcases when you have a week of emails, lesson plans, and looming AP exams to prepare for.
Would I trade my week away for a clean room and empty inbox? Never.
Is the Admission Process Broken?
A Counselor's Perspective from China
By Hamilton Gregg
HGIEC - Educational Consultant
The following is a submission from a long time OACAC member expressing his view on the current state of admissions as it pertains to students in China, and beyond. Hamilton offers this reflection as the start of a dialogue, and with any discussion there is surely to be different points of views. OACAC invites readers to provide their views and perspectives in the Comments section at the bottom of the article.
This year has been a bit tumultuous with month after month of SAT cheating scandals, continued reports of unethical agents or companies manufacturing outstanding student portfolios, intense “coaching” on essays and all sorts of other behavior to throw out the question “what’s going on?”
FAQ : 2015 SAT Update
The past several months the SAT has been a hot topic amongst our members. From security concerns and reports of test fraud in Asia to international testing dates to the pending roll out of the redesigned test, there has been a lot to think about with regards to The College Board's SAT. In February, OACAC was pleased to present a Webinar in cooperation with The College Board as opportunity for members to listen to updates and ask questions. Clay Hensley, Senior Director, International Strategy & Outreach, walked through the latest news concerning the SAT.
As a follow up to the webinar, Clay has provided responses to a good number of the questions that were poised during the webinar and shared the answers exclusively with OACAC members.
ACCESS THE ANSWERS TO THE FOLLOWING QUESTIONS, AND MANY MORE HERE (login required)
Would CB consider different security measures for different parts of the world ?
What are the consequences when a student is caught cheating on the SAT? Is the cancellation of scores between ETS and student only? In what case would the student´s parent, school or institution where s/he is applying be notified?
When will practice PSAT questions be available?
Would you provide info to counselors for parents ?
Will Khan Academy use practice questions from the actual redesigned SAT? Some of the questions I've seen from them don't seem helpful.
Could you speak more about the three sections of the Essay Section?
Find Yourself Not Your "Passion"
By Kelly Braun
Int'l School of Sacred Heart, Tokyo
If I have another admission rep come into my school and tell my students that the best thing for them to do in high school is find their passion, I am going to scream. No joke. I am going to scream at the top of my lungs with reckless abandon.
Passion is such a huge word. These kids are dealing with waaaaaay more pressure than I ever remember dealing with. They worry about their SAT scores, the amount of vocabulary they know, what their parents want, trying to ace all those classes that they are taking, and round out their extracurriculars with violin practice and basketball. Kids think that they need to fit into the “perfect student cookie cutter” so they can get into Harvard, even though I tell them that the cookie cutter is going to get them nowhere, just a mental breakdown.
So when admission people tell them they need to find their passion?
Add that to the short list of things they still need to do.
Naviance Tuneup - Holiday Season Edition
By Tim Munnerlyn
American Community School – Abu Dhabi
Many of us are winding down the semester thinking of warm sunny beaches, shopping for those last minute presents or finalizing plans for friend and family get-togethers. In the spirit of giving, Naviance is a gift which continues to give beyond the mangled wrapping paper and proud, fleeting New Year resolutions.
Here are a few Naviance tips to get you through the holiday season and into the New Year.
5 Fast Facts 4 Foreign Apps
By Beau Benson
New York University
It’s that time of the year again.
For a large portion of universities, applications will be due within the next month and a half. Around the world, students are placing the finishing touches on documents that will be shipped to admissions offices around the world. And in the weeks that follow their arrival, these documents will come to define and represent the applicant as universities begin the difficult task and building a unique and diverse Class of 2019!
While countless college admissions blogs have reiterated the standard tips for all applicants, regardless of citizenship, below just a few that should be highlighted specifically for the international community.
The Best of OACAC Series
Announcing … The BEST of OACAC SERIES …. Inspired by “The Best of American Essays”, a series which includes:
Do you ever run a “best of” list in your head? Share it out loud! Best book to get for your office, if you can only get one! Best program to run for your juniors, if you can only run one! Best database program to convince your admin to get, if you're tired of excel sheets! Let’s pool ideas, share suggestions … after all, that’s what the Best of OACAC is about!
Here’s our first “Best of….” column for counselors. Next column is for admissions officers! Share, Enjoy, Laugh, and most of all, Use!
>> Elisabeth Marksteiner (International School of Zug and Luzern, Switzerland)
The UK: A System in Flux
by David Hawkins
Head of Careers, Taunton School
The British Higher Education system used to be straightforward, certainly for those like me working in British schools and who attended a UK university. However, recent changes in government policy have made steps towards creating a market for university places, with this to change yet further in future years. Though some of my colleagues across the UK find this all quite worrying, for those of us working on an international stage it simply brings the UK into line with the rest of the world. So, from a British counsellor’s perspective here are the key changes to be aware of.
Senior College Application Kickoff 2013
By Tim Munnerlyn
HS Counselor – American Community School – Abu Dhabi
It’s early September and another busy season of assisting, motivating and bribing seniors to complete their college applications on time, is upon us. Oh, where did our summer vacation go? Amidst, the buzz of the hallways as students make their way to classes and teachers revving up their courses; high school counselors must find ways to focus their seniors for the important tasks that awaits them during the fall.
Over the years, we’ve offered a Senior College Night presentation to students and parents providing information and answering questions regarding the college application process. This has typically occurred during the second or third week of school.