Finding the Right Fit: A Look at Counselling Models at International Schools
By Robbie Jefferiss
United World College South East Asia, Singapore
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.
Membership Survey - Strategic Planning For The Future
By Lisa Hollett
Special Programs Coordinator, International ACAC
In May, we undertook an ambitious project, a Strategic Planning Survey of all International ACAC members. The survey was sent to our over 2000 members, and we received over 700 responses. Hopefully, you took the chance to let your voice be heard!
A number of our questions focused around our annual summer conference, and the results were illuminating. Over 50% of you attend the conference for the networking opportunities, but professional development opportunities are also very important, with discussions of new trends in Admissions garnering almost 10% of the vote.
Booking a visit made easy? Repvisits.com review
By Robbie Jefferis
United World College South East Asia, Singapore
You can book an uber online, buy your groceries online, schedule your dentist appointment online…. So why not schedule your school visits online? A new tool is attracting interest with busy college counselors and even busier admissions representatives, called www.repvisits.com
Could this be the end of all the back and forth emails?
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.
Top Five Things To Do in Vancouver While in Town for The Fair
NACAC’s first International Universities Fair is being held in Vancouver May 7 and the city is ready to welcome visitors from institutions all over the world. The fair, Saturday May 7 from 1:00 - 4:00PM has over a 150 universities from a dozen different countries converging on Vancouver Convention Center to promote higher education options to the region's secondary school students. Recognizing that many university representatives will only have a few spare hours before or after the fair, International ACAC has received special advice from a local Vancouverite to come up with the ever helpful Top Five Things.
TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER BEFORE OR AFTER THE NACAC FAIR
1. Take a Water Taxi Ride to See the City
Top Benefits of NACAC Membership
This year marks my 10th year counseling here in Seoul. For the past several years I have been both a NACAC and International ACAC member.
Why International ACAC ? Our President Joe put it best. “We are a family.” We are a select group of international educators who have a distinct passion and appreciation for those serving and living overseas. It is part of our identity, and it is what makes our association not only unique, but as Tina Turner would say it…“simply the best.”
But why NACAC ? However, many often wonder why I’m still a member of NACAC and attend their conference every year. Even last fall, when I attended the San Diego conference, “You attend NACAC as well?” was a question I heard more often than not. So, to my fellow International ACAC members, after another year of membership and attending another mind-blowing NACAC, I have been reaffirmed of my commitment to both the National AND the International Association for College Admissions Counseling. Here’s why...
Workplace Survey 2015 - Results
In the summer of 2015 International ACAC conducted a Workplace Survey of its members to get a better understanding of their workplace experience. 30% of AAPS member institutions responded to this survey and the Communications Committee has reviewed the results over the past several months. The survey had a set of questions for both university admission and secondary school counselling offices. While there was also a short set of questions for educational consultants, it is acknowledged that future editions of the survey will need to have an expanded question set for this member group.
The responses will be presented in a series of articles available exclusively to International ACAC members on this website over the next few months. The data is intended to support our members strategic initiatives, and we hope that it may provide helpful context as they review their own workplace environments
The International ACAC Board wishes to thank the members for their time in completing this survey.
OACAC Conference By The Numbers
While OACAC Events can never be just about the numbers… here it is just about the numbers
#OACAC2015 Conference Oregon
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?”
It's Time to Become International
If you’re like the Executive Board, you’ve probably had to explain what “OACAC” means to colleagues, family and friends. Some parts are easy to explain:
- We are a 2000+ member international organization that represents nearly 100 countries from every corner of the globe.
- We are the international champions of those seeking higher education.
- We offer a dynamite annual conference.
- We host professional development opportunities throughout the year, including Regional Institutes around the world and Webinars to a global audience.
- We have great depth and breadth of international knowledge among our members.
When you look at these answers, and reflect about who we are, the answer is “we’re international.” Overseas doesn’t factor into the discussion. So why is it in our name?
The dictionary definition of Overseas is:
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.
OACAC Scholars : In Their Own Words
Each year OACAC selects high-impact, under-resourced counselors to receive funding to attend the OACAC SummerConference as an OACAC Scholar. These counselors are nominated by their peers and are provided funding to cover their travel, registration, and accommodation at the conference. In most cases these are counselors who would not have been otherwise been able to attend a professional development event in other country, and often it is their first introduction to the OACAC community.
Please consider nominating your colleague to be a 2015 OACAC Scholar. Perhaps you are in a high school yourself, and know of another school in your community whose staff could really use the support. Perhaps you are at a university and work closely with a counselor who you know is under resourced, and would benefit from the experience of attending OACAC. Either way, counselors who are selected speak of a life changing experience - and that life changing moment starts with your nomination. Nominate a deserving counsellor today.
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.
Productivity Tips for Global Higher Education
By Aaron Andersen & Tim Munnerlyn
Aaron Andersen Tim Munnerlyn
Univ. of British Columbia Amer. Comm. School – Abu Dhabi
These days, everyone is talking about ways to improve productivity and increase efficiency, but how does it all relate to YOUR JOB? Here are nine tips that can get you working more efficiently, in the college or high school office. For more tips check out the session download available at the conference resource page.
1. Create a giant visual calendar and cross off each day you complete your chosen task.
Daily action builds habits. It gives you practice and will make you an expert in a short time. Select a task that you want to complete for a period of time, and do it once every day. Put a big ‘X’ on that day. After a few days you’ll have a chain of ‘X’s. Don’t break the chain, you'll start to spot opportunities you otherwise wouldn't. Each day’s small accomplishment accumulates into a large accomplishment.
2. Clearly define office rules – And publish clearly.
Define office responsibilities and post for all to see in each office. This will help students, parents, and other teachers. And create efficiencies in your office.
Top 10 List: How to Get the Most Out of the OACAC Conference
By Jemison Foster & Tim Munnerlyn
Jemison Foster Tim Munnerlyn
Bangkok Patana School American Comm. School – Abu Dhabi
Let’s face it, not all professional development opportunities are created equal. Some are painful, but a necessity. Some are engaging and inspire. And some are OACAC! With just over two weeks to go before this summer’s OACAC conference in Tampa, we thought we would share a few handy tips on how to maximize your experience.
From the Membership Desk : Membership Has its Privileges
By Katy So,
OACAC VP for Membership, College Ave Consulting
OACAC By The Numbers
March 2014 : Membership in OACAC continues to boom. We currently have 1622 members, which is 20% more than we had at this time last year. We are particularly excited that 25% of members are new to our organization.
University members continue to be in the majority, with 48% of members working at universities. Secondary school counselors comprise just over 1/3 of the membership, which is a slight increase from last year and a significant increase from two years ago. 10% of members hold Individual memberships, while 5% are from organizations, both of which are on par with the past two years.
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.
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