Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Presentation by Admission Representatives from Emory University, University of California - Berkeley, Johns Hopkins University, and University of Virginia

Some key take aways from the Admission Reps:

1.  The new Coalition for Access & Affordability website ( The schools involved with the Coalition are comfortable with students applying either by the Coalition application or Common App.  The admissions reps do not see what students put in their "locker" on the Coalition website.  They only look at the application.  They see the Coalition website as being helpful for students who don't have access to a school counselor or Naviance.

2.  Perceptions about the NEW SAT
The reps have not figured out what the new scores mean yet.  Students who have taken the NEW SAT have not applied yet, so it's hard to say how they will read them yet.  They wanted to remind students that the transcript and rigor of courses taken are the biggest factor and not the SAT or ACT or TOEFL.  All said that the SAT score is not a big factor in their decision.

3.  Class Rank as a factor
They don't compare students in one high school with students in another high school.  They compare students against their own school and how well they did with what was available to them.  They look more at fit and if they believe the student will engage in their college community.   They all said they were not looking at accepting the top kid.  They look at the application holistically.  The decision is not driven by rank.  UCal - Berkeley does not even ask for rank.  They want to see students "exhaust the rigor of the school" and research their school in order to answer the questions on the supplemental essays better like, "Why Hopkins?" for example.

4.  Tracking Campus Visits
These four schools do not factor "interest" in their decision.

5.  What they would like to see counselors tell students

a.  Let them know the true likelihood about getting accepted at each school.  Try to save their parents $75 if there is no realistic chance of being accepted.

b.  The supplemental essays are just as important as the main Common App essay.  They should have someone proof-read it and not put another school's name it it.  It should be specific to that school.

c.  UCal-Berkeley said that they go very deep into their WaitList each year so if a student is waitlisted, it is worth their time to do the additional supplemental essay that they are sent if they are still interested.

d.  While community service and extracurricular activities are important, the academics is most important.  They look at all pieces.  Do not send things that they don't ask for (i.e. a science lab report)

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

While attending the LDI (Leadership Development Institute) at #asca13, in the President-elect workgroup room, we were asked, What support could you use throughout the year to help you in your Presidency?
I immediately said to my group, a monthly pat on the back from others going through this year.  Then I suggested we start a monthly Tweet Chat for Presidents and another suggested Past-Presidents and Presidents-elect.  Thus #scprezchat was formed.  Below is the proposed schedule for this inaugural year.  It is intended to have different people moderate the chats each month with a topic that is important to them or others.  Please volunteer to moderate an upcoming chat or offer topic suggestions!

2013 #scprezchat schedule

(for SCA Past-Presidents, Presidents, and Presidents-elect)

The third Monday of the month at 8PM EST

Date Moderator State 13-14 SCA Position Twitter  Topic
15-Jul Michelle Kelley RI President @mkelley723   Membership;

19-Aug Jeremy Goldman MD  President-elect @MrJGoldman  Conference Planning; 


Tim Conway




Counselor Evaluation;


Bill Pepin






Erin Mason           


Counselor Educator


Legislative Advocacy
16-Dec    Tracy Jackson VA President @eschcounselor
Helpful Technology;

Sunday, June 2, 2013


I began running again after recovering from an injury I incurred 7 months ago.  While it's slow to get going, it feels great.  I noticed during my run today that often times a song will come on that makes me pick up the pace with my run.   I usually hesitate and then realize I can go faster and usually feel better at the end for doing so.  While increasing my speed today, I was thinking about my job as a school counselor and how it's easy to stay at the same pace, status quo, if you will, and coast along.  Then I thought about the upcoming Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and #ASCA13 conference in Philly and I realized how excited I get to go and be re-energized and connect with friends from around the country.  I think #ASCA13 might just be my "Pick Up The Pace" song this year.  :)

Sunday, February 10, 2013

My first blog post

I have wanted to start a blog for a while now.  It is all still very new to me.  I am giving it a try.  I came up with the title to my blog "Once Upon A Counselor" in the car today on my way to go grocery shopping.  I find that I do my best thinking in the car or in the bathroom.  My secretary laughs every time I come back from a bathroom break because I usually have a "new idea" that I am excited about! LOL!