Educational Sessions


Breakout Sessions

DREAMERS and the College Dream: Helping Undocumented Students Navigate the Path to Postsecondary Education
Undocumented students face many challenges on the road to college. As a result, less than ten percent enroll in postsecondary education immediately upon graduation from high school (Gonzalez, 2009). Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has renewed hope for many undocumented students, but confusion exists regarding its implications for college access. On a state level, legislation both supports and restricts postsecondary access adding to the confusion and uncertainty. Counseling professionals play an important role in helping undocumented students navigate the path to college and this action oriented session will provide counselors with the necessary tools to aid undocumented students in the college search and application process.

Impact of Grit on College Application Process: Teaching Underrepresented Students the Principles of GRIT
"People think dreams aren't real just because they aren't made of matter, of particles. But dreams are real. They are made of viewpoints, of images, of memories and puns and lost hopes."- Neil Gaiman. Accomplishment of dreams isn't possible for everyone because not everyone has the determination, work, ethic, and belief to make dreams come true. And those who have a firm belief will ace it defying the odds: Learn how to assist your students to recognize their GRIT and to utilize it in the admission process.

Learn, Explore, Grow, Focus, Apply: The Common Application and the Path to College Enrollment
The Common Application has long been a leader in the college application transaction--that point in time where students complete and submit an application. Now, with a user base of over 1 million students and recommenders, the association is building on its four decade legacy by collaborating with educators, researchers, foundations, and like-minded organizations to expand educational opportunities for all students. Join Common Application staff and member colleges for an update on the application system and a discussion of access initiatives that range from a virtual advising to FAFSA completion to counselor professional development.

Naviance and The Common Application: Partnering for Student Success
Last year, The Common Application delivered over 14 million school documents to its member colleges, and nearly sixty percent of them were sent by counselor and teachers using Naviance eDocs. Properly serving the students and professionals who use these two systems requires extensive coordination between the two organizations. In this session, representatives from Common Application​ and Naviance will discuss how the two teams work together across the life cycle of an admission year, from planning and development to support to gathering feedback. They will also address some of the more frequent questions that each receive and will leave attendees with plenty of time to ask questions and make suggestions for improvement.

Promise of Individualized Learning Plans to Promote College and Career Readiness
The presentation will focus on Individualized Learning Plan (ILPs) strategies that are especially critical to engaging in effective college advising. This presentation describes results from a multi-year, multi-method student into the nature and promise of ILPs to leverage college and career readiness. Specifically, the presentation will focus on the elements of career exploration and career planning and management skills that enable students and families to create postsecondary goals based on seeking majors that match their interests, skills and values, and consider financial implications and labor market opportunities.

Postsecondary Transition Counseling for Students with Learning Differences
What tools should diverse learners possess to be able to self-advocate effectively at the postsecondary level? Attend this insightful discussion to establish a solid understanding of how to best match college applicants who have learning differences to schools that can successfully support those needs. From autism spectrum disorder, AD/HD, and dyslexia, to anxiety, executive functioning issues and much more. Our professional experiences have provided us with the critical knowledge to identify schools that excel in these areas.

We will share a transition curriculum model, designed to empower students with self-knowledge, which can serve as a helpful guide for college counseling sessions at your school. By implementing this guide through introspection and guidance, students gain the readiness to self-advocate in the academic and social/emotional domains at the collegiate level.

School and Community Influence on Rural Student College Access
Attention to rural student educational aspirations and college access has become an increasingly salient topic for educational researchers. However, few studies approach to rural high school graduates who have gained access to postsecondary institutions to explore their experience of the college search and choice process. The current study involved qualitative interviews with seven rural high school graduates who were attending a small private college in New York State. Through 60-to-90 minute interviews, student participants shared how they gained information about colleges, how they selected which college to attend, and how they navigated their transition from their rural communities to a college setting in a small city. Each participant shared strategies they would like to have incorporated in rural schools to facilitate college access and develop a college going culture in rural school districts.

Se se puede! Culturally Competent Guidance and Advising for Latino Students and Families
This session will provide insight into how counselors can better guide and serve Latino students and families through the college search and attainment process. Implementing cultural understanding into advising plans can alter the way counselors work with this student population to maximize their college search. Presenters will share resources, insight on Noche Informativa's they have created, and their own cultural experience with the target audience. Information and resources for working with DACAC and undocumented students will also be discussed and shared with the audience.

The Access Triangle: Creating an Effective College, High School, CBO Partnership
Traditionally, college admission recruiting efforts have focused on the high school as the primary meeting point in the relationship between college and the prospective student. However, students are increasingly less able to take time out of the classroom to spend time with admission professionals. Many of these same students and seeking college access community organizations as an additional resource to help them reach their career goals. Thus, many colleges are focusing an increased share of their underrepresented student recruitment efforts on developing pipelines from community based organizations, specifically those that act as a college prep guides for traditionally underrepresented students.

Representatives from Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Maryland, and he Latino Student Fund will comment on effective "triangular" partnership models between college admission offices, high school college counseling offices, and community-based organizations, specifically for students representing diverse populations.

The College Essay: Helping Students Find Their Voice
Writing the college essay continues to be one of the most daunting parts of the college application process for many students. Anxiety about saying "the right thing" in the essay can grow so strong that the essay, instead of becoming a powerful and compelling expression of the student's true self, becomes a roadblock. This session will explore what makes a strong and authentic essay and offers a range of strategies and exercises that will help the counselor and the student discover the life story that the student really wants to tell.

The Value of Your School Profile: How Does Yours Stack Up?
While a school profile is crafted yearly to introduce your school community to admissions committees and support transcript data in the application process, it seems that it is rarely analyzed. Have you evaluated yours lately? What story does it tell about your school and your students? It is comprehensive, readable, logical? How are you using it? What other value might it have?

Join us for a rare conversation about this critical and sometimes underutilized document. You will leave armed with evaluative questions and new perspective for experienced professionals on both sides of the desk. Bring your questions and your own school profiles to the discussion.


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