It Takes a Village to Support the College Bound Student

December 27, 2017

"It takes a village to raise a child."  ~ African Proverb

 

Choosing the best fit college is one of the most important decisions a high school student will make in the course of their lifetime.  With the many factors that contribute to identifying, applying and getting accepted into that most suitable college, high school students need all the guidance they can get from knowledgeable, educated and well trained sources.   

 

College consultants and high school counselors are collaborators not competitors. With the main focus always on the students they serve, college consultants are hired to compliment the foundational work of the high school counselor. 

 

School Counselors:

School counselors are trained as helping professionals under the American School Counselor's Association (ASCA). They hold Master's degrees in school counseling and are formally trained to guide students in areas of mental health and academic concerns. 

 

The significance of a school counselor's role in a high school, often goes under-recognized. Having personally held this position for many years myself, I can attest that this profession reflects some of the most compassionate, selfless and hardworking people working in the field of education. School counselors are the "heart" of all high schools and provide excellent service to the students they work with. The majority,  fueled by genuine love for the adolescent population, perform endless responsibilities without question or complaint.  However, with the continued rise in their responsibilities coupled with their already heavy student caseloads and budget cuts in many school systems, this significantly reduces the time available for individual college counseling to each of their students. 

 

Responsibility of many School Counselors:

  • Develop student schedules

  • Consult with teachers on students' academic progress 

  • Counsel students on personal issues as they arise

  • Attend IEP meetings

  • Schedule and attend 504 meetings

  • Attend truancy hearings for their students

  • Attend Response to Intervention (RTI) meetings

  • Diffuse behavioral situations

  • Enroll transfer students 

  • Schedule and attend parent meetings with administration and/or teachers

  • Mediate conflict for students with peers, parents, teachers, etc

  • Proctor standardized testing

  • Guide students through developing their Individualized Learning Plans (ILP)

  • Monitor students in cafeteria during lunch

  • Audit student transcripts 

  • Review all progress reports and report cards

  • Write letters of recommendation for all students applying to a four year college.

 

High School Counselor Caseloads:

ASCA Recommends     250:1

NACAC Recommends    250:1

National Average     483:1

RI State Average:     405:1

 

College Consultant:

Hiring a college consultant is a lot like hiring a personal mentor for your teenager.  Someone that will encourage, motivate, and guide your child towards their future success.  

 

Think of it like this:

  • If your child demonstrates strong athletic ability on the pitcher's mound, you may consider hiring a private pitching coach for that added edge.

  • If you want to guarantee your child makes the high school hockey team, chances are you will register them for a hockey skills clinic before try outs are held.

  • If you feel that even though your child has an amazing calculus teacher, they would benefit from some one on one support - you may be likely to hire a calculus tutor.  

I could go on, as I am a huge fan of analogies, but I am sure you get the point of what I am trying to say.  

 

A college consultant works to supplement the high school counselor's efforts by providing additional guidance throughout the college admissions process.  Many independent educational consultants/college consultants are members of professional organizations such as Independent Education Consultants Association (IECA), the Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA) or the National Association for College Admissions Counseling (NACAC).  These organizations have strict guidelines, a series of requirements and ethical standards for private consultants. 

 

College consultants are not intended to be hired in place of school counselors, but rather hired to add to the knowledge that the school counselor has already set the foundation for. College consultants are able to dive deeper with each student and their families, providing a more intensive, individualized support specifically tailored to each of their unique academic, social, emotional, and financial needs. 

 

In addition to meeting with students independently and in small workshops settings, college consultants spend much of their time researching college admission trends, touring college campuses, and attending industry conferences.  

 

Some additional benefits college consultants may provide:

  • Limited amount of students on caseload

  • Learning style assessments

  • Career & interest assessments

  • Career Exploration

  • Aptitude Assessments

  • Extracurricular Planning

  • Standardized Testing Diagnostics

  • College Interview Preparation

  • College Essay Sessions

  • 1:1 College Application Assistance 

  • Assistance in organizing college visits

  • Academic resume building assistance

  • Availability throughout the calendar year from morning to evening

The world of college admissions is often confusing and stressful for students and their families. However, with high school counselors providing a critical role in the foundational piece of college and career readiness and a college consultant diving in deeper and individualizing the approach, drawing from the student's unique strengths and guiding them through each step they are sure to provide the college of their choice with the strongest possible profile.

 

If you are looking for more information on hiring a College Consultant to work with your high school student please contact: daniele@collegeboundllc.org

 

You may also want to check out our website:  www.collegeboundllc.org for more detailed information on what we offer.

 

We genuinely look forward to hearing from you and answering any questions you may have about the services we provide.  

 

 

Daniele Mallari 

College Bound, LLC

 

Daniele Mallari is an associate member of IECA. She is also a professional member of NACAC, NEACAC, ASCA, RISCA and is a certified professional school counselor, professional elementary educator and professional special educator.  

 

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