Thursday, July 28, 2016

A Data-Driven Method to Foster a College-Going Identity for Students

I've been (slowly) reading Ready, Willing, and Able: A Developmental Approach to College Access and Success by Mandy Savitz-Romer and Suzanne M. Bouffard and when I came across "college-going identity statuses" I knew I had an incredible, new way to categorize my students so I could streamline and better prioritize my efforts.

According to the text, there are 4 "statuses" that indicate the degree to which a person has explored and committed to a particular element of identity. I believe these statuses are a great way for us to categorize our students at the beginning of the school year, and then set goals to make positive change throughout the school year.

The 4 stages are:

  1. Identity diffused, and not yet resolved whether or not they are college-going
  2. Foreclosured, by “prematurely” deciding college is not for them
  3. Moratorium, “trying on the possibility of going to college”
  4. Identity achieved, having explored the options, talked to peers and others, and on the path to college (p. 70-71).

According to the authors, you want your students to fall into the moratorium status to really take advantage of the programs and services you will provide as their school counselor.

So how can you use this without creating extra work for yourself?

Each fall I meet one-on-one with all of my seniors and juniors. During this meeting they have to complete a one page survey with various questions about their post-secondary plans prior to meeting with me. During our meeting I make additional notes on the paper and as they leave I hand it to my assistant for data entry purposes.

My thought was to add one more data point to the form that I can record (not the student) based on our conversation. Then I can categorize the students and see those that are at the lower end of the college-going identity scale for follow-up first and then move down the line; creating a goal to increase the percentage of those that are in the moratorium status, or even the identity achieved status.

I created a Google Form to illustrate my idea, you can see how easily it creates the data points and spreadsheets for you!

Let me know what you think in the comments below!

Thursday, July 7, 2016

It's time for #ASCA16 Tips

As I sit here procrastinating when I should be packing, I can't help but get super excited about getting to New Orleans to see so many of you and recharge my school counselor batteries!!

Every year I usually share tips on how to afford to go to conference, but this year that was not an issue for me since I started my own business last year, so I am going to share a few tips on how you can make the most of your time at #ASCA16! Of course if you can't make it, be sure to follow #NotAtASCA16 on Twitter and download the conference app to grab the handouts from the sessions you are interested in, or become a virtual attendee here!

Ok, so let's focus in on those of us that are able to make the trip...

1. Print your registration email with your QR code so you can register and get your name tag and welcome bag quickly.

2. Download the conference app on your smartphone or tablet or write out your schedule the old fashion way so you know where you need to be at a quick glance.

3. Be sure to stop at the NOLA locals table to get tips on where to eat and what to check out while you're in town. I know I want to ride in a streetcar for sure! are so more tips from ASCA...

New Orleans is a city rich with culture and plenty of tourist attractions. The Washington Post even names it a"great destination for families." Once you've planned your conference schedule, be sure to set aside time to take in all that our host city has to offer. Here are a few links to learn more about what you can do during your visit:

4. Visit the exhibit hall and complete the scavenger hunt! There are some really awesome prizes and you get to meet so many helpful vendors that may solve all of your school counselor quandaries. :)

Seriously, Aveda is going to be there!! 

...from ASCA...

AT&T: Charging stations in registration lobby and meeting room lobbies.
Aveda Institutes: Massages, cosmetic touch ups and beauty advice in the exhibit hall.

5. Meet the Board of Director candidates and ASCA staff, then be sure to vote at the voting station.

6. Make time to be social. The sessions are incredible and you will learn so much, but the connections you make are also valuable, so be sure to connect with people in person and on Twitter before you leave so you can stay connected throughout the year as you're applying what you've learned.

7. Attend the Tweet up Meet up, even if you're not on Twitter, we will help you get connected to a PLN that you will wonder how you ever lived without. We are a fun group, trust me! :)

8. Go to Opening Session and sit with your state, this is a super fun experience, trust me! Check the message board if you're wondering where your state will meet. 

9. Attend each Keynote. Every year I walk away from a keynote with a new vision and direction for my program, they are always inspiring and good for your school counselor spirit.

10. Take notes digitally while you're in session (I use GoogleDrive) and Tweet your takeaways using #ASCA16 #SCCHAT and #NotAtASCA16

11. Summarize how you will apply what you've learned, you know, action plan. I also use GoogleDrive for this so I can access them later and share them with others that are #NotAtASCA16

12. Have fun, laugh a lot, make memories and remind yourself that this opportunity is as much for you as it is for those you serve. 

I am looking forward to seeing you all in NOLA and elated to have the opportunity to connect with you in person as we learn and grow together. Safe travels.

Share your tips below in the comments!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Springfield, IL is Getting Ready to Promote School Counseling Programs

Tomorrow I will be headed to Springfield to share my presentation on promoting school counseling programs. This is an especially pivotal topic for the area school counselors as more and more school counselors are being replaced by Deans of Students.

I am looking forward to discussing this topic and how we can best promote school counseling in the region to stop this trend and bring back those positions.

Want to learn more about Public Relations and how it relates to school counseling?

Check out my presentation and the Top 10 Tips for PR in School Counseling created by Chris Wood and I (based on our Tweet Chat), complete with resources to help you improve your PR efforts.

Please share how you are promoting your school counseling program in the comments below.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Flip your Lessons at ISCA

Check out my presentation here.

Resources from the Presentation

From the article
        Flip Your Classroom: Reach Every Student in Every Class Every Day by Bergmann and Sams
From school counselors
        Franciene’s Prezi:
        Matt’s YouTube:
        Kato’s YouTube:
        Erinn’s Vimeo:
        Michael’s iPad tour:

Want to use PowerPoint to record your presentation? Here’s a quick how-to:

Have questions? Please leave them in the comments below.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

National School Counseling Week 2016

This year I kicked off #NSCW at the White House with some of the most incredible people in our profession--oh and the First Lady!!!

My plans for the week are not as extensive as they have been in the past, but I'm hoping to keep the momentum going around our profession through social media and introduce my students to the #BetterMakeRoom campaign.

Here are all of the details...

Day 1 (Feb 1): Take a picture with the NSCW signs posted throughout the school and tweet it to @CHS139Counselor (use the hashtag #NSCW16) or post it in the comments on the Chester High School Facebook post for Day 1. All participants will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Day 2 (Feb. 2): How much do you know about the faculty & staff at CHS? Grab a crossword puzzle from the NSCW table at lunch and try to complete it! Turn completed puzzles in to the Student Services Office by the end of the day on Thursday. 

Day 3 (Feb. 3): Share your post-secondary plans on the poster in the cafeteria. Finish the sentence, "After I graduate from CHS I will, ______________." Will you go to college? What will you study? What will you do? #BetterMakeRoom #ReachHigher Post your pledge on Twitter or Vine with #BetterMakeRoom and it could end up on a billboard, in a Subway, or even in Times Square; you could even get an invite to the White House!!! Check out for more details.

Day 4 (Feb. 4): We appreciate your input! Share your recipe for success in school & life and you could win a prize! Look for the recipe for success entry box at lunch.

Day 5 (Feb. 5): Wear your favorite college gear and take a picture with the #ReachHigher & #BetterMakeRoom signs posted throughout the school and tweet it to @CHS139Counselor (use the hashtags #NSCW16 #ReachHigher #BetterMakeRoom) or post it in the comments on the Chester High School Facebook post for Day 5. All participants will be entered into a drawing for a prize.

Don't forget ASCA's photo challenge for the week!