Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Freebie from the College Board that you can't pass up!

In the fall I posted on my Twitter account about the new College Board College Counseling Sourcebook (7th edition) I had just gotten in the mail; I was super excited about all of the resources inside.

Well, great news! Now you can get it for FREE, that is right, FREE!

What's the catch? 

Well, all you have to do is sign the Apply to 4 or More™ pledge to show your support for the College Board's Apply to 4 or More Campaign and help students increase their chances of enrolling in an institution that matches their academic potential. Then, in the Spring, if you complete the survey they email to you, they will send you a free PDF copy. Not a bad trade off!

Not only will you get the full PDF of the Sourcebook for free, but you will also get free materials in the fall from the College Board to help you advise your students as they navigate the college selection process.

This is a very helpful resource so I hope many of you take advantage!

Here is a sample from the College Sourcebook (7th Edition)
Here is a sample from the 2007 edition

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Year End SMART Goals Share Out

At my school our curriculum director plans a year end SMART goals share out where each departments/PLC gets to present to the faculty.

During our presentations we have the chance to share our SMART goals, our rationale for our goals, what we did to work towards achieving them, our current reality and changes we will make in the future as a result of the process.

This is one of my most favorite things about my school.

Not only do we get to hear what each group is doing to improve the lives of our students, but we get to share and reflect on what we are each passionate about.

Throughout the year I send out emails to the staff to let them know about our goal progress, but I really enjoy the share out the most.

If you don't have something like this at your school it would be a great tradition to start. After our presentations our curriculum director shares our results at the board meeting-- another great way to get your results out there!

I also hang our program results for others to see, specifically our FAFSA filing goal progress. This one is a little less personal so I feel comfortable sharing it on our bulletin board in the hallway.

How do you share your goal progress with faculty & stakeholders?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

College Signing Day...Take 1

I was so excited to bring this celebration to my school this year after learning more about it at the White House Convening in San Diego and the Evidence Based School Counseling conference in Kentucky.

This year's event was small scale, no college reps could be present, but we did get most of our military recruiters and the media there, We were so thankful to also have a group of parents show up!

At about 10 days out we officially decided to try to pull an event off this year, next year we will have more time to plan and really pull out all of the stops, but seriously, we planned our event in 10 days!

Check out our official event poster (below), press release and info guide for our faculty. We sent a letter home in the mail to invite parents and put a notice on our Student/Parent access portal, in our daily announcements and on our school's Facebook page.
Made with Canva

I attempted to put together a PowerPoint presentation with info about where the students are going, what they are studying & words of wisdom, similar to this one shared with us at #EBSC, but I just could not get it done in time and secure a set up that would work with our event space.

In the future I plan to create one and sneak in some college knowledge info since we will have the entire student body at the celebration.

For our event I grouped the students by college, with a couple of mixed groups. I had a senior sponsor help me get them lined up in the correct order and gave each student their certificate in line (this sounds really wonderful & organized, but the process was a little chaotic). Before we got to the college groups we asked the audience to stand, and recognized our seniors that will be enlisting in the armed forces; this group of student came out and signed their certificates first. Then each college-bound senior came to the table group by group to sign the certificate we created for them and then proceed to the stage. Once all of the seniors signed, we opened the curtains to present the entire group to the school community.

Throughout the ceremony we had our football coach MC. He announced each group and each student, sharing where they were going and what they were planning to study for the audience. The kids really got into it and the parents were so thankful we hosted the event.

During the event we recognized 83% of the senior class and our event got front page coverage in the local paper!

Our current post-secondary enrollment data does not reflect the amount of work we put into preparing our students, so we are hoping this event, along with the the other programming we delivered this year, will improve this data point.

My intern also put up our end of the year bulletin board just in time for the event. :)

Check out this College Signing Day Kit created by the White House Reach Higher staff to help you plan your event.

College pennants were donated to us upon our request.