Friday, November 13, 2015

Preventing Summer Melt with your Seniors

Over the last few years I've heard a lot about preventing summer melt; the topic even came up at the San Diego White House Convening & an articles have been published by ASCA on the topic.

So, in light of all of the press the topic is getting I decided to really make it a priority to do what I can for my seniors over the last few years to make sure they take that next step towards their futures.

Tip #1: work to make sure that students are intrinsically motivated to go to college to reduce the percentage of summer melt cases.

Tip #2: At the end of the year survey and asked them questions to help improve the program, but I also request contact information so you can get a hold of them.

Tip #3: use the Remind app, with the new Chat tool the possibilities are endless.

Tip #4: Follow up with them all before they leave & continue to communicate. I also use good ole fashion email to correspond with my seniors.

Tip #5: Communicate with the other side. I also got in the habit of sending an email to our local community college to get a list of students who committed on College Signing Day, but didn't get registered for classes. I would make contact with each of those students by phone to remind them to get registered.

I also use the online portals and admissions contacts for schools to identify others who I need to reach out to.

Tip #6: Use Up Next, a mobile system that helps young people step by step to navigate key activities to becoming a successful adult – such as applying and paying for college. When you register for Up Next, you will get simple text message reminders to help you stay on track, like registering for the SAT/ACT, filling out the FAFSA, etc. Learn more via

Preventing Summer melt is a huge task for me during my last couple of days in the office, but I always know the payoff will be greater when I see our post-secondary enrollment percentage for each class.

How do you prevent summer melt? Please share your tips below in the comments.

Promoting your School Counseling Program: A Presentation

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

Check out my presentation that I created for the 2015 Colorado School Counselor Association Conference 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.

  1. Informed people are engaged people. Folks don't show up for events they don't know about. Likewise, people don't talk about things they are not informed about. Create experts in every corner of town through your Advisory Council.
  2. Speak their language. Let your community dictate your P.O.A. A lot of technology, a little technology, let your Plan of Attack match the community you serve.
  3. Consistency & Clarity. They just make sense. Be clear and consistent across all modes of communication. Make sure your dates & times match on all advertisements: school homepage and department web page, blog and printed flyers should all share the same message. Be very clear about what you will share & what attendees will learn.
  4. Roar with the Common Core. Use this opportunity to connect   your program goals to the big picture. Check out this document to learn more.
  5. Know the Town Crier & Create Double P. Positive Press that is. Find out who the town crier is in every sense. What media outlets like to get the word out about school events? Who likes to have the most info during morning coffee at the Burger King or the Dairy Queen? Who will share your program news on Facebook & draw a big response? Know & love these people fast, keep  them updated with your program information and events and always follow PP up with a thank you card.
  6. SALSA. Spend a Little Share All-- Share as much info as possible without spending too much money-your superintendent will love you for this. Combine mailings by sending out brochures, newsletters and flyers with report cards and hand out brochures at events like parent teacher conferences & orientations. Post newsletters online using SMORE. Learn more about how to use this great PR tool here.
  7. Become a Connoisseur of Free Tools. Use the press releases prepared for monthly celebrations to save money and time while also creating positive press. Check out for an example, they always publish a Planning Guide complete with a  press release and proclomation.
  8. Go over Board. Make it a habit to share data with those you serve. Share your data with your school board at least once a year, make it a habit to present at the board meeting every June. Create bulletin boards as often as possible to share data throughout  the school year for students, teachers and school visitors to see. Share data on your webpage using SMORE.
  9. Create Change. Think of PR as an opportunity to build relationships & educate stakeholders about how to become a part of the positive contributions school counseling programs provide. Change their minds about the school counseling profession every chance you get. Lead them back to the ASCA webpage and/or your state association as often as you can.
  10. Expect to Fail. Expect people to toss your brochure in the trash & to say negative things about your program. Expect a smaller turnout at your events. Expect the newspaper to not print your press release or news story. Don't take these things personal. Failure is part of the process, it's best friend is learning. Through failure you will discover a better process and a better way to success. Problem solve and get back out there.

Tools to Promote your School Counseling Program
Some go-to websites for PR Information
Links specific to School Counseling PR
Blog Posts Regarding PR
Other Posts you might like

School Counselors: Share resources not found here on Twitter with the #SCCHAT hashtag!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Superheroes Reach Higher for the Profession & for Students

Hello Colorado Springs! Thank you CSCA for the opportunity to present at your fabulous conference!

Check out my presentation here and my session handout here.

Several session attendees will walk away with my favorite Reach Higher swag!

Need some inspiration to help you support the Reach Higher Initiative? Check out this video produced by Dr. Erin Mason.

Book Recommendations

I am so excited to be in Colorado Springs  to share my passion for the Reach Higher Initiative. 

Other posts you might want to check out:

How are you working to support the Reach Higher initiative? 

Want to learn more about some of my favorite resources? Check out all of the books available for sale in my Amazon store.