Thursday, April 6, 2017

BIG or small: College Signing Day is for All

I am so excited to present this topic with two of my colleagues at this year's Illinois School Counselor Association conference in Bloomington, IL.

We decided last year, after each of our events, that sharing the unique ways we each make this event work at our respective schools, would maybe help others gain the confidence to plan and execute their own college signing day.

Our session aims to help attendees:

  • Know & understand the purpose for implementing a College Signing Day program
  • Know how to design and implement an action plan that includes a College Signing Day program which aligns with school and school counseling program goals, despite budget constraints, counseling team size or school size
  • Know how to collaborate with students, parents, teachers, administrators, community leaders & other stakeholders to promote and encourage student success
  • Know who to connect with to make your College Signing Day event a success
Check out our full presentation here.

Tips from us

  1. Register your event with Reach Higher and Better Make Room
    1. Download the Toolkit and Event Guide to help you plan
  2. Use Canva to make signs
  3. Make different certificates for college and military
  4. Make the event match your school needs and culture. Follow your formula.
  5. Remember your intent. Celebration and valuable data collection!
  6. Data points to track and share:
    1. College Application Completion & Enrollment
    2. Graduation Rate
    3. FAFSA Filing Percentage
    4. School-wide Academic Performance
      1. freshman on track, achievement gap
    5. College Persistence Rate
    6. College Graduation Rate
You can also view my previous posts on this topic:

  1. Recap of the Evidence Based School Counseling Conference
  2. College Signing Day...Take 1

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Flipped Course Registration Intro

Second semester usually brings two things for certain for high school counselors: schedule changes and course registration.

Over the last few years I would dare to say I have found ways, thanks to technology & saavy programming, to make both of these often stressful experiences less stressful.

Let's talk course registration. Usually we have to explain how to register to all of the students when the process begins, which can be very time consuming and difficult to manage with all of the other duties we are responsible for 2nd semester, right?! Well, for the last few years I have been "flipping" the registration info process and let me tell you, the migration to this method has been nothing short of life changing (yes I am passionate about this). :)

Over the years my flips have gotten progressively better in terms of quality, and there's still lots of room for improvement, but last year I identified a few methods that saved me hours this year that I have to share!

First, learn how I do my flips and what tools I use here.

Now for a few tips:

1. Keep the voiceover for most of your slides general so you don't have to redo them all each year. For example, instead of saying, "the due date for your forms is January 13." Just say, "please write the due dates from this slide down so you remember them later."

2. Upload your screencast to YouTube so it's easy to share just the simple how-to with parents and students. They may not need to watch the whole Prezi more than once.

3. Utilize all dissemination means possible. The teachers got the Prezi the day before the students got to view it so they could review it first. I set up the Prezi to be sent to all students and parents 5 minutes before it would be broadcast throughout the school; they got it via email and through our student portal. I also automated our online student registration so it opened on its own at the specified time.

4. Pre-schedule your face to face follow up time with students & publicize it when you release your presentation, this way they will know when they can get answers to their questions.

5. Remember the most important components of this process should be at the core of your work: ISP, ILP's, Appraisal and Advisement. Read more about these components here.

Are you flipping? Share your experiences in the comments!

Want to SEE my flip from this year? Check it out here.