It seems that every week I am off to another professional conference. This week it was lunch with admissions officers from 24 different schools on Monday, a tour of UC Irvine and discussion with fellow counselors about college search experiences for Jewish students on Friday.
I added up all of the time I spent on professional development activities last year – college tours, conferences, volunteer work – and it came out to over 200 hours. As I plan my spring college tours to schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, St. Louis, upstate New York and Washington, DC, I realize that all of this schlepping really does help my clients. The more I see, the more I can offer. You may never have heard of High Point University (North Carolina) or William Woods College (Missouri), but I have, and I can help you figure out if they might be the right school for you.
I see myself filling a really important need. In Los Angeles public schools, college counselors have a caseload of five to six hundred students. There’s just no way they have the time to spend hours working with one student on his/her college search, so students simply search based on the colleges they know. Or they can work with an independent counselor.
Here’s a flyer with some interesting information from IECA, the Independent Educational Consultants Association, one of the four professional organizations of which I am a member:
This flyer suggests some very helpful questions you should ask before hiring an independent college counselor:
Finally, I just published an article in the Westwood / Century City Patch about professional development. While I’m pretty sure I will never be able to memorize (let alone know details about) all 2,200 four-year colleges in the United States, I consider it my job to stay informed so that I can do a good job for you and your student!
p.s. Here are a few quick facts I learned at the professional conference I attended last week:
- If you add up all of the spaces in the freshman classes at all eight Ivy League colleges, there are 19,000 students.
- There are 10,900 high schools in California alone (which means 10,900 Student Body Presidents, 10,900 valedictorians, 10,900 Newspaper Editors-in-Chief, you get the picture) and about 35,000 high schools in the U.S.
- Harvard rejects 80% of the valedictorians who apply every year.
- Yale could fill its freshman class three times over with students who scored 2250 or higher on the SAT (max score is 2400, so that’s 750 per section).