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What Should Your Students do this Summer to Prepare?

This summer is a great time for your students to organize and prepare for their Senior Years. Here are some Summer Checklist tips courtesy of Sandy Ubriaco, Counselor at Queen’s Grant High School:

  • Get your FSA ID so you’re ready to fill out the FAFSA in October
  • Work on your College Essay- common app prompts are online
  • Prep for the ACT and or SAT
  • Build your student resume
  • Letters of recommendation decisions
  • Build your experiences
  • Job shadow someone in your desired field
  • Work on your college search
  • Show interest by signing up on mailing lists of colleges you are interested in
  • CLEAN UP YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT(S)-yes,colleges look at these!
  • Start applying for scholarships

Scheduling Team Secrets for Counselors Revealed!

Ashley Rose recently posted a very nice Google Slides Presentation on Scheduling Team Secrets in the High School Counselor Resources Group on Facebook. The presentation includes information on the pre-scheduling phase as well as the 8 scheduling phases.

Here is a link to the entire slide presentation: Scheduling Slide Presentation

She also includes a link to a Google Doc (template) that can be used to have discussions with your department around any sorts of requests that the master scheduling team would need to know about; items like room sharing, collaborative planning groupings, strategic course placement, etc.  When filling out, please do so in a group discussion format.  Where possible, please link your request to either a District Stretegic Plan item, or one of our SIT Goals.  As always, reach out if there are questions. Here is the link to that doc: Scheduling Doc

How edtech helps students with disabilities better access Higher Education

Covid-19 has undoubtedly transformed education across the globe, and the shift to online learning has not been an easy transition. While schools and universities are carefully reopening their gates, both students and teachers know that educational technologies will continue to be part of the new normal.

The pandemic has presented an opportunity to rethink the conventional education system, making it more inclusive and accessible for a wider range of students. For example, using virtual learning platforms for delivering online or hybrid education enables teachers to reach students from across the country.

For students with special educational needs and disabilities, who struggle more with traditional classroom methods, virtual learning has enabled many to access education and engage at a deeper level with learning content tailored to their specific needs. The shift to using edtech to deliver lessons and the self-paced asynchronous classes have enabled many such students to thrive.

As an educator and Executive Director at the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program (IHECP), I have witnessed this first-hand. Even before the pandemic, my students were familiar with various edtech tools, as I have been a promoter of accessible online education for years. Therefore, the step towards a completely remote learning environment was not a huge and inconvenient one. On the contrary, they adapted quite easily!

With the help of our virtual learning platform, teachers can structure their lessons in a format suited to the students’ needs while still enabling them to engage and expand their knowledge to realize their full potential. This includes using a more graphical interface and text-to-speech software for students who struggle with reading and language and integrating more quizzes, lesson recaps, and self-monitoring to help them enjoy an engaging and meaningful learning experience.

What’s more, the online learning environment provides plenty of opportunities for targeted and continuous feedback. It’s easy to identify when a student encounters a hurdle in a specific part of a lesson so that the teacher can provide the needed support. Not only that, but the way in which the feedback is delivered can be adapted as well: written, spoken, or in video format. My students love submitting a video or audio recording and getting my response in the same format.

Last but not least, a virtual learning platform offers the possibility to evaluate progress using a mix of formative and summative assessments and address various skills. Teachers can identify prior knowledge about a subject, verify if each student is on the right track throughout their learning journeys, and evaluate their ability to use the newly learned concepts or skills independently after the lesson is over.

The global pandemic shook Higher Education to its core. It’s high time things change for the better. Accessible learning design benefits all students, and that’s why I believe that every educator, whether they teach students with disabilities or not, should get to know their learning platform like the back of their hands. That is a key success factor in providing personalized and accessible education for HE students of all abilities.


Cathi Allen is the founder and Executive Director of the Inclusive Higher Education Certificate Program (IHECP), in partnership with the Metropolitan State University of Denver School of Education, located on the downtown Denver, Colorado Auraria Campus. The IHECP creates and administers higher education programming and supports students with learning, intellectual, and developmental disabilities who wish to continue their education beyond secondary school.

Advising for Future-Ready Careers

Advising for Future-Ready Careers is a monthly webinar series, hosted by NCWIT Counselors for Computing (C4C), providing information and resources to help counselors join the front line of the computing conversation. This webinar series is free and open to the public, ages 16 and up – geared toward School Counselors, Educators, graduate students, and those in school advising roles.

Advising for Future-Ready Careers is funded by the Department of Defense STEM (DoD STEM) seeking to attract, inspire, and develop exceptional STEM talent across the educational continuum.

How does a self-driving car decide which direction to veer with the conundrum of hitting a mailbox versus hitting a pedestrian? Does facial recognition identify all types of facial features and skin colors? Can a crime algorithm predict whether a first-time offender will break the law again? ALL careers are changing as a result of advances in technology that we use daily.


Join NCWIT Counselors for Computing as we discuss the ever-growing field of Ethics in Computing with Jess Smith, a machine learning and AI ethics PhD Student at the University of Colorado.


Wednesday, June 16 with three opportunities to join one of the one-hour webinars!

Here is the link to register for free: https://ncwit.org/advising-for-future-ready-careers/


*The first 150 counselors, grad students, and others in an educational advisory role to register are eligible to receive a $50 gift card and C4C Resource Kit after attending and completing a short survey. YOU MUST USE A SCHOOL-BASED EMAIL ADDRESS TO RECEIVE THE GIFT CARD. ALL participants receive a FREE resource kit.

20 Fun Remote Jobs for Generation Z

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Gen Z represents over 20% of the US population, and by 2030, is projected to account for 30% of the US workforce.

As a growing pool of Gen Z candidates enter a workforce shaped by the pandemic, work-life balance and job flexibility remain top priorities. In fact, 72% say they view work flexibility as more important than company culture (49%), employee discounts (29%), and health benefits (39%).

To showcase the type of remote-friendly jobs that Gen Z job seekers might find appealing, FlexJobs has compiled a list of 20 fun remote job titles hiring now!

Fun Remote Jobs for Gen Z

  1. Assistant Wine Concierge, Customer Experience – Bright Cellars
  2. Ballpark Offers Coordinator – MLB
  3. Blogger – COED Media Group
  4. Club Coordinator-EGaming, Technology and Virtual Socialization – Stride
  5. Coffee Making and Tasting Instructor – Cozymeal
  6. Content Writer, Cocktails and Wine – LoveToKnow
  7. Cryptocurrency Enthusiast-Community and Influencer Marketing – Unstoppable Domains
  8. Digital Painter – Tales Writer
  9. Gaming Coordinator – Bleacher Report
  10. Home Stylist – Havenly
  11. Influencer Marketing Coordinator – Catch Company
  12. Lyrics Associate – Genius
  13. Music Programmer and Curator – Rockbot
  14. Music Research Specialist – iHeartMedia
  15. Prop Styling Photographer – The Spruce
  16. Social Content Creator – Boston Beer Company
  17. Social Media Producer – BuzzFeed
  18. Stylist – Amazon
  19. Team Lead, Customer Experience – Rent the Runway
  20. TikTok Content Creator – Cozymeal

They also put together a job application checklist for your students:

Target your job search to the companies and roles you are most interested in. When you cast a wide net and apply for anything and everything, you’re far less likely to find success.

Customize your cover letter and tailor your resume. Taking the time to explain why you are the right person for this role using concrete examples will increase the likelihood you hear back from interested employers.

Work your network! Virtually or in-person, reaching out to your professional network can be a great resource to find jobs that aren’t posted on job boards or with companies you may have never considered.

Optimize your application for the applicant tracking system (ATS). Use keywords from the posting in your application and skip fancy resume fonts that are hard to read.

Use a professional email address that includes some version of your name from a reputable email service (i.e., gmail).

Always include a cover letter with applications, unless the job posting explicitly says not to. It’s one more chance for you to sell yourself and inject a little personality into your application.

Make sure you proofread your application before you hit “submit.” When in doubt, ask someone you trust to give your materials a once over first.

Make sure your social media profiles are professional and polished. The vast majority of employers will do an online search of candidates they’re interested in. Or, consider creating two separate versions, one personal and one private.

Spend some time refining your LinkedIn profile. Make sure your profile is up to date and complete (e.g., a current photo, a well-written summary, etc.). You can even consider writing a blog post that showcases your expertise and experience in your field.

Include a link to your personal website. This may not be necessary for every career field, but in some roles (i.e., marketing, creative, web design), it’s a great place to show off your work samples to potential employers.

If you see a posting for a fabulous job that screams your name, apply as soon as you can. If you’re seeing it for the first time after it’s been posted for a week or two, it’s still not too late to apply.

Always follow the instructions. Try to follow the instructions of the job listing exactly as they appear so that your application passes through the ATS—and gains the approval of the hiring manager.

Follow up on your applications. This way, you can make sure the hiring manager received your materials, answer questions they might have for you, and get on their radar.

Avoid job search burnout. If you’re spending all day every day applying to job after job or aren’t as engaged in your job search as you were at the start, take a break to refresh and recharge!

Scholarship Available to Your Students

The Water Damage Professionals Scholarship Program”

WaterDamageProfessionals.org is a well-respected water damage restoration company with a commitment to education and community programs. We are a veteran-owned business that helps local homeowners experiencing emergency restoration services caused by water, fire, or significant trauma.  As a former teacher, I am also very dedicated to helping students achieve their goals by providing financial assistance.

Scholarship Requirements: 

  1. The candidate must be a U.S. citizen or permanent U.S. resident.
  2. Currently enrolled in an undergraduate or graduate program in the U.S. (or will be by the time the scholarship is awarded).
  3. ALL the application must be submitted before April 30, 2022 via the application on https://waterdamageprofessionals.org/scholarship/.

Here is a URL to Scholarship Program:  https://waterdamageprofessionals.org/scholarship/.

State Certification Requirements for High School Counselors

Each state has slightly different requirements for Counselors.

Most public school systems require advanced-degree courses that include the following topics:

  • Human growth and development
  • Theories
  • Individual counseling
  • Group counseling
  • Social and cultural foundations
  • Testing/appraisal
  • Research and program evaluation
  • Professional orientation
  • Career development
  • Supervised practicum
  • Supervised internship

The American School Counselor Association has published a summary of each states requirements in one place. Here is the link: https://www.schoolcounselor.org/About-School-Counseling/State-Requirements-Programs/State-Licensure-Requirements?fbclid=IwAR1GtFlOJjfQ26g8ZwU5YcqkfGhFKXeNfowRlMSSWWBag3iv4LpUFzguhkU

Often Overlooked College Preparation Steps

Studying, practicing and taking the ACT and/or SAT examinations, preparing college admission essays, reviewing scholarship applications and completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) are the standard steps students and the parents or guardians complete when they are preparing for college. Following are some additional ideas to consider while you are completing high school and getting ready for college.

Potential College Credit for Prior Learning and Experience (General Education) – Numerous students have work experience as a summer pool lifeguard or a childcare worker. It is common for First Aid and/or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training to be required as part of the job application requirements. Some community colleges will award academic credit for showing proof of completing the required training. This college credit can then be applied towards a program of study. An example is elective college credit for a health course.

Potential College Credit for Prior Learning and Experience (A Specific Academic Major) You may have enrolled in career and technical courses and plan to continue this program of study in college. The high school classwork you have completed may count towards your college degree. Some examples are potential college credit for accounting, automotive, computer assisted drafting, IT programming, web design and construction technology programs. I have seen students eventually transfer these credit hours from a community college to a state university.

Also, for students considering health care college majors, that have already completed all the advanced math and science classes available at their high school, enrolling in a career and technical education course is something to consider. This could lead to practical volunteer or work experience in the field. This is something some nursing school applicants have successfully utilized to give themselves an advantage when applying for limited nursing school seats.

Scholarship Resume – What has the student been involved in since 9th grade at school and in their local community? The basic outline should include honors, activities/community service and awards. After completing the first draft the student should see which list has the most items and which list comes in second and third place. Based upon this review it is recommended that the longest list be displayed on the resume first, then the second and third place outline of events in this order. In addition to following all scholarship application requirements, this is an optional document that students can provide scholarship committees and college admissions officers to provide yet another way to outline their accomplishments.

By Kenneth McGhee, Director DC Tuition Assistance Grant Program (DCTAG) Kenneth.mcghee@dc.gov

How Visual Goal Tracking Can Help Your Students Achieve Their Goals

As a high school counselor, you’ve likely witnessed students struggling to meet the demands of their curriculum, keep up with college applications, or stay motivated throughout the school year. When the overwhelm hits, they turn to you for support and guidance. One excellent way you can help is by showing them how to visually track their goals. 

By helping students create a system they can rely on as they work towards reaching their goals, they can find a new source of momentum and confidence in their abilities and journey. Visual goal tracking creates accountability and structure when students feel stuck or unmotivated. When they have a visual reference of where they stand, what they’ve achieved so far and what they have left to go, they have something tangible to refer to to keep them moving forward. 

When creating a visual goal tracking system with students, it’s important to choose small, attainable goals. If they’re overwhelmed with college applications, instead of a goal like “apply to 10 colleges a week”, shift it to something more workable and achievable: “spend 1 hour on college essays per day.” When your students’ goals are something they know they can achieve, they find more confidence and momentum as they work towards them. This helps to avoid feelings of burnout or defeat when they inevitably stumble in the effort to attain larger than life goals that simply aren’t feasible. 

To help students stay on track, it can be helpful to encourage them to create a daily check-in routine to assess their progress. This forms the habit of ensuring your daily actions are in line with your goals, and prevents goals and habits from falling to the wayside. Equally as important as checking in on daily progress is reminding your students to go easy on themselves if they’re struggling. Feelings of failure won’t get them anywhere, and teaching them to speak positively to themselves and to avoid self-criticism or comparison will ultimately set them up for success. 

To help you get started introducing visual goal tracking to your students, these printable habit trackers were created to help students track their progress and create consistency in whatever goals matter most to them. Make sure to remind your students that achieving their goals and dreams doesn’t have to be intimidating, and that what matters most is that they continue to show up for themselves each day—and that you’re there to help them whenever they need support. 

List of Available Scholarships Available for your Graduating Seniors

Lets face it, searching for scholarships can be a tedious journey. There are thousands of sources and many scholarships are tied to a specific College/University which make applying for them a pain for your students that do not yet know where they are going to be attending College. We publish scholarships in LINK for Counselors each issue which aren’t tied to a specific school, but what other sources are out there that can help you?

We recently found a “Mega List of Scholarships” compiled and published by Colleges of Distinction which might be of interest to your students. They list scholarships from Foot Locker, Apple, Microsoft, Starbucks, Coca-Cola, BMW, Dr. Pepper, Intel and many more.

Here is a direct link to the complete list: https://collegesofdistinction.com/advice/the-mega-list-of-scholarships-you-should-apply-for-class-of-2020-2021/

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