Week #2 of Collegewise counselor training

We're starting our third week of training for the new counselor in our Irvine, CA office.  Here was last week's syllabus for the training program:

Topics for Day 4: The College Search

This session will explore how Collegewise counselors weed through the 2500 hundred colleges and help students find the right ones for them.  We’ll talk about the different types of colleges and the important characteristics at each, and introduce counselors to the most popular colleges for Collegewise kids.  New counselors will learn how to do college research, what tools to use, and how to help Collegewise families through the college research process.    We’ll also discuss the process of assessing a student’s chances of admission at various colleges and teach the science of creating a college list.  Finally, we’ll introduce several case studies and review how Collegewise counselors found the right match for these students.       

•    Discussion of “Harvard Schmarvard”
•    Introductory exercise
•    The concept of matchmaking – finding the right college for each kid
•    Overview of different types of colleges and characteristics that counselors and families should consider
•    How Collegewise counselors assist with the college search process
    – College search questionnaires
•    Research methods for counselors and kids
    – List of college search resources
•    How to plan college visits
•    Assessing admissions chances while composing lists
•    Finalizing a college list
•    “Reach,” “Target” and “Safety” schools

•    Case studies: what colleges would you recommend
•    Parent contact during college search process
•    Troubleshooting – finalizing college list

Topics for Day 5: Writing for College Admissions: Essays and Short-Answer Questions
No part of the college admissions is more misunderstood than is the college essay.  Virtually every family who enrolls in our program is worried about it—even the families of freshmen and sophomores.  This session takes trainees behind the scenes of an admissions office and explores the role of the college essay.  We’ll explain what admissions officers are really looking for in a college essay, reveal what kind of essay helps (or hurts) a student, and discuss the different kinds of writing students must do when applying to college.  Also, we’ll explain the essay system in the Collegewise program that consistently turns out great college essays while ethically maintaining the integrity of the students’ work.

•    Review and discuss case studies
•    Studying the habits of the admissions officers
•    Why colleges require an essay
•    The essay bottom line
•    The five most important pieces of advice to give kids
•    Clichéd topics that never work
•    How to brainstorm an essay with a student
•    Writing styles
•    Short answer essays
•    How Collegewise maintains the integrity of student essays
•    Review and analysis of successful essays

Topics for Day 6: UC, Cal State, and other Special Considerations 
As counselors in California, nearly every one of our students applies to at least one UC or Cal State campus.  They are great options for in-state residents, and with the variety of campuses, you can usually find a campus or two that’s a good fit for each student.  Both the UC’s and Cal States have pretty strict admission standards that Collegewise counselors need to know by heart since they determine whether a student is admissible or not.  Today, we’ll go over the two different university systems, their admission standards, and what the schools have to offer.

We’ll also use today to cover colleges on the other side of the spectrum: unique colleges that only appeal to a certain type of kid.  We’ll talk about these different types of colleges, what they have to offer, and touch upon the special requirements that they sometimes have for admission.

•    Overview of UC vs. Cal State system and campuses
•    UC/CSU admission standards
    – A-G requirements
    – GPA/testing requirements
•    Impaction
•    Eligibility in the Local Context (ELC)
•    Tools for learning about UC’s, Cal States, and admissions standards
    – List of resources
•    Special consideration colleges and resources to help explore
    – LD list
    – Minority and Single-Sex list 

•    Calculating UC/CSU GPA’s
•    Learning more about the campuses