Week one of Collegewise counselor training

We just completed week one of training for our newest counselor, Stefanie.  Each week of this training, I thought I'd share what our trainer, Margot, has been covering.  Here's the syllabus she delivered for the first week.

Topics for Day 1: Introduction to College Admissions and to Private
Counseling

This session will examine the intersection of college admissions and
private college counseling.  What is happening in the world of college
admissions that is pushing people to hire private counselors?  How is
Collegewise different in our approach to helping families?  What do our
counselors do that make our program so successful?   

    Topics:

•    Welcome
•    Collegewise history
•    The state of college admissions today (good news and bad news)
•    What college admissions paranoia does to students
•    Overview of college counseling
•    How do the public, the high school counselors, and the admissions
officers perceive private college counselors?
•    What makes Collegewise different
•    Collegewise Core Values
•    College counseling art versus science
•    Overview of the Collegewise program
•    The role of the Collegewise counselor
•    35 schools where the bad news is true
•    Admissions overview: the importance of matchmaking
•    Overview of training: what are our counselors expected to know?

Homework
1.    Be prepared to discuss “The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions
Process of a Premier College” by Jacques Steinberg

Handouts:
“35 Colleges Where the Bad News is True”
“Overview of the Collegewise Program”
“Roles of the Collegewise Counselor”
“Collegewise Core Values”

Topics for Day 2 – College Admissions 101
This session will aim at taking the counselor inside the world of a
college admissions officer.  As you’ve already been an admissions
officer, this obviously won’t all be new information!  But we want to
help you learn how to explain what colleges really look for in
applicants to our families.  During our practicum, we’ll discuss how you
address each of these factors in the meetings with students and their
parents and some of the frequent questions that come up for each
section.     

•    Discussion of Steinberg’s book
    – Discussion questions
•    Academic vs. personal rankings
•    Course planning and how to read a high school transcript
    – Course planning guide
•    Testing Calendars
•    Crunching the numbers: how colleges use grades and test scores
(sample indexes)
•    Activities in admissions
•    Essays
•    Letters of recommendation
•    Interviews
•    The yield factor: why matchmaking is so important

Practicum:
•    Walk through first meeting – how do you go through transcripts, testing calendar, and activities with a student?
•    Walk through practice test registration for SAT, ACT
•    Set up a few testing calendars (high flyer and regular track)
    - Sample testing calendar
•    Summer planning

Topics for Day 3 – College Admissions 201
This session explores admissions at the most selective colleges.  What does it really take to get in to one of these highly selective schools?  How is the process different from that at less selective colleges?  We’ll also discuss recent Collegewise students who were accepted to highly selective colleges and what we believe made their applications so strong. 

•    Highly selective college admissions: why grades, test scores and activities are just the surface
•    25 schools where the bad news is true
    – handout
•    The five qualities of successful college applicants
•    Academic and personal rankings at highly selective colleges

Practicum:
•    How do you spot a true 201 kid?  Review of student files/cases who are at these 25 schools
•    What can you do with a stubborn 201 kid (or a kid who thinks he’s a 201 kid)?
•    Talking to students about these colleges, and making sure they come to College Admissions 201 seminar