Why You Need a College Counselor

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Most high schools have at least one on-site college counselor to advise students on finding and applying to colleges. As the point person for your applications, college counselors keep you on top of deadlines and graduation requirements and ultimately send your official transcript to colleges. They can also help you find schools that fit you, identify dream/match/safety schools, complete your FAFSA, craft strong school-specific application essays, and help manage anxiety and stress.

Depending on how much one-on-one time they get with their schools’ college counselors, some families decide to hire independent college counselors to guide them through the admissions process. I always tell parents who are thinking about hiring an independent college counselor to make sure that person is a member of a professional organization, like IECA or NACAC. Why? Because not all IEC’s are created equal. For example, IECA members have met the highest standards of the profession. IECA’s required qualifications include a master’s degree; at least three years of admissions counseling experience; and experience working with scores of students. IECA also requires extensive member undertake campus visits—members, on average, have visited over 150 campuses each—and continue to visit an average of 35 campuses annually.

Whichever route you go, check out this Princeton Review article that outlines five (accurate) reasons you need your college counselor. You can also read more about IECs from IECA here, or from me directly during a consultation!

Book Recommendations from IECA Members

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Recently, some fellow IECA members sent around a compilation of books, and I want to share them. I have read many of these books, and suggest students and parents take a look! Enjoy!

Helping Teenagers & Parents Deal with the Pressures and Stress of the High School Years:

  • How To Be a High School Superstar by Cal Newport
  • College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family by Steven Roy Goodman & Andrea Leiman
  • Where You Go Is Not Who You’ll Be by Frank Bruni
  • You Are Not Special: …..And Other Encouragements by David McCullough
  • Brainstorm: The Power and Purpose of the Teenage Brain by Daniel Siegel
  • Your Defiant Child: Eight Steps to Better Behavior by Russell Barkley
  • Parenting with Love and Logic by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • Parenting Teens with Love and Logic: Preparing Adolescents for Responsible Adulthood by F. & J. Fay Cline
  • The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Families by S. Covey
  • Parenting Teenagers: Systematic Training for Effective Parenting by D. Dinkmeyer & G. McKay
  • Mindset: The New Psychology of Success by Carol Dweck
  • How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk by A. Faber & E. Mazlish
  • Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots & Wings by M. Kenneth & R. Ginsburg
  • Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World: Seven Building Blocks for Developing Capable Young People, by S. Glenn & J. Nelson
  • Boys and Girls Learn Differently: A Guide for Teachers and Parents by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Girls by Michael Gurian
  • The Wonder of Boys by Michael Gurian
  • Second Shelter: Family Strategies for Navigating Therapeutic Boarding Schools and Residential Treatment Centers by R. Haid & E. Donnelly
  • Attachment-Focused Parenting: Effective Strategies to Care for Children by Daniel Hughes
  • The Parent Playbook by Russell Hyken
  • Parenting the Hurt Child: Helping Adoptive Families Heal and Grow by G. Keck & R. Kupecky
  • Unconditional Parenting: Moving from Rewards and Punishment to Love and Reason by Alfie Kohn
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids by Madeline Levine
  • How to Raise an Adult: Break Free of the Overparenting Trap and Prepare Your Kid for Success by Julie Lythcott-Haims
  • Teens in Turmoil: A Path to Change for Parents, Adolescents and their Families by C. Maxym & L. York
  • An Unchanged Mind: The Problem with Immaturity in Adolescence by John McKinnon
  • To Change a Mind: Parenting to Promote Maturity in Teenagers by John McKinnon
  • When Parents Love Too Much: Freeing Parents & Children to Live Their Own Lives by M. Meyerson & L. Ashner
  • The Blessings of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children by Wendy Mogel
  • Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers by Wendy Mogel
  • Positive Discipline for Teenagers: Empowering Teens and Yourself through Kind and Firm Parenting by J. Nelson & L. Lott
  • Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes are High by K. Patterson
  • Real Boys: Rescuing Our Sons from Myths of Boyhood by William Pollack
  • College that Change Lives: 40 Schools that Will Change the Way You Think About College by Laren Pope
  • Power and Compassion: Working with Difficult Adolescents and Abused Parents by Jerome Price
  • The Journey of the Heroic Parent: Your Child’s Struggle and the Road Home by Brad Reedy
  • The Overachievers: The Secret Lives of Driven Kids by Alexandra Robbins
  • Raising NLD Superstars: What Families with Nonverbal Learning Disabilities Need to Know About Nurturing Confident, Competent Kids by Marcia Rubinstein
  • Boys Themselves by Michael Ruhlman
  • The Good Enough Child: How to Have an Imperfect Family and Be Perfectly Satisfied by Brad Sachs
  • The Good Enough Teen: Rising Adolescents with Love and Acceptance (Despite How Impossible They can Be) by Brad Sachs
  • Why Gender Matters: What Parents and Teachers Need to Know about the Emerging Science of Sex Differences by Leonard Sax
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men by Leonard Sax
  • Girls on the Edge by Leonard Sax
  • Parenting Your Out of Control Teenager: 7 Steps to Reestablish Authority and Reclaim Love by Scott Sells
  • Parenting from the Inside Out: 10th Anniversary Edition: How a Self-Understanding Can Help you Raise Children by D.J. Siegel & M. Hartzell
  • Not By Chance Tim Thayne
  • How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character by Paul Tough
  • The Parents We Mean to Be: How Well-Intentioned Adults Undermine Children’s Moral and Emotional Development by Richard Weissbourd
  • Parenting Your ADD Child: A No-Nonsense Guide for Nurturing Self-Reliance and Cooperation by Craig Weiner

The Transition from High School to College:

  • For Students:
    • The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College by Harlan Cohen
  • For Parents:
    • Letting Go by Karen Coburn
    • When Your Kids Go To College – A Parent’s Survival Guide by Carol Barkin
    • Almost Grown – Launching Your Child From High School To College by Patricia Pasick
    • Emptying the Nest: Launching Your Young Adult Toward Success and Self-Reliance by Brad Sachs
    • The Naked Roommate: For Parents Only: A Parent’s Guide to the New College Experience by Harlan Cohen

TED-Ed is Awesome

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I am probably a bit late to the party, but TED-Ed is one of my new favorite online learning platforms. TED’s “Lessons Worth Sharing” are certainly that and more. TED-Ed lessons are built around TED-Ed Original, TED Talk or YouTube videos, with subjects ranging from the arts and mathematics to business, health, teaching and education, and my favorite thinking and learning. From “The Ethical Dilemma of Self-driving Cars” to “Why Do Some People Go Bald,” there is no lack of content worth checking out on TED-Ed.

There are also series, collections of videos on a particular topic, like “Superhero Science,” “You Are What You Eat,” or my favorite “Everyone Has a Story.” And last but not least, TED-Ed Clubs.

 

 

TED-Ed Clubs supports students in presenting their big ideas in the form of short TED-style talks. Some students may even end up on the TED stage and online. Want to learn how to start a TED-Ed Club (why not, right?)? Download the TED-Ed Club information packet.

I highly recommend checking out TED-Ed in its entirety. A solid resource for students, parents, educators, and life-long learners of all ages.