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As a school counselor or college admissions counselor, it is “in our blood” to think of others first. We strive daily to help our students in any way we can and not just between the hours of 8a.m. and 5p.m., Monday thru Friday. Something we all need to remember, at times, is to step back and do something for ourselves. Professional development is a great opportunity to improve yourself that can also have a positive impact on the students we serve. Whether you are brand new, or a seasoned veteran, there IS something for you.

Brand new to this admissions profession? There is a tremendous opportunity and resource to learn the nuts and bolts of this career called Admissions Counselor University (ACU). Dillon, one of last year’s attendees, states, “It was a fun way to network and meet other new admissions counselors as well as hear from people who have worked for a few years.” There is still time to register for this Iowa ACAC event hosted at Coe College on July 18-19.

Are you new but still have more questions…a seasoned veteran that has years of experience and knowledge with do’s and don’ts to share? Another great way to get connected and learn from each other is to sign up later this summer to be a part of the mentorship program. As a first-year counselor, having a mentor is a great way to reach out to someone that has an outside view to help with issues or bounce off ideas.  As a mentor, what a great opportunity to assist new professionals into fully understanding the roles they are in and paths to be involved and make this not "just a job: but a fulfilling career. With a successful mentor program we can, in the future, have a room full of Todd Colemans, Carol Williamsons, Doug Bannons and Michael Barrons at the annual state conference!

Any school counselors thinking "this doesn’t help me." HOLD YOUR HORSES!  There are plenty of opportunities for you as well.  Each summer you can take THE R.I.D.E. (Rediscover Iowa’s Diverse Education). Board a bus with colleagues to explore in-depth the colleges and universities in a section of the state. The added BONUS? Earn credit for attending AND rediscover college dorms/cafeterias! These are just a few of the opportunities available to further your career and knowledge which will, in turn, help with serving our wonderful students. If interested in these or other opportunities, make sure to check out the Professional Development page on the Iowa ACAC website.
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