Two Sides of the Same Student Coin

Professional school counselors and college admissions counselors can work together to help students in innumerable ways through the college decision process. Working as partners, they can call upon the skills and expertise of each to provide the best information and most satisfying college search process for students. As a former professional school counselor, now college admissions counselor, I see many ways the two groups can work together for students.

College Admissions Counselors

  • Be aware of busy times
  • Keep trying
  • Be patient with transcripts
  • Utilize them for letters of recommendation
  • Offer your services and expertise in the college process

College admissions counselors can do many things to assist professional school counselors. First of all, be aware of busy times for professional school counselors. August is a brutal month with schedule changes and last-minute registration of concurrent enrollment courses, not to mention school registration dates and open house events that often take place. Although I now realize how eager college admissions counselors can be with scheduling school visits, keep in mind that the school counselors have other things on their plates at this time. April and May are also critically busy months with scholarships and graduation.

If you communicate with professional school counselors through one form of communication without a response, please do not give up. Try again, perhaps with a different method. Many professional school counselors are working alone or with a small crew, and are responsible for several programs in their schools. They may need a bit of grace when it comes to responding to emails and returning phone calls.

Transcript requests to school counselors are seemingly endless during certain times of the year. Please be patient with those requests. Although it is important that colleges receive transcripts in a timely fashion, many professional school counselors set aside one day each week or two to fulfill transcript requests. This can also go for letters of recommendation. Professional school counselors are desired candidates for letters of recommendations for college admission. Call upon them to write accurate, comprehensive letters which include information regarding students’ academic progress, activity involvement, and college success potential.

Finally, offer your services and expertise in the college process. As an admissions counselor, I have given presentations to classes and groups of students on the college process, general college information, and financial aid. Having another perspective and someone to reiterate the importance of the college process is good for students and parents alike. Professional school counselors also appreciate any opportunity to provide college and career education to students.

Professional School Counselors

  • Utilize the knowledge of admissions counselors
  • Learn about the colleges they represent
  • Keep lines of communication open
  • Call on their help and expertise

Professional school counselors can work with college admissions counselors in many ways to serve students. One thing they can do is utilize the knowledge of college admissions counselors. Admissions counselors are experts on the college application process for the colleges and universities they serve. Ask them for advice and refer students to them for help. School counselors can also learn a lot of information about the colleges and universities the admissions counselors represent. During the first few years as a school counselor, I sat in on the college admissions visits to learn about each school in order to help my students make informed decisions. I quickly learned the admissions counselors had a passion for and knowledge of their schools that cannot be learned through printed publications or college websites.

Get to know your admissions counselors. It is fair to say that admissions counselors change often, so I always tried to keep a business card from each admissions counselor and wrote the year on it so I would know who to contact for questions. College admissions counselors are helpers by nature and they enjoy the opportunity to assist students and school counselors in any way.

Finally, professional school counselors should call on admissions counselors for help and expertise for college and career events. Examples include signing days, college application days, college presentations, parent information presentations, financial aid presentations, and college/career fairs. College admissions counselors appreciate any opportunity to make connections with students and to promote their schools.

Overall, the goal of both college admissions counselors and professional school counselors is to help students make the best decision they can regarding their future. Professional school counselors work hard to prepare students be successful in choosing a career and college path, and college admissions counselors work hard for the same objective, regardless of the college each student chooses. College admissions counselors and professional school counselors truly are two sides of the same student coin.

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