MASSACHUSETTS SCHOOL COUNSELORS ASSOCIATION
VOL. 47, NO. 4
Happy Holidays from MASCA! College Admissions: Tips for Parents
DESE Commissioner meets with MASCA
By BOB BARDWELL MASCA Past President
urviving the college admissions process can be made easier if you: 1. Start the college search process early, but not too early. The spring of sophomore year or fall of junior year is fine. To start too early and put pressure on the student is not helpful. 2. Stay in close communication with the school counselor. Keep the counselor informed of what is happening and, most importantly, what questions you have. 3. Take advantage of all the programs that your child’s school offers, whether that is evening programs, morning meetings, individual appointments, or a college fair. While this may require some sacrifice on your part, the college search and application process should be a priority during late junior year and early senior year. 4. Set time aside each week to discuss the college process with your child. If you have a standard “family meeting” time (such as, Sunday at dinner), add the college admission piece to the discussion. Let your child know that this is the time to discuss options, schedules, and opportunities. Not that you cannot talk about college during the rest of the week, but knowing ahead of time when the conversation will happen can be a relief for your child. 5. Encourage your child to keep copies of everything. You will never know when you will need something. 6. Encourage or assist your child in developing an organizational system to keep track of college literature received, college visits, activities of interest that you may want to attend, and the application (continued on page 14)
DESE Commissioner Mitchell Chester addressed attendees at the MASCA Fall Conference. Shown with the Commissioner are (from left): MASCA President-elect Michelle Burke, MASCA Conference Committee Chair Helen O’Donnell, and MASCA President Carolyn Richards.
Beyond Bullying: Proactive Planning and Implementation Presenter: Gail Okerman Assistant Professor, Fitchburg State University Owner, Five Points Counseling and Consultation Wednesday, December 8 • UTI, Norwood Campus 9:15 a.m. – 3:15 p.m. (register, 9:00 a.m.) Snack and light lunch are included. Cost: $50, MASCA members; $60, non-members Send inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org or call Helen O’Donnell, 413-549-1914. See MASCA website for registration details.
2010 – 2011 MASCA OFFICERS
PRESIDENT CAROLYN RICHARDS Somerville High School 81 Highland Avenue, Somerville, MA 02143 Tel. 617-625-6600 x 6120 • Fax 617-628-8413 E-mail: email@example.com PRESIDENT-ELECT MICHELLE BURKE 100 Sohier Road Beverly, MA 01915-2654 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org PAST PRESIDENT CHRISTINE A. EVANS Randolph High School 70 Memorial Parkway, Randolph, MA 02368 Tel. 781-961-6220 x 545 • Fax 781-961-6235 E-mail: email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT ELEMENTARY JACQUELINE BROWN East Somerville Community School 42 Prescott Street, Somerville, MA 02143 Tel. 617-625-6600 x 6517 • Fax 617-591-7906 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT MIDDLE / JUNIOR HIGH RICHARD WHITE Gateway Regional Middle School 12 Littleville Road, Huntington, MA 01050 E-mail: RWhite@GRSD.org VICE PRESIDENT SECONDARY JENNIFER LISK Medway High School, Medway, MA 02053 Tel. 508-533-3228 x 5107 • Fax 508-533-3246 E-mail: email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT POSTSECONDARY JAY LEIENDECKER Vice President Enrollment Services, Dean College Tel. 508-541-1509 • Fax 508-541-8726 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT ADMINISTRATORS RUTH CARRIGAN Whitman-Hanson Regional High School 600 Franklin Street, Whitman, MA 02382 Tel. 781-618-7434 • Fax 781-618-7098 E-mail: email@example.com VICE PRESIDENT COUNSELOR EDUCATORS THERESA A. COOGAN, Ph.D. Bridgewater State College, Bridgewater, MA 02325 Tel. 508-531-2640 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org VICE PRESIDENT RETIREES RALPH SENNOTT P.O. Box 1391, Westford, MA 01886 Tel. 978-692-8244 E-mail: email@example.com EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR DONNA M. BROWN Adjunct Professor, UMass Boston P.O. Box 366, 779 Center Street Bryantville, MA 02327 Tel. 781-293-2835 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org TREASURER TINA KARIDOYANES P.O. Box 1007, Monument Beach, MA 02553 Tel. 508-759-3986 E-mail: email@example.com SECRETARY JENNIFER JUST McGUIRE Upper Cape Cod Regional Technical School 220 Sandwich Road, Bourne, MA 02532 Tel. 508-759-7711 x 247 • Fax 508-759-5455 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org MEMBERSHIP COORDINATOR DEBORAH CLEMENCE P.O. Box 805, East Dennis, MA 02641 E-mail: Deborah_Clemence@verizon.net COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK EDITOR SALLY ANN CONNOLLY 19 Bayberry Road, Danvers, MA 01923 Tel. 978-774-8158 • Fax 978-750-8154 E-mail: email@example.com
inside 4 6 8 10
Random Thoughts (and a Lesson for All) By Donna Brown
MA MODEL MATTERS: Getting Started in Malden By Manjula Sastry
Moving Forward with RTTT and Project 4C By Carolyn Richards
THE INTERN’S TALE: Planning a Successful College Fair By Lindsey Fleurent
YourPlanForCollege: A Letter from DESE Commissioner Chester
Gateway to College Tackles Dropout Problem
MASFAA Assists with Early College Awareness and Planning
MEFA Provides Free Training
Published by: Massachusetts School Counselors Association 10 issues per year, September through June. The yearly subscription rate is $30.00. Individual copies are $3.00. Opinions expressed in the articles published herein represent the ideas and/or beliefs of those who write them and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc. The acceptance of an advertisement for publication does not imply MASCA endorsement of the advertiser’s programs, services, or views expressed. Questions concerning submission of articles, publication deadlines, advertising rates, etc., should be addressed to Sally Ann Connolly, Editor.
©2010 by the Massachusetts School Counselors Association. All rights reserved.
Random Thoughts (and a Lesson for All) By DONNA BROWN MASCA Executive Director
sually, I have no problem coming up with a topic, but this month was so busy and exciting, I couldn’t focus. RTTT, the elections, our fall conference and more provided lots of ways to expend time and energy. Add to that the coming holidays, and I suppose some sort of brain fog was inevitable. However, there are a few interesting bits to share. A few weeks ago, I visited Massasoit Community College’s new Middleborough campus. Housed in the refurbished Lincoln D. Lynch School in Middleborough center, the school offers students in the area an alternative to commuting to the main Brockton campus, Cape Cod Community College or Bristol Community College for both day and evening classes. At the moment, 98 students are enrolled in courses fulfilling degree requirements in Liberal Arts, Criminal Justice, Business, and Early Childhood. John Morosco, campus director, believes that
DONNA BROWN the Middleborough campus will grow to be an important part of the town and region offering credit courses, workforce training, and GED programs. He has set a goal of 1000 students attending the campus within three years. Another bit I would like to share is a wonderful, inspiring book, Knowing Jesse: A Mother’s Memoir of Grief, Grace and Everyday Bliss by author/actress Marianne Leone. Marianne (who for five sea-
sons had a recurring role as Joanne Moltisanti in The Sopranos), and Academy Award winning actor Chris Cooper’s son Jesse was born ten weeks premature, and at three days old he suffered a cerebral hemorrhage, which caused his cerebral palsy. A gifted writer, Marianne shares the good times and the bad, the positives and the negatives, and everything in between as the Coopers navigate first the medical maze and then the educational labyrinth. You laugh and you cry and you get to know an extraordinary young man named Jesse. I had the good fortune to actually know Jesse and his mom and dad. When Jesse entered Silver Lake Regional High School, I became his school counselor and liaison among teachers, tutors, and the Coopers. So much of what Marianne writes resonates: the frustration of dealing with some staff and their assumptions of what he could do and the joy of classes where the teacher recognized Jesse’s talent. I remember his history teacher in particular being dazzled by what Jesse knew about ancient history. Jesse was, indeed, a very special young man who was fortunate to have wonderful, dedicated parents who loved and believed in him passionately. They struggled mightily to give him the opportunity to develop intellectually and grow socially and they succeeded. Add the book to your reading list. It will inspire, but, for us as educators, it will also challenge us to look at how we view handicapped students and their parents. Lastly, be sure you check out the MASCA website regularly. There are a lot of professional development opportunities being offered this winter — many for free! Our webmaster Ron Miller has been terrific about posting information as soon as we get it. There are workshops, information sessions and more listed, so take a look: www.masca.org. Best wishes for a very happy holiday season. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
ED’S VIEWS By ED BRYANT, NCC MASCA Life Trustee MASCA Armed Forces Liaison
“To promote harmony, understanding, and respect among people of different races by identifying and recognizing high school age students whose efforts have had a significant, positive effect on race relations in their schools or communities.” For information and applications, go to: http://www.princeton.edu/pprize
y thanks to the Counselor’s Notebook for its assistance in passing the word about the 21st Annual Service Academies / ROTC Night. Some families said that they did not hear about it from their schools although letters were sent to every public and private school in Massachusetts. About 300 parents and students attended this highly successful event. What is MASCA’s position regarding the growing number of private educational counselors, especially in the area of college admissions? Is this because of the growing student/counselor ratio? Who is at fault? Administration, parents not taking an interest, our PR and marketing skills, too many other duties for high school counselors? One private counselor spoke at our fall conference. Keith Kosierowski had an important message about ADHD Coaching, and he is willing to speak to any MASCA affiliate. Mark Bauerlein — author of The Dumbest Generation — says, “This is Generation Me, and its members will never reach maturity until they realize that 99% of what happens to them in an average week is of no consequence to anyone else.” He also says that for this generation, reading is down and civic and historical knowledge is abysmal. Mark believes that the “digital age stupefies young Americans and jeopardizes our future.” For MASCA 50th memories: In 1980, a committee from the North Shore Guidance Directors Association, which I chaired, published The Role of the Secondary School Counselor. MSCA approved its publication. Artie Shaw once said: “Shoot for the moon. If you miss you will end up in the stars.” ■ DECEMBER 2010
MA MODEL MATTERS: Getting Started in Malden By MANJULA SASTRY
n the name of full disclosure, I was a little horrified at the prospect of writing an article for the MASCA Counselor’s Notebook. Those who submit pieces for this publication are leaders in the field, people I admire, my mentors, and experienced professionals in the field. What could I possibly share that would be meaningful, thoughtful, or potentially inspiring? So, I procrastinated on writing my article. My deadline was looming, and I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to get anything on paper. But then I attended the MASCA Fall Conference in Boxborough on October 26. I always enjoy a good conference, but this one was special to me. Malden High School counselors received honors for their MARC Jr., which was written in the spring of 2010. We were acknowledged in front of all attendees, and we even got a photo op with Commissioner of Education Mitchell Chester. This was an exciting moment for all of us, and it made me reflect on
how our team had gotten to this point in our implementation of the MA Model.
Getting started When I started my job as Director of Guidance, Testing, and Academic Support for the Malden Public Schools in January 2009, I had only dabbled in the MA Model, pulling bits, pieces, and pearls of wisdom from trainings, workshops, and breakout sessions to share with my former colleagues in another school district. This was my first chance to use the Model to formally and systematically design and deliver a comprehensive developmental school counseling program. Here I was, my first time in a leadership position, learning a new system, getting to know new administrators, meeting my staff, and getting started with the MA Model. Change is scary, difficult, and challenging, even for excellent counselors, whom I was lucky enough to inherit. I knew that I wanted to start implementing the Model as soon as possible, but I
needed to be strategic about where we started and how we jumped in. The answer was right there in my MA Model Implementation Guide: the counseling staff, themselves, needed to build the foundation of the program.
Laying the foundation In order to build the foundation of a comprehensive, developmental school counseling program, we needed to develop a mission statement, determine counseling program priorities, and align the delivery of services and interventions with the Model. Almost exclusively, this was the work of our team for the first six months. It may seem that this was far too much time to designate to foundational work, given everything school counselors have to do and all the competing priorities. However, I knew it was extremely important to do the work so that we had a solid starting point and frame of reference. We pulled the district’s vision statement, the Malden High School mission statement, and samples of other guidance departments’ mission statements we liked. Then we started talking and figuring out what we wanted for our own mission statement, something that represented us and our students. We brainstormed ideas for the mission statement and started having conversations about why we became school counselors and how we wanted to impact the lives of students. This allowed the entire team to see that, despite our different experience and counseling styles, we all wanted very similar outcomes for our students, school, and community. Our mission statement provided us a guiding philosophy and purpose for our work. Setting program priorities Our next step was to determine counseling program priorities. During this phase of foundational work, I posted four pieces of chart paper on the walls of my office, opened some new sharpies, and everyone on the team started to list what they wanted every student to know at each grade level. Then we added two more pieces of paper, for transition from grade 8 to 9 and for life after high school. Everything we got on paper during
this process became the framework for the scope, sequence, and curriculum maps of our school counseling lessons, programs, and initiatives.
Aligning current practices The third major piece of building our foundation was aligning the current practices of the school counseling department with the critical components of the MA Model: Responsive Services, Guidance Curriculum, Individual Planning and System Support. The first three components deal with direct services to students. They are the primary ways counselors assist students in acquiring competencies and achieving academic success.
enced over the past year, it all goes back to the foundation. Although members of the counseling team continue to be different in our experiences and counseling styles, everyone on the team has a clear vision and shared mission for the work we do in our district. This has allowed us to reach our goals, present at MASCA, and complete a MARC Jr. in our first year of implementing the MA Model. By taking the time to build the foundation of our comprehensive developmental school counseling program, Mal-
den High School counselors have established themselves as vital in the district’s efforts to positively impact student achievement. Although I still do not feel qualified to be writing an article for the Counselor’s Notebook, I can say with confidence that I have found the experience to be meaningful, thoughtful, and kind of inspiring. I know I have the leaders in the field, the people I admire, my mentors, and experienced professionals in the field to thank. ■
Establishing system support The fourth and equally important component—system support—deals with management and collaboration efforts required to support and implement the school counseling program so that all students may benefit from the program. Again, we used chart paper to list and organize the duties, tasks, and projects delivered by the guidance department. We ended up adding two more categories: special programs and non-guidance related activities. Aside from being totally amazed about the amount and variety of work displayed, we were able to identify what the department was already doing that fit into the model, to highlight gaps, and to assess what work could be delegated elsewhere. The Guidance Retreat Once we had completed the three foundational steps recommended in the MA Model, the team went on a Guidance Retreat, complete with icebreakers, teambuilding activities, and delicious food. We adopted our mission statement, finalized our priorities, and were able to identify our goals for Year One of the MA Model. We decided we would concentrate on the delivery system. Our slogan for the year became “Use Your V.O.I.C.E,” which stood for visibility, outreach, intervention, and college and career exploration. The team agreed to be planned and purposeful. Our foundational work was complete (though we always go back to the foundation, particularly in times of high stress.) As I reflect on the success we experiDECEMBER 2010
Moving Forward with RTTT and Project 4C By CAROLYN RICHARDS MASCA President
n his keynote address at the MASCA fall conference, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Commissioner Mitchell Chester described the current state of education as a time of “unprecedented challenge and unprecedented opportunity.” He reiterated that Massachusetts is not complacent. Rather, it is committed to
and enthusiastic about taking on the challenge — shifting the education focus to a common set of standards that equips all students with the knowledge and skills necessary to navigate the complexities of life and work in the 21st century. This shift towards impact and effectiveness requires strong, “nimble” leadership and skilled staff poised to do things differently and to do different things.
Project 4C Massachusetts was the only state in the country that submitted a Race to the Top proposal with a college- and career-readiness component that included professional school counselors. The readiness project has enormous implications for professional school counselors in districts that chose to include Project 4C in the RTTT Memorandum of Understanding (MOU). At the MASCA fall conference, a team from DESE, MASCA, and the UMass Amherst Center for School Counseling Outcome Research and Evaluation (CSCORE) presented an information session detailing the key points regarding Project 4C. Attendees received basic general information about RTTT along with specific details regarding Project 4C. An “optional” component of RTTT, Project 4C includes • MA Model Implementation that is driven by a district team that develops a strategic plan for phasing in various components of the Model, • Classroom-based, prevention-oriented, evidence-based programming for ALL students, • Targeted small group and individual interventions for students identified as at-risk, • School counseling programming based on district goals and data analysis, • The purchasing of evidence-based curriculum, • Analysis of the effectiveness of school counseling programming and the sharing of results with stakeholders, • Professional development for school counselors and technical assistance for district Model implementation teams. RTTT stretches over four years, with
the first year intended as a planning year. Even if a district has not included Project 4C in the MOU during Year 1 of implementation, Project 4C can be included in Years 2, 3, and 4.
What’s next? Sometime after November 23, districts that submitted the MOU will receive a written communication from MASCA with specific instructions. As expected, participating districts/schools are in different stages of MA Model implementation. MASCA is poised to support all districts/schools in implementing the comprehensive school counseling model with fidelity. The first step for each district/school is to identify the Model Implementation Team (MIT) members. Once the MIT is identified, MASCA will notify the team
Stay informed For up-to-date information about RTTT, college fairs, conferences, and more, go to www.masca.org . Once there, you can renew your membership. For your membership expiration date, see the mailing label affixed to your CN.
MASCA assists school counselors as they work with all students to navigate the complexities of the 21st century. regarding MASCA Spring Conference details, professional development and technical assistance opportunities and experts, and evidence-based implementation resources and tools. The next step involves completing a Model Implementation survey (referred to as the “gap analysis”) in order to determine which components of the MA Model have been implemented in each district/school. Assistance completing the survey will be provided if requested. Additionally, MASCA strongly recommends that Project 4C districts/schools participate in the statewide study of comprehensive school counseling programs that MASCA is conducting in the spring of 2011. Results from this study will be used to improve school counseling programs and support professional school counselors in improving student outcomes and reducing achievement gaps. As we move forward, this is an exciting time to be a practicing school counselor. So much is happening so quickly! Be sure to visit the MASCA website regularly for Project 4C updates. ■ DECEMBER 2010
THE INTERN’S TALE: Planning a Successful College Fair By LINDSEY FLEURENT Master’s Student in School Counseling, Bridgewater State University
s an intern at a large suburban school, one of my main tasks was to spearhead the school’s college fair. A major responsibility involved creating the guest list and getting the invitations out in a timely manner. Work on the project began in the spring of 2009 with sending out the initial “Save the Dates” with the first round of regis-
tration forms. The process continued right through the summer, and I found myself on the fast track with the opening of school in the fall of 2010. The year prior to my internship, approximately 40 schools had participated in the event. My goal was to increase that number by 40. For the initial invitations, I used the
list of schools invited in the past, and I focused on those that had participated in prior school years. I then moved on to the “future plans list” from the graduating seniors. Invitations went out to all of the schools to which our students had applied. By using this list, I was able to gain access to schools that were not as common, but which provided the careers and opportunities that fit with our student population. After reaching out to the schools on our lists, I went to the College Board website and proceeded to look into more schools. I started with area colleges and universities, sending out the initial invite and registration forms. I then broadened my search to the entire northeastern area and reached out to approximately 50 additional schools. When the college fair finally arrived, we had a total count of 60 schools, many of which were first-time attendees. Included were many technical and special interest schools, which previously had never been invited or even considered for a college fair. Looking at senior future plans and using the College Board search engine directed my attention to many diversified schools in the area. Students had the opportunity to speak with representatives from a wide range of schools, thereby broadening their interest in postsecondary opportunities. The fair was a great success, and I have already begun preparing for next year. I have learned that the sooner you begin the process, the more productive your event will be. During the college fair I walked around handing out flyers that indicated the date and time of the next year’s event. This spring I will begin much earlier to reach out to schools and search on College Board. Many of the schools that had declined to attend did so because they had already registered for other college fairs. Ultimately, the key to holding the most successful college fair is to go with the schools that hold an obvious interest to your students and begin work as soon as possible. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Fall 2010 YourPlanForCollege Letter to Superintendents Dear Superintendent, Early this summer, we reached out to encourage your participation in the launch of YourPlanForCollege, the Commonwealth’s new college and career web portal. We received an overwhelmingly positive response to this outreach, and now have over 75 high schools across the Commonwealth participating in this exciting opportunity. If you have not had the chance to take a closer look at the portal, there is still time to sign on this fall and be up and running for the 2010-2011 school year. YourPlanForCollege is a component of Governor Patrick’s Education Action Agenda, and it was created in partner-
ship with MEFA, the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, and the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education. The portal is free for Massachusetts students, families, and high schools, and it provides robust online resources and tools to assist students and parents in learning about and preparing for college and careers. The portal also contains tools that will ease the administrative burden of school staff, allowing them to spend additional time helping students make the best decisions for their future. Benefits of YourPlanForCollege include: • Information about and applications for scholarships and financial aid • A searchable database of more than 3,000 colleges and universities, and interactive tools to help students identify college and career interests and options • Advanced reporting, information and communication tools for counselors • Massachusetts-specific tools such as
MCAS test preparation and alignment with the Massachusetts Model for Comprehensive Counseling Programs and Career Development Education Benchmarks • SAT and ACT test preparation • District-level tracking and reporting of information, such as student progress toward completion of high school graduation requirements, college application rates, and college application results • Complete college application packages, including official transcripts, letters of recommendation, and test scores; the complete package can be submitted online to participating colleges and universities • Transmittal of secure student academic information uploaded directly from high school data systems into the portal for use in college applications, a unique feature among online college planning tools • Available in both English and Spanish ■
Online demo of YourPlanForCollege is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8, 2010, 11:00 a.m. EST • Thursday, December 16, 2010, 10:00 a.m. EST
FOCUS ON COLLEGE PLANNING Gateway to College tackles dropout problem “Every year, an estimated 1.3 million students drop out of high school. Without a diploma, these youth face a future of low wages and limited opportunities for postsecondary education and advancement. Gateway to College offers a second chance for these students to succeed academically and prepare for a brighter future.” Gateway to College National Network is a national nonprofit organization that’s tackling the dropout crisis and catalyzing change across developmental education in college. Our strategies include: Creating and replicating innovative programs • Gateway to College helps high school dropouts (ages 16-21) and students on the verge of dropping out to earn a high school diploma while also earning college credits. • Project DEgree helps underprepared college students (ages 18-26) accelerate their progress through developmental education and on to transfer-level college courses. Building partnerships that connect K-12 and higher education institutions and communities Influencing systems by creating change agents who are transforming instruction and student support practices from the inside out Conducting research and sharing what we know about successfully serving high school dropouts and academically underprepared college students Helping effect policy and regulatory changes to ensure that Gateway to College and other alternative education models are available in every community that needs them Providing customized consulting services to colleges and school districts The National Network also provides ongoing training, technical assistance, and professional development opportunities to Gateway and Project DEgree programs across the country. In some cases, we offer start-up grants or local fundraising assistance to help community and technical colleges implement our programs. ■
MASFAA assists with early college awareness and planning The Early Awareness and Outreach Committee of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) works with financial aid administrators throughout the state to promote early college planning initiatives at the middle school and high school levels. The Committee also acts as a resource for MASFAA members in the areas of early awareness and financial aid presentations. Twice a year, the Committee partners with GEAR UP Massachusetts to host the Carnival of Learning. This fall’s Carnival was held in November at the Mildred Avenue Middle School in Mattapan. Its main purpose was to make students aware of the importance of postsecondary education and the financial aid resources that are available to assist them. At a Carnival of Learning, middle school students explore a variety of careers for which postsecondary education is necessary. Volunteers from many different types of institutions — graduate/professional schools, four-year colleges, vocational schools, etc.—give interactive demonstrations about educational programs such as dentistry, business, sports, and art. Participating students are also given resources about college savings and financing plans to share with their families. The Committee also assists with the National Training for Counselors and Mentors (NT4CM), a federal program designed to provide timely federal financial aid information to guidance counselors and others who advise students preparing for college. The Committee also provides volunteer trainers for both a WebEx series in the winter and live sessions at the spring MASCA conference. The Committee is currently updating its webpage with new presentations and resources, and it seeks to be a resource to guidance staff across the state. Many of its members are experienced Financial Aid Night speakers, who are willing to talk to students and their parents. For more information, go to their website—http://www.masfaa.org/committees/ early/index.php. Watch for the Committee’s upcoming event in Western Massachusetts next spring. ■
MEFA provides free training Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) will once again provide free financial aid trainings for Massachusetts school counselors. The training dates and locations are: December 10 Wellesley College, Wellesley December 15 Merrimack College, North Andover January 7 Stonehill College, Easton January 12 College of the Holy Cross, Worcester The trainings begin at 8 a.m. and will conclude by 2 p.m. A detailed draft agenda is available online. The following critical topics — which school counselors are often called upon to address while advising students and parents— will be covered at each training: 1) FINANCIAL AID AND FEDERAL UPDATES Counselors will be updated on financial aid changes and will receive a brief financial aid overview. 2) COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY TOPICS WITH LOCAL COLLEGES Local members of the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA) will discuss different approaches to discussing college affordability with families. 3) MASSACHUSETTS PUBLIC HIGHER EDUCATION UPDATE A member of the Massachusetts Office of Student Financial Assistance (OSFA) will provide an overview of current enrollment and aid trends at Massachusetts public colleges and universities. 4) RESOURCES FOR SCHOOL COUNSELORS MEFA will provide a review of our comprehensive resources to assist counselors with building and sustaining a college planning curriculum. 5) TIMELY TOPICS Current trends that impact college access will be discussed.
Attendees will receive a Certificate of Attendance. While attendance is free, advanced registration is required. Visit the MEFA website to complete an online registration form for each counselor who will attend: http://www.mefa.org/ schoolcounselors/schoolcounselors.aspx ?id=1310. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Leadership Forum on Beacon Hill March 6, 2011 _____________
MASCA Spring Conference and 50th Birthday Celebration April 10-12, 2011 Exhibit Hall • Events • Concurrent Workshops Receptions • Awards Sunday Welcome Keynoter: Dr. Norm Gysbers
Meet and greet Norm Gysbers at the MASCA Spring Conference Norman C. Gysbers, Ph.D., featured speaker at the MASCA Spring Conference 2011, says:
“School counseling has a fascinating history that spans 100 plus years. It evolved as a result of the interaction of many dynamic and challenging social, economic, political, and educational conditions and forces. It was shaped by the ideas and work of many individuals inside and outside of education. Spirited debates occurred over these 100 plus years concerning the structures, purposes, and practices of school counseling. By learning about our history we can gain insight into and understand more clearly our present situation and future prospects.” Listen to Gysbers as he discusses the evolution of school counseling. Go to http://ascaway.podbean.com/2008/11/13/ascaway-the-historyof-school-counseling/
BARDWELL (continued from page 1) itself. Throwing the information in a box, writing things down on multiple calendars, or making notes in numerous places will not help you to retrieve the information when it is needed. 7. Know when to push and when to take a step back. This is tricky. Some students need no help whatsoever, while others need their hands held throughout the entire process. You know your child well enough to know what he or she will need from you. 8. Never fill out an application for admission or for scholarships yourself. It is tempting to give your child some help, especially if they are busy and stressed out with school, activities, and work. However, completing the application for them takes them totally out of the loop and does not teach them responsibility. Remember: Your child is the applicant, not you. 9. Give direction and advice but not ultimatums. It makes sense that you want to help steer your child towards a certain major or college, but this is their ultimate decision. The skills they learn from this process are lifelong and will impact many other things that they do. Set limits that support their goals but still hold true to your bottom line. For example, “I will only pay $x for application fees,” or “I can only contribute $x towards the cost of your education.” Many students tell me that parents say that they can apply only to a state school because it is cheaper. In reality, some students pay less to go to a private school than to a public one. The bottom line is: They will never know if they don’t apply. 10. Don’t panic or stress out. This only filters down to your child, and then you have even more stress and conflict. Rather than yelling and screaming, start early and follow the guidelines provided by the school counselor. If your child is not motivated or can’t make a decision, this will create additional anxiety. Remember recommendations 7, 8, and 9, stated above. Although choosing a college is a big decision, it is not a life or death decision. A youngster who is not ready to assume responsibility and ownership of the college search and application process may not be ready for college. Taking time out to work or do community service might be a better option to consider. ■ COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK
Massachusetts School Counselors Association, Inc. COUNSELOR’S NOTEBOOK Sally Ann Connolly, Editor
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CHANGE OF ADDRESS: ..........................................
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Send this form to: Deborah Clemence P.O. Box 805 East Dennis, MA 02641
YOUR MEMBERSHIP RENEWAL DATE IS INDICATED BY YEAR AND MONTH ON YOUR ADDRESS LABEL ABOVE. To renew your membership, go to MASCA’s website, www.masca.org.
Honor Your School Counselor “Tributes” A MASCA 50th Birthday Promotion 50
MASCA Birthday Reception Monday, April 11, 2011 5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Did a school counselor encourage you to accomplish your goals and follow your dreams? Did a school counselor you know make a positive difference in the lives of students? Do you want to express your appreciation to that counselor? Here is your chance to pay tribute. Sign up and post your tribute at www.masca.org. Tributes will be posted on the website, and nominees will be invited to attend the MASCA 50th Birthday Reception, where they will be honored with a Certificate of Recognition. Submissions are welcome from all residents, school systems, MASCA affiliates, students, past graduates, families, administrators, and others. To get started, click on the 50th Birthday School Counseling Tributes link on the homepage. Submit a fifty-word tribute about the counselor’s impact on your life or the lives of students. A photo is optional.
For more information, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.