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International ACAC Executive Board Interviews Article

International ACAC Executive Board Interviews Article 

The month of June marks the end of the term for some members of the Executive Board. As we welcome new members to the Board starting July 1, International ACAC wants to recognize the individuals who have served our organization and applaud the work they have done. Below you will find information about these individuals and their numerous efforts over the past few years. 

Aaron Andersen

Director of International Recruitment (AMEA), University of British Columbia, Canada

Role(s) on the Executive Board:

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Advocacy in New and Strange Times

Advocacy in New and Strange Times

March 22, 2020
By: Anne K.W. Richardson

The American School in London

I was going to write about NACAC's Advocacy Day.

Two weeks ago, this is what advocacy looked like for me. I was spending my Sunday in Washington DC with college admissions counselors and college/university counselors from across the world, preparing to go to Capitol Hill on Monday to meet with House and Senate members and their aides, to remind them about the importance of international students in higher education – the many and extraordinary benefits they bring to campuses, classrooms, residence halls, surrounding towns and cities.  In cold hard cash, international students inject over $50 billion each year to US states. But they do so much more – and I include here all of our students who have grown up abroad.  Their presence contributes to and expands the cultural competency and global outlook of all, really so much more valuable and lasting than all of those dollars.  In our many visits on Monday, crisscrossing the Capitol, from Dirksen to Longworth, many listened - some more attentively and closely than others - to this strong advocacy for international students.


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Reflection on Town Hall Webinar and Impact of COVID-19 on Secondary Schools

Reflection on Town Hall Webinar and Impact of COVID-19 on Secondary Schools

By: Ning Deng
Vanke Meisha Academy

Changing hats from an audience member to first-time panelist, the COVID-19 International ACAC webinar marked a personal milestone. Of course, I never expected this switch to happen in such a challenging time—the outbreak of COVID-19 spurred my engagement in the Town Hall discussion as an Advocacy & Outreach Committee member. As Christmas is to Westerners, Spring Festival is for Chinese the time to travel home, celebrate and enjoy festivities, and hang out over nice cuisine. However, the “STOP” button was pressed for the 2020 Spring Festival when Wuhan locked down on January 23rd, a day before China’s New Year’s Eve. Life changed for students and teachers at every school in China, unable to return to campuses and with no clear return date. Consequently, new buzzwords of “cancellation”, “online learning”, “college admissions impact” spread quickly among concerned students, parents, and counselors.

A first impact on students has been online learning, which started mid-February with technology support from Zoom, Teams, Dingding, etc. In the webinar, panelists shared counseling best practices such as periodical online counseling workshops/classes/one-on-one counseling sessions with students, virtual parent meetings, WeChat sharing, E-documentation—all of which are keeping students informed and prepared. Panelists also fielded tough questions about online learning quality and assurance measures and how to maintain engaged learning and quality services during this difficult time.

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Educational Equality in China: How Online Learning During Coronavirus Has Changed the Status Quo

Educational Equality in China: How Online Learning During Coronavirus Has Changed the Status Quo

By: Francis Miller
Director of College Counseling, Xi'an Tieyi High School International Curriculum Center

Make no mistake, much of China is currently in lockdown due to the COVID-19 coronavirus. In urban centers, streets are empty and many businesses remain closed. Subways and buses are shuttered or running on limited service. The most visibly functioning public places are supermarkets, but even those lack their usual hustle and bustle. 

While the lockdown continues, educators are doing what they do best: making do with the time and resources available. Public schools across China have been ordered by the Ministry of Education to put off the spring semester, and to tíngkè bù tíngxué 停课不停学 — stop classes but don’t stop learning.

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Getting Involved - Thoughts & Tips on 2020 Elections

Getting Involved - Thoughts and Tips on the 2020 Elections

By: Aaron Andersen
Past President & Chair of Governance Nominating Committee
Director, International Recruitment, University of British Columbia 

  

My daughter is twelve, in grade seven, which here in Canada, is the last year before she heads to high school.  Last week, as our family was going through the regular hectic morning activities – making lunches, last minute homework, finding socks, and eating cereal she thrust a scrunched up paper into my hand and said “Sign this, Dad … Please.” 

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School Profiles - Nuances, Benefits, and Fresh Ideas!

School Profiles - Nuances, Benefits, and Fresh Ideas!

For many of us who have experience managing and creating our school’s profile, it’s well understood that the purpose of it is to provide insights and knowledge of our school and our students. And rightly so - the school profile is used by university admission officers to understand the context of every senior class and to evaluate students within their educational environment. 

Each portion of the school profile is important, but there are elements most schools would consider the be “fundamental,” -- the school’s name, contact information, history, demographic breakdown, curriculum, and university matriculation list. However, when it comes to displaying this information as well as using the school profile for advocacy purposes, we see great diversity. 

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2018 Association Annual Award Winners: In Their Words

Association Annual Award Winners: In Their Words

Last Spring the International ACAC board placed their votes for three awards that honor leaders in our field. These include the Distinguished Service Award, the Rising Star Award, and the Peter Hauet Lifetime Achievement Award. This year the awards went to some inspiring individuals who have made big contributions to International ACAC over the years.

Jenny Tassell and Christine Grover were selected for the International ACAC Rising Star Award for their service to their students and our community, especially due to their tireless work in organizing the recent International ACAC Regional Institute in Panama City.

Jenny writes, “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this great honor.  There is really no other association like International ACAC.  I have been lucky enough to have some amazing mentors who have encouraged me to keep pushing myself towards goals that have seemed too challenging at times.  Fred Johnson, Juan Camilo Tamayo, Ray Marx, Meg Mahoney, Christine Grover, and Jolynn Vallejo to name a few.  Everyone in this association wants its members to become more involved and they will encourage you every step of the way. 

In Panama it all started with helping to create the Panama School Counselor Association (PASCA).  With the amazing counselors in Panama we worked hard to help Panama become a place that was easy to navigate and welcoming to all university reps that came here.  We created the PASCA website which has become a model for other countries. 

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Calling all members with an interest in UK Advocacy

Calling all members with an interest in UK Advocacy

A UK All Party Parliamentary Group is currently conducting an inquiry into international students in the UK. Details of the inquiry:  

http://www.exeduk.com/appg-for-international-students/inquiry

The Advocacy and Outreach Committee are keen to submit a written response to this by the deadline of 3rd September.

The focus of the response will be from high school and independent counsellors as our UK HE members views will be represented by UUK. We will however work with UUK to ensure our responses are coordinated as much as possible. In order to capture the views of high school and independent counsellors AOC have developed a brief survey for high school and independent members:

https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BPMQ2LT



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COUNTER POINT: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

 




Counter point: Admission Officers Seek Direct Contact; Counselors, students, and parents need to be willing to receive it.

In a professional WeChat admissions group, a high school counselor in southern China lamented that she couldn’t get parents to come to information sessions at her school hosted by admission officers from lesser known U.S. universities. Several colleagues, including myself, proffered suggestions: create a fact sheet about the university, advertise the event in Chinese on her school’s WeChat account, and provide translation on the day of the event. Since this was a counselor I had come to know through multiple exchanges, I then messaged her privately and joked that she should say representatives from an Ivy League school would be joining the unknown school. I guaranteed she’d have a full house. We laughed, but it wasn’t funny; it was true.


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EARI FAST FACTS

East Asia Regional Institute Fast-Facts Update:

Registrations, fairs, curriculum, grants, networking and additional events (as of June 10th), basic information and practicalities

Registrations

  • Over 100 now! Including…
    • 55% who represent high school students
    • 75 institutions, made up of high schools, universities, organizations
    • Universities from 14 countries
    • Counselors from Republic of Korea, The People’s Republic of China, India, Vietnam, Canada, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore, Nepal
    • Hurry registration deadline is July 20th - - but past institute data indicates we will reach capacity before that time
          REGISTER FOR EARI

    

Fairs

The East Asia Regional Institute Fair takes place on Saturday August 12th

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GIFTS FOR THE GLOBALLY MOBILE HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATE

7 Stellar Gifts for the Globally Mobile High School Graduate

By Barbara C. Chen

China Admissions Representative, The University of Tulsa

In this on-going series of articles on students 'returning home', Barbara Chen speaks about supporting third-culture students who may be 'returning' to a home country they have never lived in.  Check out her first article on Tips for Parents of College Bound Expatriate Student.

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COUNSELING OFFICE MODELS AT INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS

Finding the Right Fit: A Look at Counselling Models at International Schools 

By Robbie Jefferiss
United World College South East Asia, Singapore
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Counseling international students on university options is an increasingly complex and challenging role. The breadth and diversity of university choices continues to expand as a steady stream of new opportunities emerge; from new joint global ventures between established universities, to the ever expanding list of programs taught in English throughout Europe. The expertise and depth of knowledge needed to “master” multiple higher education systems, and provide advocacy and support for students and families is often more than a full time job. 


However, the diversity of options that stand before our students, is often matched by the diversity of ‘hats’ we wear at our schools. Depending on the size of your school, you may also be the social emotional counselor, a teacher, IB coordinator, assistant principal, registrar, house parent, homeroom advisor, coach, etc. etc. The breadth  of our experiences and the diversity of our schools is what makes working at international schools fascinating; no two schools or programs are alike. Similarly, the role of college counselor at your school may have emerged from various groundings. It may have grown organically from a teacher’s part time additional role, or perhaps from a British, American, or mixed international foundation, sometimes with various heads of school carrying their own perception of the role. A recent article published by Shaun McElroy in The International Educator has prompted discussions on Facebook and beyond, looking at the various models used at international schools.  So we decided to explore these in more depth with some insight from some experienced counselors who have worked in different models.







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STRATEGIC PLANNING FOR THE FUTURE

Membership Survey - Strategic Planning For The Future

By Lisa Hollett 
Special Programs Coordinator, International ACAC 

In May, we undertook an ambitious project, a Strategic Planning Survey of all International ACAC members. The survey was sent to our over 2000 members, and we received over 700 responses. Hopefully, you took the chance to let your voice be heard!

A number of our questions focused around our annual summer conference, and the results were illuminating. Over 50% of you attend the conference for the networking opportunities, but professional development opportunities are also very important, with discussions of new trends in Admissions garnering almost 10% of the vote.

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BOOKING A VISIT MADE EASY REPVISITS.COM

Booking a visit made easy? Repvisits.com review

By Robbie Jefferis
United World College South East Asia, Singapore

You can book an uber online, buy your groceries online, schedule your dentist appointment online….  So why not schedule your school visits online?   A new tool is attracting interest with busy college counselors and even busier admissions representatives, called www.repvisits.com   

Could this be the end of all the back and forth emails?  

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COUNSELOR VIEW: THE VALUE OF COUNSELOR FLY-INS

Counselor View: The Value of International Counselor Fly-in

By Kelly Braun
  
Int'l School of Sacred Heart, Tokyo 

The contents of my suitcase are strewn across my bedroom floor, new college swag separated from laundry, toiletries that exploded twice waiting to be cleaned for the third time, and just enough room to maneuver around the bed to sleep and then make it to work in the morning. I've just returned from a week long international counselor fly-in and unfortunately there is just not time between returning home and school on Monday to deal with things like suitcases when you have a week of emails, lesson plans, and looming AP exams to prepare for.

Would I trade my week away for a clean room and empty inbox? Never.


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FIVE THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER

Top Five Things To Do in Vancouver While in Town for The Fair

NACAC’s first International Universities Fair is being held in Vancouver May 7 and the city is ready to welcome visitors from institutions all over the world. The fair, Saturday May 7 from 1:00 - 4:00PM has over a 150 universities from a dozen different countries converging on Vancouver Convention Center to promote higher education options to the region's secondary school students.  Recognizing that many university representatives will only have a few spare hours before or after the fair, International ACAC has received special advice from a local Vancouverite to come up with the ever helpful Top Five Things.


TOP FIVE THINGS TO DO IN VANCOUVER BEFORE OR AFTER THE NACAC FAIR

1. Take a Water Taxi Ride to See the City

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TOP BENEFITS OF NACAC MEMBERSHIP

Top Benefits of NACAC Membership

This year marks my 10th year counseling here in Seoul.  For the past several years I have been both a NACAC and International ACAC member. 

Why International ACAC ? Our President Joe put it best.  “We are a family.”  We are a select group of international educators who have a distinct passion and appreciation for those serving and living overseas.  It is part of our identity, and it is what makes our association not only unique, but as Tina Turner would say it…“simply the best.”  

But why NACAC ? However, many often wonder why I’m still a member of NACAC and attend their conference every year.  Even last fall, when I attended the San Diego conference, “You attend NACAC as well?” was a question I heard more often than not.  So, to my fellow International ACAC members, after another year of membership and attending another mind-blowing NACAC, I have been reaffirmed of my commitment to both the National AND the International Association for College Admissions Counseling.  Here’s why...   

 

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WORKPLACE SURVEY 2015 - RESULTS

Workplace Survey 2015 - Results 

In the summer of 2015 International ACAC conducted a Workplace Survey of its members to get a better understanding of their workplace experience. 30% of AAPS member institutions responded to this survey and the Communications Committee has reviewed the results over the past several months. The survey had a set of questions for both university admission and secondary school counselling offices. While there was also a short set of questions for educational consultants, it is acknowledged that future editions of the survey will need to have an expanded question set for this member group.

The responses will be presented in a series of articles available exclusively to International ACAC members on this website over the next few months.  The data is intended to support our members strategic initiatives, and we hope that it may provide helpful context as they review their own workplace environments

The International ACAC Board wishes to thank the members for their time in completing this survey.

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OACAC CONFERENCE BY THE NUMBERS

OACAC Conference By The Numbers

 

While OACAC Events can never be just about the numbers… here it is just about the numbers 

#OACAC2015 Conference Oregon

 

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IS THE ADMISSION PROCESS BROKEN?

Is the Admission Process Broken?
A Counselor's Perspective from China 

 

By Hamilton Gregg
HGIEC - Educational Consultant

The following is a submission from a long time OACAC member expressing his view on the current state of admissions as it pertains to students in China, and beyond.  Hamilton offers this reflection as the start of a dialogue, and with any discussion there is surely to be different points of views. OACAC invites readers to provide their views and perspectives in the Comments section at the bottom of the article. 

This year has been a bit tumultuous with month after month of SAT cheating scandals, continued reports of unethical agents or companies manufacturing outstanding student portfolios, intense “coaching” on essays and all sorts of other behavior to throw out the question “what’s going on?”









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