Friday, May 09, 2008

Why Now is a Good Time to Look at the Conference Offerings…and Why I Rarely do!

Confession: I often look at the national conference educational session offerings on the airplane as I fly to whatever city is hosting the conference! But this year, I thought that I might try to be a little more organized and take a glance at what sessions are being offered to us in September. It’s not like I have a lot of time on my hands, but this is often the time of year when some of my best thoughts occur about the college admissions process.

It’s when I’m helping families and students make sense of admissions decisions – and I either have the answers or I don’t. It’s when I’m feeling bombarded by new articles about the “state of college admissions” (who knew there were so many experts out there, right?) at every turn. And it’s when I’m beginning earnest work with rising seniors who are asking tough questions about college admissions, their chances, the trends, etc… And in rare moments of quiet in my office questions skip in and out of my mind.

Questions about what really is most important in an application these days? Questions about the role of athletics in the admissions process? Questions about how to help the vocal performer that I might have in my next senior class? Questions about whether or not I should advise a student to apply to an engineering program or not? Believe it or not, questions like these (and SO many more) might very well be answered at an educational session.

So, before you forget what you really want to ask and learn in this next admissions season, print out the list of educational sessions and highlight some that you want to try to attend.
Yes, there will be some changes, but that’s okay. Changes are easy to make…remembering in September what you so badly wanted to ask in May is more difficult. Or maybe that’s just my experience!

P.S. Looking through the educational sessions is also a great way to get excited about your time at the conference!

Happy end of the school year to all – see you in Seattle!

Elizabeth Guice
Director of College Counseling
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Austin, Texas)
Member of the Local Arrangements Committee – Austin 2007