I have just returned from the annual conference for the New England Association of College Admission Counselors (NEACAC) and feel great about going. The nice thing is that this conference deals with most of the major topics in US post-secondary education covered by the national conference but is affordable for a counsellor on a budget!
One might ask why a Canadian counsellor goes to a New England conference but I feel it is important to stay in touch which changes in University admissions which may impact the students I work with. Some of my students are interested in applying to US Universities so part of my responsibility is to be aware of what is happening. It also gives me the chance to brag a little about what Canadians have to offer. I was thrilled to see a full room for my presentation about Canadian Universities as well as the number of US counsellors who spoke to me after about the wonderful value our Universities are for US students. We tend to forget that Canada is a great destination for international students.
One of the big topics at the conference was concerning the new SAT which will be initiated in March 2016. There are some pretty substantial changes being made to the test so it will be important for students to be aware of what they are heading into. Gone are the old SAT word pairs (thank goodness) but the revised testing will take longer, almost 4 hours…. and will involve significantly more reading throughout the test (including the math sections). Looking at the style of questions, the new SAT will be testing more curriculum knowledge rather than simply measuring aptitude. Detailed information regarding the changes to the test can be found at: https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org. One of the positive changes is that students can sign up for FREE on-line test preparation through a partnership between the Collegeboard and Khan Academy (a large on-line education provider) removing the advantage more affluent students once had with their ability to pay for significant test preparation. Details can be found at: https://www.khanacademy.org/sat. Certainly any student considering application to a US University should take advantage of this service. *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA
June 2, 2015
Self-care has become a hot topic within the realm of counselling, and rightfully so. As counsellors we are witness to an incredible amount of pain, loss, trauma, and a myriad of other emotions. In order to forge a positive therapeutic alliance with our clients it is important that we as counsellors are in a place of wellness so that we can bring our own strength into the counselling relationship to assist our clients by asking those hard questions, and listening without judgement. In my own experience I find that I often don’t know that I need to indulge in self-care until I finally do it. Once immersed in a self-care activity it becomes strikingly apparent that, boy, did I need it! Last week I had the privilege of spending three and a half days at the CCPA National Annual Conference in Niagara Falls. It might sound odd to equate attending a busy, mentally taxing conference with self-care, but I can assure you that is exactly what it was. This is an interesting point to consider – self-care needs to be tailored to the individual. Not everyone will find the same activities rejuvenating or restful.
Currently I am working as a Career Counsellor in an Ontario university. Although I have seen some attitude change, I believe that there is a belief that career counselling is different from personal counselling. I’ve heard colleagues in non-counselling roles indicate that career counselling was the “light” side of counselling. I suppose in some instances this may be true. However, as a career counsellor I can attest to the fact that the clients that join me in my office are often experiencing emotions linked to loss, grief, disappointment, confusion, frustration and shame. Over the past several months I have seen students – both at the undergraduate and graduate level – arriving in my office and sharing stories of financial crises, marital separation, health concerns, stress and anxiety, familial pressure to succeed, and suicidal ideation. The number of instances where I have asked the student sitting in front of me “are you planning on harming yourself?” is now so high I’ve lost track. The idea that career counselling is “light” counselling does not align with the experience I have had throughout my career.
Continue reading *The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA