High School Counselor Week

Weekly stories, facts, trends, and other information from around the country


December 10, 2020

Big Picture

Education Groups Urge CDC to Prioritize Teachers, School Staff for Coronavirus Vaccine
U.S. News & World Report – December 4, 2020
The heads of powerful education groups are offering a compelling argument: If you want to open schools, vaccinate us first.

How to Implement Long-Term Remote Learning in a Rural Area
Tech & Learning – December 7, 2020
With a high at-risk population, education leaders at Gila River Indian Community have implemented a long-term approach to remote learning education despite pandemic uncertainty

Fear and Loathing as Colleges Face Another Season of Red Ink
U.S. News & World Report – December 4, 2020
By closing dorms and dining halls due to COVID-19, scores of smaller schools face finances so ruinous they could be fatal.

With Fall Graduation Off, But Football Still On, Students Question College Priorities
NPR – December 8, 2020
Jayme Henderson says her college’s decision to cancel fall graduation over coronavirus concerns felt like ‘a slap in the face.’ She remembers thinking about the campus activities that hadn’t been cancelled: Football was still on, with fans still able to attend games in-person, and there were even…

Columns and Blogs

Why Johnny Can’t Learn Digitally—A Clarification
Post – December 9, 2020
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Terms you should know
Tribune News Service – December 9, 2020
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 

Tips for acing your virtual college interview
Post – December 3, 2020
College Explorations with Nancy Griesemer 


Student Trauma in 2020 and How We Can Help
MiddleWeb – December 7, 2020
The year 2020 has brought many things – an international pandemic, social unrest, economic hardship, a divided nation – but there is also no reprieve from the other normal emotional clutter of growing up.

5 Things We’ve Learned About Virtual School In 2020
NPR – December 4, 2020
For this story I talked to educators in six states, from California to South Carolina. For the most part they say things have improved since the spring. But they are close to burnout, with only a patchwork of support. They say the heart of the job right now is getting students connected with school and keeping them that way — both technologically and even more importantly, emotionally. Here are five lessons learned so far:

Whether Learning is In-Person or Remote, Mental Health of Students Traumatized by COVID Can’t Be Ignored
The 74 – December 8, 2020
Teachers are likely to see – both in scholars and themselves – conditions including trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), agoraphobia, hypochondria, and obsessive-compulsive behavior, as well as an increase in incidents of anxiety.

Supporting Students On Their Paths To Success In Today’s Uncertainty
Forbes – December 3, 2020
For high school seniors, this year brings an array of new challenges to what is normally a busy and anxious time for college and career planning. Most of these students missed critical steps on the path beyond high school, with the cancellation of college fairs and entrance exams, campus visits and meetings with school counselors due


Preparing for College: A Checklist for High Schoolers
Chicago Parent – December 7, 2020
The good news? Planning for college can be divvied up into smaller steps to make it more manageable — for you and your wannabe college student. Here’s a year-by-year look at what your family can do to prepare for college.

A College Admission Holiday: The Friends And Family Guide
Forbes – November 25, 2020
If you have a high school student in your life, this year provides an opportunity to be more intentional about your line of questioning. Here are some tips, both to avoid being ‘that’ relative or neighbor who dampens the holiday cheer, and to empower you to be the concerned adult a young person might need.

Your Student Needs This Time Over Winter Break
College Parent Central – December 7, 2020
Whether your student is finally coming home or has been home all along, the next few weeks may prove challenging for everyone. But wherever you are and whatever your circumstances, most students need one thing as this semester draws to a close: time.

Admissions Process & Strategy

‘The Process Doesn’t Look The Same’: High School Guidance Counselors On Why The Pandemic Has Made Applying for College Harder
GBH News Boston (LISTEN) – December 8, 2020
On tonight’s In It Together, we explored how the pandemic is impacting those high schoolers who are planning to — or in the middle of — applying to college. We heard from two school counselors who are currently helping their students navigate the process.

5 Ways to Make Your High School Resume Stand Out
HerCampus – December 9, 2020
No matter how much life experience you’ve had, it’s important to craft a high school resume that showcases your biggest skills and strengths. Here are five ways to polish your high school resume.

What does being denied mean?
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – December 9, 2020
Whether you have recently received a deny, or you are waiting on an admission decision to come in the next few days or weeks, the tips and advice below come from lived (and deeply felt) experience.

What Is Trending In College Admission?
Forbes – December 10, 2020
I spend most of my days as a high school counselor mired in the details of college admission. Therefore, as 2020 slips into hindsight, I asked my colleagues who lead admission offices to provide perspective and offer insight into the pulse of the field. Here is what they shared:

Financial Aid/Scholarships

Congress Close on Simplifying FAFSA
Inside Higher Ed – December 7, 2020
House and Senate negotiators are close to a deal to simplify FAFSA forms, a major priority for Senator Lamar Alexander before he retires.

I’m a financial planner and I often advise my clients to reconsider college — here’s why
Business Insider – December 7, 2020
Over the last decade, I’ve seen growth and demand in more careers that do not require a college degree. For jobs do there are alternative paths that are more affordable. I believe it’s possible to have a successful career without a college degree or mountains of student loan debt.


Should You Retake the PSAT?
U.S. News & World Report – December 7, 2020
Students can take the PSAT up to three times. Consider these factors when deciding.

Michigan girl caught COVID-19 after high school required her to take SAT in person
USA Today – September 9, 2020
When a Michigan family asked to have their daughter excused from taking the SAT because they feared she’d catch the coronavirus, administrators at Bloomfield Hills High School said the girl wouldn’t graduate unless she came to school and took the college entrance test. But according to state education officials, Michigan has no requirement that students take the SAT or any other test to earn high-school diplomas.

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Career & Technical Education

Tips for bringing industry certifications into degrees
Higher Ed Dive – December 2, 2020
More four-year schools are embedding industry credentials into their programs as pressure mounts to prove they’re graduating students ready for the workforce.

Strengthening Equity in Career and Technical Education
Inside Higher Ed – December 8, 2020
An Urban Institute-led partnership will work to support community and technical colleges with the transition to online learning. The ECMC foundation is contributing $2.5 million to the effort, which will include the National Council for Workforce Education, the Instructional Technology Council and others…

Coronavirus-Related Resources

*NEW* Upcoming Virtual Events for Students and Parents
TeenLife Blog

COVID-19 School Response Dashboard
Maps schools’ responses to the pandemic across the United States (data submission voluntary)

Live Updates: Latest News on Coronavirus and Higher Education
Inside Higher Ed

Live Coronavirus Updates: Here’s the Latest
The Chronicle of Higher Education

COVID-29 Data Dashboard
C2i (College Crisis Initiative)

School Counseling During COVID-19
American School Counselor Association

College Board Coronavirus Updates
College Board

AP Online Classes and Review Sessions
College Board on YouTube

COVID-19 Resource Center
National Association of School Psychologists

U.S. DOE: COVID-19 (“Coronavirus”) Information and Resources for Schools and School Personnel
U.S. Department of Education

Where to Get Free WiFi for Students During COVID-19
Campus Technology

College Virtual Tours
compiled by Rebecca Chabrow, M.A. with assistance from Collegewise

The impact of COVID-19 on high school counselors and the college search process: A national survey.
RNL & High School Counselor Connect (2020)