High School Counselor Week

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


December 16, 2021

Big Picture

Kids are back in school but are they back to normal? Experts say stress lingers
Cape Cod Times (MA) – December 13, 2021
Therapists and physicians say that while the reopening of schools full-time this fall helped relieve pandemic stress on children and parents, it didn’t eliminate mental health problems that blossomed with the rise of COVID-19. While most students are happy to be back in class, school refusals are a concern among children with anxiety and other issues.

When ‘making the grade’ takes on new meaning
EdSource – December 13, 2021
Pandemic accelerates debate over traditional grading methods

Nearly 100% of Students Back to School Full Time and In Person
U.S. News & World Report – December 15, 2021
A new federal government data portal aimed at collecting real-time information about the pandemic and education confirms that nearly all students are back to school full time and in person.

Columns and Blogs

Remembering the Season
Post – December 15, 2021
Counselors’ Corner with Patrick O’Connor Ph.D.

Revoking Admission
Tribune News Service – December 15, 2021
College Admissions Strategies with Lee Bierer 


Counselor shares suicide concerns
Shelbyville Times-Gazette (TN) – December 11, 2021
This is the first in a series of articles on the increasing cases of suicide. The statistics are alarming when it comes to teen suicide, as one counselor reveals. Bullying generally comes to the surface when discussing the topic.

Trauma response team is prepared to serve
Greenfield Daily Reporter (IN) – December 15, 2021
Kim Kile, a director of school counseling, was excited to participate.‘Although I’m a trained counselor, the techniques we learned through this training are very specific to a critical event and how we will work with the first responders and victims,’ she said. ‘It provided me with an opportunity to learn a new set of counseling skills…

Michigan near rock bottom for student to counselor ratios in the nation. How it affects students.
Detroit Free Press – December 6, 2021
In Michigan schools, counselors are on the frontlines in supporting students: They are college and career counselors. They nudge students forward and encourage student interests. And sometimes, even though they are not therapists, they are among the first adults to intervene in a mental health crisis.


Sharing photos of your kids online? Here’s what you should consider.
University of Florida News – December 14, 2021
Today’s parents are the first to raise children alongside social media and this generation of children is the first to grow up constantly ‘shared’ online. Professor Stacey Steinberg discusses her research on an issue of concern to many parents — how to protect the privacy and safety of their children online. [Podcast, full transcript included]

Admissions Process & Strategy

College planner: How to navigate the ‘test-optional’ landscape
Austin American-Statesman (TX) – December 13, 2021
Now that standardized tests have become optional for many colleges and universities, the application process is more mysterious than ever. Be forewarned. College applicants and parents may breathe a sigh of relief because they think standardized test scores are now unnecessary. But students, and the people who advise them, need to think…

Rethinking College Admissions: Essay Advice from the Inside
M-A Chronicle (NY) – December 13, 2021
We reached out to 165 colleges to find out what they’re looking for in essays, their tips on choosing topics, and their essay pet peeves. Ultimately, we interviewed admissions representatives from 19 schools. Here’s their advice:

Tips to Finish Writing College Application Essays
U.S. News & World Report – December 13, 2021
Create a timeline, stay focused, build in an editing phase and don’t procrastinate.

Financial Aid/Scholarships

9 Scholarship Myths That Stop Students From Getting Aid
Forbes – December 10, 2021
There are an estimated 1.7 million private scholarships, and each award has its own eligibility and standards. Despite the wide variety of opportunities, there are plenty of common misconceptions that keep students from applying. Consider these scholarship myths busted.

More colleges rethink student loans as debate over debt cancellation rages on
Star Tribune (MN) – December 11, 2021
The public policy debate over broad student debt cancellation is forcing colleges to confront their role in the lending system.

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Partner Toolkit for Students

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Partner Toolkit: Resources from Seize the Awkward
Seize the Awkward: Sharing the tools with your students and school community

Inside The Admissions Office

How to Reduce Admission Anxiety
Tulane Undergraduate Admissions – December 10, 2021
Here are 5 tips to help you navigate this stressful period.

Handling Admission Decisions — A Coach’s Guide
Georgia Tech Admission Blog – December 10, 2021
In the weeks and months ahead, thousands of high school seniors will be receiving admission decisions…

Teen Health

How nature can be therapy for kids stuck indoors during the pandemic
CBS News – December 14, 2021
A recent report from the U.S. Surgeon General warns of a ‘devastating’ mental health crisis among young people. A year spent largely indoors during the pandemic has only made the situation worse. Some experts say time outdoors can help reverse this trend and help kids find a sense of normalcy.

LGBTQ Youth in the South Face Greater Mental Health Challenges
Healthline – December 8, 2021
The research also showed that young LGBTQ people living in southern states had greater odds of a suicide attempt in the past year compared with other parts of the country.