School Counselors Reflect on SACAC Professional Development

Amy Short, School Counselor at South Forsyth High School in Cumming, GA, and Meg Scheid, School Counselor at The Gwinnett School of Mathematics, Science, & Technology in Lawrenceville, GA, sum up what SACAC wants to provide for school counselors – resources and support for college access counseling:

My SACAC membership has been everything to me, and I am continually promoting membership opportunities to fellow public school counselors. I am at a large, public, suburban high school, and the demand for knowledge and student support for the college research and application process is often more than we can adequately provide. As a SACAC member, the professional development offered at the annual conference, Drive-In Workshops, and webinars has allowed me to gain valuable information that I can then quickly share with my families.” -Amy Short

“ALL of my college and post-secondary option knowledge comes from SACAC. And it comes from both the professional development offerings AND the informal connections I make within the membership. I feel confident talking to my students about their options after high school when I get the information directly from the source. SACAC keeps me informed about the post-secondary world so that I can properly advise my students.” -Meg Scheid

SACAC strives to equip school counselors with strategies and resources that can help them find information quickly and effectively. Listed below are several future events that can help school counselors stay up to date with the changes that are occurring in college admissions:

February 6th, 2pm-3pm: Mini Camp College: Mini Camp College is a free, interactive, and informative college planning workshop designed for high school students from underrepresented and underserved populations. College admission professionals from institutions across the country will lead workshops designed to help students navigate the college application process. The topics will include: The College Search Process, Types of Colleges and How to Determine the “Right Fit.”

February 10th, 7pm-8pm: Mini Camp College (this session is a repeat offering for the event listed above). Two sessions of Mini Camp College are provided to allow as many students/families to attend as possible. Please only register to attend one version of the event.

Here’s what Anna Graham from Hardin Valley Academy in Knoxville, Tennessee had to share about Mini Camp College: “This summer’s SACAC Mini Camp College webinars posted on YouTube were great resources and gave me just what I needed to begin my year with confidence in these uncertain times. I feel better prepared about my work, and being able to lean on the professional experience and information from these webinars, students and parents were reassured that we are all in this together to adapt to the future.”

February 11thSACAC Virtual College Fair: All students are welcome to attend.  A virtual college fair allows colleges to share brief presentations about their college in a virtual setting. Students and counselors attending these sessions are able ask general questions of all the colleges in the session or to ask questions of a specific college. With the COVID pandemic impacting students visiting college campuses, this is a great way to interact with college admission officers without having to travel.

Our Spring Webinars are great opportunities for counselors to learn more:

February 18th 12pm CT/ 1pm EST: Highlighting HBCUs

March 18th 11am CT/ 12pm EST: Women in Leadership Panel

April (Date and Time TBD): Preparing for a Virtual SACAC Conference

May 20th 11pm CT/ 12pm EST: Test-Optional Best Practices

April 19-21: 2021 SACAC Conference

The SACAC conference will be virtual this year and is free for all current SACAC members and all public school high school counselors, HBCU employees, and representatives from community-based organizations who are not currently members. Stay tuned as registration will begin in February, 2021.

Need financial support for future SACAC Professional Development?

Apply for the Counselor Participation Fund– The deadline to apply for the Counselor Participation Fund is Friday, February 12, 2021. If you are interested in receiving funding from SACAC for professional development, now is the time to submit your CPF application! As a reminder, the SACAC 2021 conference is free, but CPF funding can be used toward other SACAC programming, such as Summer Seminar, Sweet Tea Tour, or Dry Run. Additionally, members can utilize funding toward the NACAC Conference in September 2021. Please reach out to Laura Metzler or Julie Moloney, Co-Chairs of the Counselor Participation Fund, at [email protected], if you have any questions. Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity from SACAC to grow professionally!