Below are three suggested ways to use College Grazing’s self-discovery surveys in your high school college guidance program. Each was submitted by a high school counselor.
1. I often have parents call me to ask what they can do to help their child make a good college selection. Upon some further conversation I frequently find out that the parents have one or more of three basic issues:
The child refuses to talk about college openly. Parents often feel it is like pulling teeth to have a good parent/child conversation that is meaningful.
The college planning process feels disjointed or scattered.
The child can’t figure out what he or she wants to do. Sometimes the expectations from both the child and parent are unrealistic.
To help with these issues, I first ask the parents to read through College Grazing’s Twenty Tips for Parents. Then I will have them select several self-discovery surveys to complete with their children and, subsequently, ask them to go through the discussion questions that follow the surveys. Depending on the parent, I suggest that they take notes. Then when I see the parents at parents’ night or at one of my college planning roundtables for parents, I will ask volunteers to discuss their experience with College Grazing. This often jump starts good conversations.
2. Like high school counselor everywhere, I am overburdened with an excessively large student load. When a student comes into my office for a college counseling session, I frequently don’t know that much about him or her. I now ask students to complete College Grazing’s self-discovery surveys before they come for their appointment. I also require them to print off their results which gives me some really good information to open up college planning conversation even with students who I don’t know that well.
3. In my role as the college specialist, I go to every junior English classroom to talk about college planning. As part of my presentation, I discuss the connection between self-awareness and making a good college choice. Here I give the simple but important message that if you don’t know what you really want or if you have false or unrealistic expectations or if you can’t articulate your college goals you are more likely to make a poor college choice. Then I ask the students to complete College Grazing’s fourteen discovery surveys. Also, I have had really good luck taking groups to the computer lab and giving them a chunk of time to work on College Grazing on their own.