In Dr. Lowe’s Corner this week, our director examines the topic of “kindness as a college admissions criterion”. This has led to a nice synergy with this Into the Deep article highlighting our monthly theme of empathy at work as our counselors prepare our students for life beyond ASH. Our counseling department is driven by the belief that being proactive to ensure every student learns in a safe, healthy, and supportive environment by promoting emotional, social and academic growth of all students. This really is empathy in action. All of our counselors play an incredibly important role throughout a student’s time at ASH, whether they are here for one year or their entire schooling years.
As part of our students’ #ASHexperience, our counselors work with students to find the best fit for their education beyond high school. ASH recently held two virtual evenings, one for our seniors to assist with university applications and the other for our grade 9-11 students for them to start their university planning or considering what life will look like after graduating ASH. This current moment in time that we are all living through has brought many different challenges to the forefront. For our high schoolers, and in particular our seniors, they may be feeling uncertain about their next steps after ASH, this is where the empathy displayed and embraced by our counselors, and ASH community in general, is so incredibly important.
In speaking with our three high school counselors, Ms. Bohr, Mr. Loy and Ms. Maaldrink, they explained how this uncertainty in the future is impacting our students' decision-making. Many are now considering options they may not have thought about previously and the counselors are mindful that empathy, understanding and support during this decision-making period is more important than ever before.
During the recent virtual College Application Review evening, our three high school counselors took our senior students and their parents through a thorough presentation detailing everything they need to know to complete a successful application. This included tips and advice on how to best represent themselves to their potential future places of study. The experience and care they bring in guiding these students through this stressful and uncertain time represents how ever-present the core value of empathy is in our ASH counseling department.
As an international school and community, this application evening covers information for universities in a variety of locations around the world. Our students during their time here at ASH are part of a diverse and global community, so it is important that in planning for their life after graduation they are shown that the world really is their oyster in terms of university options - even during this time of uncertainty. The evening covered the finer details involved in applications to alleviate worries students (and their parents) may have and re-emphasised what they need to do in order to be as successful as they can be.
This journey to success in life after ASH does start earlier in our high school students' time here at ASH, beginning at the start of the year with the university planning evening. During this presentation our counselors covered a range of important topics including; the impact of your course choices (IB and AP options) on future plans, the importance of self-care, introspection and goal setting, and going over the range of post-ASH options available. As we have already covered in this article, there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding the future right now, but these kinds of evenings and presentations are still so crucial in preparing our students for the decisions they need to make. In providing these kinds of resources and sharing their wealth of knowledge with our high schoolers, our counselors play a pivotal role in our students' #ASHexperience and in the years to come after they leave ASH.