myOptions Encourage Learning Series

Presented in Partnership with ASCA

Learning & Continuing Education Unit Opportunities

Presented in partnership with the American School Counselor Association (ASCA), myOptions Encourage hosts webinars on topics related to college preparation. Best of all, you can earn CEUs for your participation in each.

If you’re interested in earning CEUs, search for “myOptions Encourage” in the search bar of ASCA’s Online Store/Specialist Training Exams. Select the correct exam for purchase using the title of the webinar. Each webinar is worth 0.1 CEUs/1 contact hour for $10 for non-members/$5 for members.

Current Events Previously Presented: Watch Now

Current Events

Student Voice: The Importance of School-Based College Preparation Supports

New research from ACT highlights the importance of school-based college preparation supports for students. College-bound students from the class of 2023 were recently surveyed to understand their self-reported preparedness for college in four areas: academic, social, personal, and financial preparedness. ACT has identified factors important to students’ self-reported preparedness and gathered information from students to understand what college preparation supports they wish their school had provided to help them better prepare for college. Learn what recent high school graduates are saying about college preparedness and insights into ways schools can better help college-bound students prepare for their transition from high school to college.

Oct. 18, 2023 • Noon, ET
Melissa Caperton, myOptions Encourage
Joyce Z. Schnieders, ACT
Becky L. Bobek, ACT
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Building School-Based College Preparation Supports for Students: Hosting a College Application Event

Recent research from ACT has highlighted the importance of school-based college preparation supports for students and their self-reported preparedness for college. Specifically, students said they wanted more information to assist them with college applications and more direction on how to prepare their application materials. The American College Application Campaign is a national effort to increase the number of students pursuing a college degree or other higher education credential. In 2022, over 5,100 schools hosted a college application event supporting close to 300,000 students who submitted approximately 960,000 applications. Hosting a college application event at your school is an impactful way to address student needs around the college application process. Learn from the national ACAC team and a school counselor at an ACAC School of Excellence: what a college application event is, resources available to support you in hosting a college application event at your school, and how you can help remove barriers that prevent students from applying to college.

Nov. 1, 2023 • Noon, ET
Melissa Caperton, myOptions Encourage
Lisa King, Director, American College Application Campaign, ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning
Angela Jenkins, M.Ed., College & Career Counselor, Freedom Senior High School, ACAC 2022 School of Excellence - Virginia
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Building School-Based College Preparation Supports for Students: Hosting a FAFSA Completion Event

Recent research from ACT has highlighted the importance of school-based college preparation supports for students and their self-reported preparedness for college. The greatest challenge students reported was their lack of financial preparedness. Due to financial challenges, students may be at risk of not completing their college degrees (Goldrick-Rab et al., 2016). One way to address these concerns is by supporting students through the FAFSA completion process. With FAFSA simplification, there are some key changes coming to the 2024-25 form that your class of 2024 will need support navigating. The new form is being released in December and the National College Attainment Network (NCAN) can help you be prepared to help students and families complete the form. You'll receive a line-by-line review of the new form, updates to the FSA ID process for individuals without SSNs, review the FAFSA Submission Summary (formerly the Student Aid Report), and learn about resources and tools available from the US Department of Education's Federal Student Aid office and NCAN. Mississippi will also highlight recommendations they are making to schools on how to build FAFSA completion supports into their college going efforts.

Nov. 15, 2023 • Noon, ET
Melissa Caperton, myOptions Encourage
MorraLee Keller, Senior Director of Strategic Programming, National College Attainment Network
Kierstan Dufour, Director of External Training & Partnerships, get2College, Mississippi
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Preparing for Genuine & Strategic Planning Conversations on Advising Students about Credentials and Careers

Now that we're almost 25% through the 21st century, are you prepared to offer your students a diverse set of post-high school options? Are these career and college options as diverse as the students you serve? Join myOptions Encourage and a distinguished education leader for a discussion about viable choices outside of a four-year degree that meet the needs of our rapidly changing jobs and industry markets. We will shine a light on ways to help you take assessment of your college and career program, develop key questions to frame strategic conversations to reshape school or district programs, and review what students are telling us they need to make educated decisions on career fit.

Bryan Contreras, VP, myOptions Encourage
Daniel Zendejas, Education Consultant P-16 Career Readiness Strategy & Planning
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Advising Students on Credentials and Rewarding Careers

In part two of our myOptions Encourage Spring 2023 learning series, we continue our conversation on career fit and the importance of showing students the emerging job markets and value of all postsecondary credentials. We know that focusing on 4-year college degree completion is not enough to meet the diverse needs of students. Get a glimpse into the “world of work” our students will enter, which is evolving dramatically, as well as the career advising tools and resources counselors should consider. myOptions Encourage and NEXTGEN Talent will share insights on the critical connections to make between high school and postsecondary education, how to find local labor market resources, and finally how to identify rewarding postsecondary options with your students.

Bryan Contreras, VP, myOptions Encourage
Norma Rey-Alicea, Co-Founder, NEXTGEN Talent
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Learning that WORKS for New York!

In the final myOptions Encourage | ASCA Spring 2023 learning session, join in and hear from a school counselor and student at Marilyn A. Noonan School in Durham, New York as they share how a two-year Heavy Equipment Repair and Operations program provides students with an opportunity to learn through work. We are excited to showcase this successful program to help illustrate how to activate the key ideas and challenges laid out in the first two learning sessions. With both the school counselor and a student you will get a full view about how this program helps students explore potential career outcomes, plan their high school courses, gain industry-based certifications, and attain technical skills. This literally is learning that WORKS!

Melissa Caperton, Senior Director, myOptions Encourage
Caitlin Preisner, School Counselor, Donald R. Kline Technical School
Lakia Walker, Work Based Learning Coordinator, Donald R. Kline Technical School
Sawyer Peak, Questar III BOCES, Student in Marilyn A. Noonan School at Durham’s Heavy Equipment Program
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The Role of School Counseling and Smart Application Lists

A student’s final college application list represents many dedicated hours between a student, the student’s family and school counselor. Yet, even with all the time invested by everyone, the unfortunate reality is too many students may not complete all their college applications, may not have a viable college option to meet their needs at the end of senior year or may even withdraw or transfer in their first year if they do go to college. Hear why college lists matter to student outcomes, lessons learned in college counseling program design that led to targeted successful student outcomes and what this means to you in terms of strategies and resources.

Bryan Contreras, VP, myOptions Encourage
Donald Kamentz, Founder & CEO, Contigo
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Help Students and Families Build a Balanced College List

College is a match to be made, not a prize to be won, and crafting a balanced college list is essential to students’ success in matching to the right college. In the complex, complicated landscape of college options, you are poised as a school counselor to support students and engage families through this process. Learn to develop and maintain a strong college list-building practice into your school counseling program so students are prepared for all the college application process entails.

Kayla Ritters Rickels, Senior Manager, Community Engagement, Encourage
Kelsi Goins, Assistant Director of Admissions, University of Cincinnati
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Implement Programming & Leverage Community Resources to Help Students Build a Balanced College List

We know that students who enroll in colleges that are a strong match and fit are more likely to graduate. How can you implement programming in your school and/or in partnership with community organizations to help students and families build a balanced college list? Hear from a state college application campaign, a school counselor and a community-based organization to learn effective practices to engaging students and families in this important process. Learn about both short-term and long-term strategies. Building a balanced college list is the first step for student success in the college application process. Focus on ways to help students begin the application process informed and empowered with a balanced list.

Heather E. McChesney, Coordinator of Curriculum, Professional Development, and Education Initiatives, Division of Student Affairs, West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission
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