Digital footprint, digital literacy, digital native, digital citizen. High school students are well-served when they consider each of these in the process of getting ready to become college applicants.
But what about college counselors? Does it matter if a 50-something (for argument's sake only, of course!) is tweeting, facebooking, podcasting, blogging and updating a website? Is it even age-appropriate?! Our own children might just wonder.
In order to serve our clients best, we need to stay up-to-date and on top of the ways in which technology can inform and improve our profession. We spend time on social media platforms in order to stay abreast of the latest news and information. If the College Board or the ACT tweets a change to their tests, we need to know because you need to know. It's that simple.
We follow blogs, we belong to industry associations and read their news feeds, we routinely visit websites of our colleagues in college counseling across the globe, we search for tutoring, test prep and college counseling sources on Twitter, and we even listen to podcasts on these topics when we're running. But all that information is lost if we don't pass it on to you. We take responsibility for sifting through the data, spend time distilling it to its most salient points, and pass it on to you. Like Cliff Notes for higher education!
When hiring a college counselor, will you review his digital presence? We think it advisable in the quest to understand the extent of their knowledge as well as to gauge whether their philosophy regarding the admissions process matches that of your child, and of your family. If you turn to a college counselor for essay and application writing support, you might want to check their ability to turn a phrase. Are their website and marketing materials clear, concise, and free of grammatical and spelling errors? Find out if a college counselor has his digital finger on the pulse of the industry, because college admissions is evolving in record time.
Don't get us wrong, we don't live online. We visit college and university campuses, we meet with admissions officers, we network with colleagues, and we spend lots of time with our clients, face-to-face.
Once upon a time, we were Luddites. Digital citizenship is not a choice for us, it is an integral part of our commitment to you.
It's official - our very first tweet.
We have to stay on top of our game. We are committed to bringing you the best. That means keeping up to date with all of our favorite acronyms, from the AP to the IB, the ACT to the SAT, and from UCAS to the Common App.
How do we do it? Well, to be a leader, sometimes you have to also be a follower!
We follow the College Board, the International Baccalaureate Organization, the ACT, UCAS, the Common Application, many of your favorite colleges and universities around the globe, and much more. When we're up to date, you're up to date. That's our promise.
Remember the frustrations with the "new" Common Application last fall? We spared our clients countless headaches and lost hours because we follow @commonapp. They might not have been too skillful about the back-end integration of their web site, but they were speedy about posting site changes and work-arounds when the web site problems were at their worst. Hint to all you rising seniors: maybe you should be following @commonapp, too...
But social media can overwhelm. Your Twitter feed is probably long enough, without adding some of our favorites. Don't despair! That's where we come in. We distill the mountains of tweets into bite-sized packets of information that are relevant to you. Keep your Twitter feed manageable- we've got you covered.