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Required Preparation for

Managing the Maze: USA University Admissions

Download the FULL version of the assignment including readings



  • Your school profile. (6 copies)

  • Your school transcript. (6 copies)

  • At least three letters of recommendation you have written. One should be very good, one should be one you had a hard time with, the third can be any. We will peer review all of the above and give you feedback

  • Any policies or stated practices your school has regarding university counseling.

  • Three to five personal statements your students have written over the last year. The sample should include those statements you felt most proud of – and those that were a cause for concern.

  • Three to five short essay answers to the common application that your students have written over the last year. The sample set should include those essays you feel the most proud of – and those that were a cause for concern.

  • Copies of Your Counseling Calendar – the “what gets done and when it gets done” cornerstone to any office.

Note: Bring one copy of everything and, if you can, also have it on a USB stick. If you are not yourself in the role of university counseling, ask whoever is in that role to help. And if some of these items do not exist in your school – don’t worry! Others will share with you.

Read: The three case studies included in the full pdf version via the link above. You will be reviewing these during the course, but this should give you a head start.

Bring a laptop (REQUIRED):  Your course materials are electronic. Hard copies of the materials will not be available on site.  Participants are required to bring a laptop computer with appropriate adapters and wireless internet capability to this course.

TC Connection: This is the online portal for everything related to your course. Become familiar with how to use it. You should have received an invitation to your class group. Refer to that email for more details.

Reflect: Before you arrive, reflect on and please be prepared to discuss:

  • Training systems in place to help teachers write letters of recommendation.

  • Programs developed to guide students in writing effective college application essays.

  • Administrative procedures regarding retaking classes.

  • Controls place on course rigor (# of AP’s or IB’s on a transcript).

  • Reporting procedures regarding student suspension or other transgressions.

  • Parent communication program.

  • Outreach program to admission officers/universities.

  • How and when do you meet your students in order to initiate university counseling?

  • Unique professional and ethical dilemmas you have dealt with over the last year.

These experiences will provide context to our afternoon discussion sessions.

See you in London!

Martin Walsh