Blue Ocean

I’m still glowing from the webinar I attended this morning. The presenter was Ed Devine, the current WACAC president, speaking about demonstrating interest—and more importantly, how teenagers who develop the faculties to demonstrate their interest are actually learning a crucial set of life skills.

Interestingly, just yesterday I sent off a breakout session proposal (my first!) for a conference coming up in June of 2016. Here is the description:

No high school is perfect. Gaps in the curriculum frequently overlook some fundamental and yet easily teachable skills that can dramatically improve students’ ability to advocate for themselves and manage their affairs with greater autonomy. As independent business operators, educational consultants rely upon an essential set of life skills each day to keep our practices healthy and improve the ways we serve our clientele. This session examines simple ways in which we can share the wealth to enrich our offerings and better set students up for success in college and beyond.

After this session, participants will possess tools to help students learn

  • how to write concise and effective emails to demonstrate interest and manage relationships
  • how to “pitch” themselves and their work during meetings and interviews
  • how to make professional-grade calls to introduce themselves
  • how to make to-do lists and scheduling more manageable

Feels like we’ve got some sort of synchronicity thing going on. That’s awesome. I would add that the specific vantage point of an IEC as an entrepreneur (or edupreneur, as a colleague explained the other day) can’t be understated. Self-advocacy, obviously, can be taught by anyone in any corner of the realm of college counseling, but there is something to be said for the specific skills—and the audacity, and resilience—it takes to make it out there on your own, fighting to bring your vision into a practice that can prosper. To my mind, that should be part of the unique experience that an independent college counselor provides to students: sharing a taste of what it takes to be independent out there in the world as an adult, and translating that into concrete lessons that these teenagers can take with them on these first big steps into adulthood.

It is an exciting time to be an independent educational consultant as technology changes the way we work and learn and do business. The field is exploding, as evidenced as simply as by the coining of the term edupreneur. There is a heck of a lot of blue ocean out there for our practices to differentiate as we enrich the experience that we provide to students and their families.

On that high note, this will be my last Indie Scene entry in the WACAConversation. It’s been a fun (almost) two of years getting acquainted with the blogosphere. My blogging run won’t end here; I’m posting regularly in other spots, and if you wish to keep reading, I hope you’ll come join me out there! I also hope to return to the WACAC blog from time to time as a guest, but no matter what, I’ll see you out there in the real world.

This is Nick Soper signing off for Indie Scene. Thanks so much for reading! Over and out.