CACS Training – three days with counselors from ENREACH

Three days with the CACS (College Admission Counseling Service) Counselors is to learn of the core of what makes ENREACH Education what it is.  The words integrity, inspiring, and student focused are what came to mind as I learned about the enormous challenges our students face in the college application process, and how our counselors tackle them every day.

The annual conference took place this year August 22nd – 24th in Shanghai.  All of the ENREACH counselors were in attendance – nearly 40 in all.  Teams range in size from smaller centers with one counselor, to centers like Chengdu with a robust team of nine.  Some experienced, but also many new counselors who were excited to learn about the admissions process and working with their students.

Our counseling team is lead by Carlos Mark and Joshua Gillon, both highly experienced counselors who started the conference with information about the admissions process both on a global scale, as well as with data from ENREACH’s own success rates and our students.  We learned how truly challenging it is to make students stand out in the process and the importance of a really good college list in giving students the broadest range of options.  In addition to getting a view of the larger picture, there were also presentations and case studies where counselors reviewed success stories as well as less stellar achievements in a thorough effort to learn from the past and improve on the coming year’s admissions season.  I learned about the impossible achievement of one student who got into a top ten school, and another counselor who taught about setting expectations so students (and parents) have a realistic idea of where they’re able to go.

I also learned more the Early Advantage Program that Michael Wert oversees.  What ENREACH seeks to achieve through this program is not just a successful admissions year where students get into a good university, but long term success starting as early as grade 9.  By doing this, we are preparing students not just to get into higher education, but to succeed as an adult.  By working with students for a few years, we are better able to nurture their individual strengths and work on what we need to over the long term, positioning them for success not only in the application process, or even only in their studies, but in their life.

On the last day with all the suitcases lined up for counselors that were going home to their regions, everyone was invigorated and excited to get back to work.  If your job was helping develop the future, wouldn’t you be?