• "...to bring good news to the poor... proclaim release to the captives... let the oppressed go free..."
  • (Luke 4:18-19)

    Courageous Conversation with H.S. counselors and College Admissions Professionals Webinar Recording

    Courageous Conversation with H.S. counselors and College Admissions Professionals Webinar Recording
    On Thursday, May 14, 2020, American Baptist Women’s Ministries (ABWM) hosted a Courageous Conversation with High School Counselors and College Admissions Professionals. The webinar aimed to ease fears and inform high school students, incoming college students, and parents of how COVID-19 may impact their future.  

    During the conversation, students were relieved to hear that colleges and universities are working hard to accommodate student’s needs. High schools, universities, and colleges recognize that this is a unique moment in history and are carefully evaluating COVID-19’s impact on students, faculty, and their families, domestically and internationally. Transitioning to online learning and being socially distant from friends has been challenging for many students. Parents and community members were encouraged to continue to provide mental health resources for teenagers and young adults.

    "The panel helped us understand how universities and colleges are responding to COVID-19 for the upcoming class of 2020 and the class of 2021. They also noted, the world has changed, and this generation of students will have new experiences connected to a global pandemic. Therefore, the academic community will need to engage them differently,” said Rev. Dr. Gina Jacobs-Strain, executive director of ABWM.

    Watch the Recording:
    This webinar recording is free to watch, but donations are welcome. Your donation will allow American Baptist Women's Ministries to continue providing programs, resources, and leader training for ministries with women and girls. Click here to make a donation.

    Webinar Highlights:
    1. What are some of the main concerns and questions students have shared as they prepare to enter school in the Fall?
    • Concerns are different between juniors & seniors
    • Students are worried about how new school grading and testing policies will affect their admissions process
    • Students and Parents are concerned about how they will financial college
    • Students have fears around the uncertainty of the structure of the Fall semester and the lack of ability of getting to the campus
    Challenges with high school students
    • getting documentation into college admissions-- freezing computers, etc.
    • emotionally:
      • hard to find their motivation to end the year strong
      • other responsibilities at home
      • missing senior events (prom, senior trip, graduation, etc.)
    2. What advice can you give to H.S. juniors who are anxious about how COVID-19 will affect their college admissions process? Test scores? Grades?
    • Incoming students – colleges are being flexible when accepting documents; SAT/ACT tests are optional
    • When applying for college, share how COVID-19 has impacted you and your family
    • Colleges are getting to know the students the best they can (being flexible)
    • Evaluate each college's response to COVID-19 -- do your values match the college's response?
    3. What advice can you offer parents as they seek to support their children?
    • Congratulations for doing it all! (parents are now teaching their children)
    • Recognize the unique moment of history
    • Teach children to advocate for themselves
    • Mental health is extremely important - keep checking on your child and learn about available resources
    • Colleges have extended wellness center and counseling services virtually
    • Take virtual college tours with your children.
    4. What are some of the significant challenges in your respective schools?
    • Being ahead of COVID-19 -- staying connected with families
    • Families are questioning if they’ll send their kids in the fall (will the fall semester be held virtually?)
    • How to keep everyone (students, faculty, & staff) safe
    • How to offer visas for international students
    5. Transitioning to college is difficult for all students, especially 1st generation students. With the possibility of remote learning, how are your colleges planning to address these issues?
    • Prayer opportunity on College’s Facebook pages
    • Exploring how to virtually recruit for a diverse class. It’s difficult when high school students are not attending virtual classes. Virtually recruitment will affect low income families differently.
    • Providing mentorships to students
    • Financial aid and support services are available for 1st generation students
    • Listen to the concerns of students: Reach out to every student; get feedback on how they're doing emotionally, financially, technically, etc.

    6. Tips for other HS counselors:
    • Meet students where they are
    • Find out what families consider success is, before imposing a plan on them.
    • Find ways to motivate students

    Panelists Included:

    Ashley M. Pallie is the Director of Recruitment at Pomona College in Claremont, California. She graduated from Scripps College after earning a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Music and earned her Master’s in Business Administration from the Drucker School of Management at Claremont Graduate University. With 12-years of experience in college admissions, Ashley works specifically in areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion, and has taken her passion for access all around the world, recruiting students from Sub-Saharan Africa to Claremont, CA and helping the college become the most diverse highly selective liberal arts college in the country. For her work, Ashley was recently highlighted in Forbes Magazine as a “2019 College Admissions Influencer.” Ashley also serves as Vice Chair of Lake Avenue Congregational Church, the first woman elected into this position in the Church’s 125-year history.

    Jeff Gant is the Director of Undergraduate Admissions at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ. He has worked in higher education for 12 years in the areas of academic advising, marketing, enrollment management, and admissions counseling. In his capacity as director, he oversees all new undergraduate recruitment for New Jersey’s second-largest university. He is also a proud two-time graduate of Montclair State, having earned his Bachelor of Arts in French Translation and Master of Arts in French Studies from the University.

    Dayna Hassell has been working in the field of higher education for over 30 years. Her training and experience has been comprised of various roles in the area of Student Services on both the undergraduate and graduate levels. The diversity of her responsibilities has included recruitment and orientation activities, freshman studies instruction, general and professional academic advisement, as well as career and financial aid counseling. In addition, she has facilitated workshops of large and small groups for students, parents and faculty on tailored subject matters.
         A Pittsburgh native, Dayna is an alumna of the University of Pittsburgh where she earned both her B.S. in Psychology and M.Ed. in Counselor Education.  She and her husband, who is also an alumnus, have lived in NJ for over 20 years. They have two adult children, one of whom is also an alumna. Dayna is a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc. and enjoys crafting, cooking and spending time with friends and family.

    Rev. Kevin White graduated from Siena College in 1996 with a Bachelor of Science in Finance. He worked as a Senior Financial Consultant and Training Specialist. As a Training Specialist, he trained countless Sales Representatives and Financial Consultants throughout the United States. He spent 15 years on Wall Street before he surrendered to God’s will for his life, fully committed to preparing for ministry. 
         He became a member of The Greater Allen A.M.E. Cathedral of New York (GAC) in May 2002. He has served with the Board of Stewards, Financial Ministry and Prison Ministry. In May 2015, he received his Masters of Divinity Bible and Theology with a concentration in Greek New Testament from Alliance Theological Seminary (ATS). In May 2017, he was sent by God “to be a leader to future leaders” at his Alma Mater. Enrollment increased 150% at ATS by the grace of God. In 2019, he became Institutional Director of Admissions at Nyack College|Alliance Theological Seminary. 

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