2017 School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski on Trends and Advice for New Counselors
2017 School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski on Trends and Advice for New CounselorsJennifer Dunn, Director of Counselor Community Engagement, College Board
2017 School Counselor of the Year Terri Tchorzynski talked with All Access about how she entered the profession, and advice she has for new counselors just starting out. Read her full interview below, and learn more about the American School Counselor Association's School Counselor of the Year Program here.
Why did you decide to enter the counseling profession?
I always knew I wanted to be a school counselor because of my passion to help and support others. I’ve been a high school counselor for seven years but when I think about who I am as a school counselor, it’s who I am in everyday life. When I arrive to the office in the morning I don’t just put on my school counselor hat. I’m that person all the time; as a coach, as a mom, as a wife, as an ally and as a friend.
What are some emerging trends in college admission you’ve seen that you expect to have a lasting impact on the profession?
We’re noticing that college admission counselors appreciate the depth of knowledge and extracurricular involvement that students have attained. Students with resumes packed with tons of activities are not necessarily viewed as the best candidates. Admissions counselors want to see that students have taken a devout interest in select activities and nurtured their interests consistently. Also, students, especially first-generation students, are more than ever grasping the importance of college and other post-secondary opportunities.
What is a success story you remember from your work with students?
I recall working with a 9th grade student who had a lot of behavior and academic problems but was interested in enrolling at the career center. Throughout her 9th and 10th grade years we worked hard to help her improve her grades and behavior. As a result of her success, she was accepted as a student at Calhoun Area Career Center. She has since graduated and is now a student at Lansing Community College studying to be a collision repair specialist.
What advice would you have for a first-year counselor in terms of managing a large student caseload, and working together with parents and school administrators?
I encourage first-year counselors to understand and implement a comprehensive school counseling program that impacts ALL students’ academic, career, and social/emotional development. It’s also important for first-year as well as seasoned school counselors to drive their program and interventions based on student data - attendance, grades, behavior and achievement.