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					Washington Counseletter
Chronicle Guidance Publications
Helping Education Professionals Since 1963
October 2006 Volume 23, Number 1

Marketing Your Way to Program Success

Use the Internet to its full potential Email newsletters and websites have the potential to market your career program around the world. A by Stephanie Sarkis website also makes your program accessible to parents who can’t come in during business hours. A website You have a great career counseling center in your doesn’t have to be fancy and filled with graphics to school. Problem: too few students know about it or use make an impression. In fact, with websites, simpler it on a regular basis. Here’s how to make sure all your can be better. Clearly put the title of your program at students benefit from what you have to offer. the top of the page. Provide a link where people can email you. If you have questions about setting up Redefine career webpages, take advantage of your community college’s Many students think that “career” is synonymous courses or take a tutorial online. You may also want to with “job”. We as counselors know that there is so much suggest website creation as an inservice topic. There more to a career. Help your students realize this, too. are several programs that make website creation easy Redefine “career” in a way that speaks to your stuand even fun! dents. A flyer that says “Find your life path” is much more effective than one that says “Find your career”. Make use of guest speakers Guest speakers really spark the interest of students. Survey your students A professional who has “been there, done that” opens Find out what your students want out of a career up many windows of opportunity. Guest speakers also program. When companies such as Coca-Cola want to teach the importance of networking. Prepare students market a product, they do a lot of “market research” to for the guest speaker. Have them brainstorm questions determine what their audience is looking for in a soda. to ask the speaker after his or her presentation. Make You are your own Coca-Cola! Find out your students’ sure you write thank you notes to your guest speakers. goals. In which careers are they most interested? This Use stationery that has your program’s logo, slogan, can be accomplished through talking with your students, and contact information. making a paper-and-pencil survey or an online survey. Create a logo and slogan Ask them the questions that they want answered Businesses use logos and slogans because they Once you find out your students’ interests, tailor work. Not convinced? Go to www.logogame.com and your marketing materials in that direction. When see how many logos you can identify. You can create a creating a flyer, write questions such as, “What careers simple logo on your computer, or you can see if students in science are perfect for me?” and “Wouldn’t it be in the graphic design program can help you out. A slogan nice to love going to work every day?” By asking these is a sentence that states your program’s goal. For questions of students, it makes them actively think example, “Helping students find their life path” is about your program. Marketing Your Way, page 2
In this issue
Marketing Your Way to Program Success .................................................................................................................................... 1 Career Myths and How to Debunk Them ...................................................................................................................................... 2 New Florida Law Requires Ninth-Graders to Determine Areas of Interest ................................................................................... 4 Special Report High School Reform and Work: Facing Labor Market Realities .............................................................................................. 5 Conferences .................................................................................................................................................................................. 7

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simple and to the point. Use your logo and slogan extensively. Include it on all your marketing materials—flyers, business cards, bulletin boards, newsletters and your website. Give them a “take home” Always have a pencil or note pad with your program’s title, logo, slogan, and contact information. Give these out liberally to students, faculty members, parents and people in the community. You never know who is going to see your name and phone number. The more places your name is visible, the more students you will potentially reach. Get creative with your marketing materials This is where computer skills are a real bonus. There are many types of specialty papers available for printing. You can produce a very good-looking flyer or business card on your computer. Take advantage of the free templates available at www.microsoft.com/office. Make use of both sides of your business card. Put your title and contact information on the front of your card, and list features of your program on the back of the card. Reach beyond the school Go beyond standard marketing materials. Who in the community could provide support for your program? Think beyond the school setting. Counselors in private practice may be willing to place flyers in their waiting rooms. Consider giving talks to groups in the community about your program. Some businesses may be willing to provide shadowing opportunities or attend a career day. Participate in as many community events as possible Make sure you have a table set up on school orientation days. Have your flyers, business cards, and “take home” materials available. Have materials written specifically for parents. Wear a name tag that clearly identifies your name and your program. Be a visible presence in the hallways at school. Go to games and school events. You’ll reach more students by being visible outside of regular school hours. If there are not many community or school events available, create your own! Keep track of your marketing efforts For accountability, keep a detailed record of your activities, including the date, time, and type of activity.
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When students ask for an appointment or show up at a career event, have them complete a form that includes how they found out about the service or workshop. Regularly evaluate the effectiveness of the various methods you use. Does the return justify the investment of the time and money? Talk with others about their effective strategies. Share your successes. Present at a conference or district meeting. By practicing even a few of these tips, your career program can hit new heights and expand its reach.
Stephanie Sarkis PhD NCC LMHC is the author of 10 Simple Solutions for Adult ADD, published by New Harbinger. The book has a chapter specifically devoted to career choices. Dr. Sarkis is an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Counselor Education at the University of Florida. She also has a private practice in Gainesville, Florida and is the Director of Assessments and Evaluations at Sarkis Clinical Trials. She can be reached at www.stephaniesarkis.com and mail@stephaniesarkis.com

WorkplaceNews
A monthly update on work issues

Career Myths And How To Debunk Them
by Olivia Crosby Most people make assumptions about careers. Often, these assumptions are based on impressions they get from relatives and friends, from television shows, and from workers and jobs that they see in their daily lives. Impressions are a good place to start when looking for a career because they help people to identify possibilities. But at the same time, impressions can be misleading. They show only a small portion of reality, or worse: no reality at all. That’s when career impressions become career myths. People make all kinds of false assumptions—about an occupation’s working conditions, job duties, educational requirements, employment prospects, and more— because they have limited information. For example, many people think that there are no opportunities in the manufacturing trades, that all high-paying jobs require a college degree, and that most teachers earn belowaverage salaries. None of these myths is true. And believing myths like these limits career choices unnecessarily. Chances are that you harbor myths and stereotypes about careers. And you might not even realize that you do. Some myths are easily dismissed; others interfere
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with your ability to develop career goals. You can keep myths from derailing your career search by learning to confirm your beliefs or expose your misconceptions for what they are. Expand your options and uncover the truth about each career. Reality tools—including statistics, expert advice, and real-world experiences— can supply the facts. Getting to the truth of career myths requires that you find accurate information from reliable sources. In other words, you need to do a little sleuth work. Look in more than one place to get an accurate picture of a career. Statistics about occupations and industries give facts about earnings, employment, and other numeric issues. Employment projections give insight into the future. Informational interviewing reveals the benefits, drawbacks, and job options in an occupation. And getting experience provides hands-on understanding of what it’s like to do a job. Each of these methods yields myth-busting information, but each has limitations. Career Myths That Stop People Cold Some career myths are less about occupations than about the working world in general. Myths like these can derail a career search and sap motivation. Here are five common myths, and realities, about careers. Myth: There is one perfect job for me. Reality: There are many occupations—and many jobs—that you would enjoy. Focusing on finding a single, perfect career is not only intimidating, it’s limiting. If you’re like most people, you will have several jobs and careers in your life, and each will have positive and negative aspects to it. Furthermore, your job preferences are apt to change over time as you gain experience, skill, and self-knowledge. Keeping your options open is a position of strength, not weakness. Myth: I will use all of my talents and abilities in this job. Reality: No one job uses all of your talents. And trying to find one that does will derail your job search. Learning a variety of tasks helps you to sharpen abilities that might not be needed in one job but could be invaluable in another. Especially at the start of your career, you should expect to spend time acquiring experience and skills. This is one reality about careers that, career counselors say, many new graduates fail to grasp. Counselors remind jobseekers to be patient. New workers
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should expect to start in entry-level positions and be willing to do routine tasks as they gain experience. Myth: My job has to match my college major or vocational training. Reality: You need not restrict your job search to careers related to your degree or training. Most jobs do not specify which college major is needed, even if they require that workers have a college degree. Many computer specialist positions, for example, are filled by workers whose degree is in a subject unrelated to computers. Vocational training is often more closely related to specific occupations. But even this kind of training can open the door to a wider array of jobs than people think. Consider that electrical technicians are now repairing fuel cells, for example, or that veterinary technicians become pharmaceutical sales workers. Often, technical skills are applicable to many settings—and most workers learn the specifics of an occupation on the job. Myth: No one will hire me because I lack experience, have low grades, have gaps in my work history, etc. Reality: People overcome all kinds of challenges to find satisfying work. Experts say that how you handle adversity is a good indicator of your ability to persevere. Need experience? Get it! Volunteer, work in a related occupation, or focus on school projects that are relevant to your desired career. Low grades are the problem? Highlight other parts of your resume, and remember that grades usually matter only for that first job after graduation. Gaps in your work history? Overcome them with a well-designed resume that focuses on skills rather than chronology, and then get a little interviewing practice. For most entry-level jobs, employers are looking for general attributes such as communication skills, interpersonal abilities, and enthusiasm. Myth: It’s too late to change my career. Reality: It’s never too late to change careers. Workers who change careers come from many backgrounds, age groups, and situations. There’s the doctor who decided she’d rather be a chef, the retiree who enrolled in college to become an accountant, the construction
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worker who wanted a steadier income without moving to a warmer climate. For each of these workers, the desire for job satisfaction outweighed the desire for status quo. To make the change easier, look at your past work and education to see what skills relate to the job you want. Most jobs’ entry requirements are more flexible than people think. Gain needed skills with volunteer work, internships, or a class, and don’t be afraid to start at the bottom to get the career you want. If you are out of school and want expert advice, consider a local One-Stop Career Center or the counseling center at a nearby school.
Career Myths and How to Debunk Them was written by Olivia Crosby, Managing Editor of the Occupational Outlook Quarterly (OOQ). This material is addressed in much greater depth, with implementation resources, in the OOQ, Fall 2005 Issue, and is available online at www.bls.gov/opub/ooq/2005/fall/art01.htm.

Their FutureFile
A news summary on issues affecting students and their career plans

New Florida Law Requires Ninth-Graders to Determine Areas of Interest.
Beginning in the 2007-08 school year, Florida legislature will require ninth-grade students to declare a “major area of interest” in order to graduate. The initiative is designed to prepare students for life after high school, whether that means heading to college or entering the work force. Suggested by a task force of educators that examined the state’s high schools, the goal of the majors plan is to encourage students to strive for better grades and prevent them from dropping out. The bill originally referred to major and minor subjects, but was changed to “major areas of interest” before final passage. Supporters of the legislation believe that if students can focus on their interests, they’ll be more encouraged to stay in school. “This bold measure will help prepare middle and high school students for the challenges ahead of them,” Florida Governor Jeb Bush said in a press conference. “Our students will now take charge and plan for their future, realizing the decisions they make today shape their tomorrow.”
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Beginning in middle-school, students will complete career counseling, and map out an academic and career plan using an online advising system. The areas of interest run the entire spectrum of careers from traditional academic fields like math, science, and English to vocational fields such as carpentry or auto mechanics. Core credits in such basic subjects as English and social studies will still be needed to graduate. But elective credits let students focus on their major and even earn an additional major or minor. To ensure flexibility, the number of elective credits is intentionally high so students are able to change majors. The measure includes a “ready-to-work” certification program with more centralized technical or vocational education for high school students who do not plan to go to college. The program is designed to give high school students and adult learners a smoother transition into the work force. Students will be able to get occupational-specific credentials and an assessment of their skills in comparison to state standards. Under the new legislature, there will also be an increased emphasis on math and science (requiring students to take a fourth year of math), special classes for struggling students, and professional development programs for principals. While Florida is the most recent state to get onboard with this trend of declaring majors in high school, South Carolina paved the way last year, enacting a similar statewide legislation. The state’s Personal Pathways to Success system requires high schoolers to declare a major from a variety of “career clusters,” such as Agriculture, Food, and Natural Resources; Architecture and Construction; or Hospitality and Tourism. “We wanted to make sure that students had the opportunity to focus on areas of study and majors that were more closely aligned with...what the job marketplace is now and will be in the future,” said Inez Tenenbaum, state superintendent of education for South Carolina. There were initial concerns about pressuring students to make career decision so early, having little or no work experience at all. However, Tenenbaum believes these concerns were appeased in the early stages of the program. The transition was eased, she notes, by the enforcement of core-curriculum topics, the use of electives for pursuing a major, and the flexibility to switch majors. Although there is no hard data yet because the program is still relatively new, feedback has been positive. So positive, in fact, that Tenenbaum feels other states would benefit from following South Carolina and Florida’s lead.
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Special Report
High School Reform and Work: Facing Labor Market Realities
by Paul E. Barton Executive Summary The focus of the current high school reform movement goes beyond qualifying students to enter college. It extends to raising the rigor of coursework so that students are prepared for college-level classes, rather than forced to enter remedial courses. That this is needed is based on extensive study of the gap between college admissions criteria and the more rigorous requirements for entering credit courses, as determined by college placement tests. Reformers further assert that all students, not just the college bound, should reach that higher level of academic preparedness. The notion is that non-college-bound students require that level of preparation to enter the employment world, or as it is sometimes stated, to get “good jobs.” To date, however, no one has extensively analyzed the subject to reach conclusions about the actual necessity of that level of achievement for all students and about the ramifications of insisting on it. This report attempts to bring together available information on the work world, what employers say they want, what employment projections show, and the requirements and qualifications necessary to meet employer needs and standards. It does not try to propose a set of policies and objectives for secondary education. This analysis does not find support for the proposition that those not going to college need to be qualified to enter college credit courses in order to enter the workforce. It does, however, find a strong case for advancing the academic skills of a high proportion of those high school graduates if they are to compete successfully for the higher-paying jobs available to those without a college degree, and advance in such jobs. Beyond what employers are specifically looking for in job applicants, other important benefits are attached to higher levels of educational attainment. The Age of Hiring. Little research is available on the minimum age employers set for entry into regular
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jobs at which adults can make a living. No current research is available, and no one has examined how the age requirements may have changed since researchers last studied the subject. This report sets forth what is known and argues that employers, other than those in industries that rely heavily on teenagers, do not want to hire high school graduates until they are well into their 20s, irrespective of how well they do in high school. That creates a large gap between the end of a person’s secondary education and his or her entry into jobs with adequate wages and benefits. Those ramifications need to be understood and addressed. Employers Speak. This report summarizes studies of what employers say they are looking for when they hire for jobs that do not require college degrees. Such studies show that employers typically put school achievement below other qualities and attributes. The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) conducted the most recent survey on this topic in 2001. Supportive of the findings of similar studies, the NAM study identifies the “most common reasons companies reject applicants as hourly production workers.” The reasons are shown in the Table on page 6. Other surveys report somewhat different results but come from a different mix of employers and industries. The U.S. Census Bureau conducted a comprehensive survey that found the top three reasons to be attitude, communication skills, and previous work experience. Grades in school were ninth. The NAM report supports setting educational standards but cautions that such standards “should not be pursued to the point where often equally worthy elements are driven out of the curriculum.” The report argues that partnerships between businesses and schools should be expanded and that employers should support such activities, “including providing internships that bring education and students into the workplace.” A major new initiative by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to develop, test, and validate a new assessment of readiness for entry-level work, scheduled for release in June 2006, will provide considerable guidance to high school reform efforts. The assessment will identify what new workers in entry-level jobs need to be able to do in the areas of communication, interpersonal, decision-making, and lifelong learning skills.
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· None of the jobs is in Level 1 or 5. · Seventeen are in Level 2, where a typical task might be calculating the total cost of merchandise from an order form. · Nineteen are in Level 3, where a typical task includes calculating the difference between the regular and sales price of an item in an advertisement or determining the discount for an oil bill if paid within 30 days. · Only four are in Level 4, where tasks include using an eligibility pamphlet to calculate how much money a couple would receive for basic supplemental security income in one year. • The report matches the 44 occupations with an education “cluster,” such as “high school/some college,” and lists the distribution of education levels of people working in them. It also shows the average job openings per year, the “most significant” source of education and training for each occupation, and the median annual earnings in the occupation in 2002. That, too, is available for all Census Bureau occupations. • This report looks at changes in the occupational structure from the standpoint of education required to perform each job. A couple of major studies covering the 1980s and 1990s, and projecting to 2006, show that occupations with the fastest growth rates have the highest educational requirements. Those jobs are a small percentage of the total, however, and average requirements for all occupations show no change. The other kind of change that occurs is within an occupation. It would be a massive undertaking to measure such change in the Census Bureau’s 750 occupational classifications, but studies that have examined specific occupations have found differences over time. Such changes, due to technology and other factors, occur continuously with unknown net results. • To identify workers who, one day, may be able to advance in their company, some employers may seek employees who have qualifications higher than those required to do entry-level work. The New Basics and Middle-Class Wages. What does it take to earn a “middle-class” wage in the United States? That is examined in Teaching the New Basic Skills, by Richard Murnane and Frank Levy.
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Mo s t C o m m o n R eas o n s C o m p an i es R ej ec t Ap p l i c an t s as H o u r l y Pr o d u c t i o n Wo r k er s Inadequate basi c employabi li ty ski lls (attendance, ti meli ness, work ethi c, etc) Insuffi ci ent work experi ence Inadequate readi ng/wri ti ng ski lls Appli cants do not pass drug screeni ng Inadequate math ski lls Poor references from previ ous employers Inadequate oral-communi cati on ski lls Inabi li ty to work i n a team envi ronment Inadequate problem-solvi ng ski lls Inadequate techni cal/computer ski lls Lack of degree or vocati onal trai ni ng Problems wi th ci ti zenshi p/i mmi grati on status Other
Source: Nati onal Associ ati on of Manufacturers, The Ski l l s Gap 2001, 2001.

69% 34% 32% 27% 21% 20% 18% 12% 11% 11% 8% 7% 4%

Educational Attainment and Job Requirements. The use of employment projections for educational planning has been exclusively on average annual employment in an occupation and on the associated education requirements. What is needed are projections of job openings, taking into account employee turnover, retirements, and similar losses. This report analyzes half of the 26 million job openings projected for 2001 to 2012 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics in terms of the education requirements associated with those openings and the quantitative abilities needed to perform each job in the 44 occupations involved. • About half of the openings in those occupations, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, require short-term on-the-job training (one month or less experience and informal training). • Eight require moderate-term on-the-job training (one to 12 months), and the rest require a longer period of training, a higher-education degree, or certification. • The occupations are identified by the level of quantitative literacy needed to perform them, based on the National Adult Literacy Survey. Levels range from 1 to 5, with 5 being the highest.
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• Skills: The authors found that employers wanted a set of “soft skills,” such as the basic employability skills employers cited in a National Association of Manufacturers’ survey. Complicating matters, they found there was not a high correlation between those skills and the results of paper-and-pencil-tests. • Education: Murnane and Levy identify ninth-grade levels of reading and mathematics as necessary. Pinning down what constitutes a ninth-grade level of achievement in the United States is hard, because the distribution of achievement in any one grade is wide and varies by state. We do have good information from the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) for grades 4, 8, and 12. For each grade, NAEP defines what students have to know and be able to do to reach the basic, proficient, or advanced level in each subject. A description of the proficient level in mathematics is provided in this report. In 2003, just 29 percent of eighth-graders reached the proficient level, and only about half of 12th-graders reached a scale score equivalent to that level. Based on such results, there is a long way to go to raise mathematics achievement even to a level Murnane and Levy agree would enable graduates to qualify for middle-class wages. The School of Work. Evidence abounds that employers greatly value experience, which brings with it learned behaviors, abilities, and attitudes. Because of such evidence the National Association of Manufacturers’ report advocates employer involvement in internship programs, or cooperative education, where students alternate between school and related work. • Cooperative education is now largely ignored, and no regular data collection addresses its scope. Cooperative education needs to be revisited.

The bottom line of this report is that students’ preparation for entry into the world of work has been all but invisible in national discussions of high school reform. However, a considerable amount of knowledge, facts, and information is available–or attainable– that can be used to inform a larger discussion about high school reform and the world of work.
High School Reform and Work: Facing Labor Market Realities was written by Paul E. Barton, Educational Testing Service, Policy Information Center, Mail Stop 19-R, Rosedale Road, Princeton, NJ 08541-0001. This material is addressed in much greater depth, with implementation of resources, in the full report and is available online at www.ets.org/research/pic.

Conferences
November 1 Long Island Counselors, Thirty-Second Annual, St. Anthony’s High School, Huntington, NY. For more information: call Linda Aydinian at 631-725-5302 ext.114 or visit www.licac.org November 1-3 National Postsecodary Education Cooperative, 2006 National Symposium on Postsecondary Student Success, Washington, DC. For more information: e-mail NPECregistrations@westat.com or visit http://nces.ed.gov/npec/symposium.asp November 1-4 National Tech Prep Network, Tech Prep and Career Pathways: The Next Step, Adam Mark Hotel, Dallas, TX. For more information: call 800-5181410 or visit www.ntpn.info November 1-4 WCET (formerly the Western Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications), Eighteenth Annual: Blazing the e-learning trail...forging new ways to learn, Portland, OR. For more information: visit http://conference.wcet.info/2006/

• Opportunities for teenagers to work part time while in school, in jobs sought on their own, are diminishing. The number of in-school teenagers who work dropped November 1-5 from 38 percent in 2000 to 30 percent in 2004. The National Coalition of Elementary and Secondary employment rate for minority teenagers is much lower Education Act Title 1 Parents, Thirty-Third than the rate for White teenagers. The teenage employAnnual National, Marriot Los Angeles Airport ment rates are dropping, whether the teenagers are in or Hotel, Los Angeles, CA. For more informaout of school. Research has generally found that worktion: visit www.nctic1p.org or e-mail ing a modest number of hours per week has no negative nctic1p@aol.com effect on school performance. Conferences, page 8
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November 2-4 National Middle School Association, Thirty-Third Annual, Opryland Hotel and Convention Center, Nashville, TN. For more information: call 800528-6672 or e-mail info@NMSA.org November 5-7 Lesley University’s Center for Reading Recovery and Literacy Collaborative, Seventeenth Annual Literacy for All: Northeast K-6 Literacy Conference & Reading Recovery Institute, Rhode Island Convention Center, Providence, RI. For more information: call 617-349-8402, e-mail literacy@lesley.edu, or visit www.lesley.edu/literacyforall November 8-10 Sloan-Consortium International, Twelfth Annual: Asynchronous Learning Networks, Rosen Centre, Orlando, FL. For more information: call 1-866232-5834, e-mail aln@mail.ucf.edu, or visit wwww.ce.ucf.edu/asp/aln/ November 8-11 Learning Disabilities Association of Texas, FortySecond Annual State, Renaissance Austin Hotel, Austin, TX. For more information: call 512-4588234 or visit www.ldat.org November 8-11 National Association for the Education of Young Children, 2006 Annual Conference & Expo, Atlanta, GA. For more information: visit www. annualconference.naeyc.org November 9-12 The College Board, Forum 2006: A Compelling Case for Education, Manchester Grand Hyatt Hotel, San Diego, CA. For more information: call 212-713-7715 or e-mail Chris Jannuzzi at jannuzzi@collegboard.org November 16-19 American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, Fortieth Annual Meeting & Exposition, Nashville, TN. For more information: visit www.actfl.org

November 16-19 National Conference on Student Leadership, FiftyEighth Assembly, Disney’s Contemporary Resort, Lake Buena Vista, FL. For more information: visit www.ncssleadership.com November 24 Manitoba Association of Secondary Teachers of At-Risk Students, 2006 SAG: So, do you want to hear about my day? - Student Perspectives, Celebrations Dinner Theatre, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. For more information: e-mail Shannon Corbett at scorbett@retsd.mb.ca or visit http://ca.geocities.com/ mastars_mtssag/ November 27-30 Middle States Association of Collegiate Registrars and Officers of Admission, Seventy-Sixth Annual: Understanding Our Value, Borgata Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, NJ. For more information: visit www.msacroa.org November 30 - December 1 Association for Career and Technical Education, Career Tech Expo 2006, Georgia World Congress Center, Atlanta, GA. For more information: visit www.acteonline.org/convention

We Welcome Your Comments Do you have a comment or a suggestion for the Washington Counseletter? Chronicle Guidance welcomes your input... whether you have a news item, research report, news of important events, or a story idea. Send Your Comments to: Melissa Jenkin, Washington Counseletter Chronicle Guidance Publications, Inc. 66 Aurora Street Moravia, New York 13118-3569 Phone: 1 800 622-7284 or (315) 497-0330 or E-mail: WCL@ChronicleGuidance.com

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