Secondary Library

The Role of the Student, Counselor and Parent in the ISF Application Process

The UGC Team supports students as they take the lead in the post-secondary planning process. We teach students how to research a range of options, and prepare applications that represent an authentic sense of themselves, their ability, and their talents. Guidance and support is provided as students thoughtfully select the universities that suit them best. The Eight Virtues + One are infused in our work – developing in each student responsible citizenship, personal integrity and a well-considered plan for their future.

The UGC Team aims to provide a comprehensive roadmap to higher education which is personalized for each student. We cater for all Grade Levels, ensuring that provision is suitable at each stage of every child’s learning journey at the Academy.

During Grade 6 to 8 there is an optional family-focused UGC curriculum.

In Grade 9 future career practices are explored (using the Unifrog online platform), alongside planning and future mapping of IB DP subjects for university and career choices. From Grade 9, each student is assigned a UGC Counselor and families are supported in their research of suitable university options.

In Grade 10, Unifrog accounts are set up and IB options selection meetings are held. Students explore career interests and begin the development of a portfolio of extracurricular activities.

During Grade 11 and 12 there is an outcome-based, course curriculum with three formal counselor-family meetings held. Ongoing conversation and support is always available.  A detailed UGC weekly newsletter is sent to all families which provides an overview of resources available for each grade level, suggested readings, (online) visits from universities, standardized testing information and other related opportunities.

  • Uphold the Academy’s vision, mission and values
  • Proactively participate with integrity in all assigned tasks
  • Communicate regularly with their UGC Counselor and their family, and attend all required meetings (unless there are extenuating circumstances, this of course must be communicated to the respective counselor)
  • Adhere to the recommendation of creating a college list of reach, match and safety choices and maintain an accurate college application list on Cialfo
  • Investigate and adhere to specific admission requirements and deadlines (e.g. standardized testing, curriculum requirements, sample work and interviews) for each of the institutions to which an application is being submitted
  • Meet all internal deadlines set out by UGC for admissions/standardized testing as well as the timely submission of relevant work for their counselor to comment on, check and review prior to application submission. All applications should be checked by the UGC Counselor before actual submission
  • Submit on time all applications and standardized test scores (where appropriate) to each college or university
  • Share with the counselor the results of university applications
  • Maintain wellness and a healthy approach to the commitments and responsibilities of their lives in secondary school – both college-related and in their IB studies
  • Contribute to a climate of confidentiality, respect, and support among their peer group
  • Advise with the highest professional standards that are consistent with expectations of the Academy, CIS / WASC, and IACAC guidelines
  • Protect privacy and hold personal student / family information in confidence during the application process
  • Provide ongoing support to individual students, families and the class as a cohort
  • Stay abreast of global trends within higher education and connect with the wider university counseling community in and outside of Hong Kong
  • Be attuned to pedagogical issues regarding adolescent development by working alongside the academic faculties and Learning Support Team to support students
  • Encourage students and families to explore a range of excellent, ‘best-fit’ educational opportunities globally
  • Support students and families to be careful researchers of the diverse admission requirements, policies, and procedures of colleges and universities worldwide
  • Create an open and positive atmosphere that encourages students, faculty, and parents to take advantage of the resources and opportunities available to them
  • Understand and respond appropriately to the individual needs of students in a way that promotes self-sufficiency and confidence
  • Provide appropriate support with each student’s essay-writing, summer school and university applications while empowering students to develop their own voices and make their own choices
  • Coordinate and write letters of recommendation for each student and send materials to each college or university on a student’s list
  • Communicate with and be accessible to parents throughout the university application process
  • Maintain a professional distance from external course providers
  • Work together as a team of counselors by ensuring that records are maintained, that information gathered from families are up to date to ensure that all members of the UGC are aware of the needs of all students to ensure support for all is accurate and robust
  • Uphold the Academy’s vision, mission and values throughout the university application process
  • Support their child with early and candid conversations regarding finances and budget, and any limitations in terms of countries or institutions where students may apply
  • Help with the university application process including real and virtual visits with the intention of serving as an informed sounding board
  • Recognize the value of the broad educational opportunities, nationally and internationally
  • Acknowledge that their child is works in progress and that their research and journey will evolve as they grow and learn about themselves
  • Encourage student’s independence and individual growth
  • Listen and let their child lead the process while providing appropriate support
  • Provide the UGC Team with relevant information, context, and insights about their child through family meetings and through the Parents’ Brag Sheet
  • Help their child accept outcomes by understanding the need for a range of choices including reach, match and safety college and university choices and gap year options, while encouraging resilience and the shared goal of finding the best match for a student’s needs