Qatar Foundation for Education Science and Community Development (QF), its university partners and the Academic Bridge Program, hosted a program for high school counselors from around the country.
Held at Qatar Foundation, Doha Counselors Day 2011 saw close to 90 counselors from independent and private schools in Qatar participate in a series of sessions. The annual event is integrated as part of the Discover Education City campaign, recognizing the important role high-school counselors play in preparing students to make decisions about their futures.
The day opened with a welcome by Dr. Dennis Roberts, Assistant Vice President for Faculty and Student Services at Qatar Foundation’s Education Division, who in his lively presentation‘What’s new since last year: Institutional and student achievements’, highlighted the exciting work taking place at Education City.
Addressing the counselors, Dr. Roberts said: “You are the door openers; the people who connect with the students to promote the work we do at Education City, and advise the students how they should prepare for admissions and reach their potential.”
Dr. Roberts enumerated some of the major achievements of the universities over the past 12 months. These ranged from undergraduate research works receiving significant grants and awards to collaborative projects organized by students providing aid to communities in need.
Admissions directors and representatives from the universities and the Academic Bridge Program presented during an admissions panel where they emphasized their holistic approach to evaluating university applications. All sessions were held in both English and Arabic simultaneously.
“Doha Counselors Day is important as it provides a platform to a diverse range of high-school counselors in Qatar to get the latest information about the universities in Education City, and provides the tools tohelp guide the students to prepare and apply for admission,” said Director of Admissions Texas A&M University at Qatar, Maha Ayyash.
Qatar Foundation has organized counselor workshops covering specific topics, which are scheduled for October 19, November 17and December 6.
“Qatar Foundation strongly believes that counselors have a substantial role to play in charting a propitious course for students on the verge of planning their lives ahead of K-12,” added Ayyash.
This was followed by a presentation of admission case studies to give the counselors further insight into how applicants are evaluated during the admissions process.
“Last year was my first year here and these counselor forums organized by Qatar Foundation are a tremendous arena from where to gather all the information that I know I need to get. The other aspect is meeting so many other counselors with similar roles, and who are able to use each other as resources,” said returning counselor from Al Jazeera Academy, Steve Petraglia.
The last of the sessions was dedicated to the counselors, who took center stage and exchanged evolving ideas in the field along with best practices.
“The most valuable resource from today was bringing the counselors together, and to share ideas, to improve individual systems, and to learn from each other in order to streamline different forms of technology to help students apply to college,” said returning counselor, Julie Thompson, from Al Khor International School (British Stream).
As part of the annual admissions recruiting campaign, Doha Counselors Day 2011 was held in advance of Qatar Foundation’s ‘Discover Education City - Qatar’ event, which will be held next week (October 5) in Qatar Foundation as it open to high school students across the country.
The annual admissions campaign includes informational events for prospective students, their parents and high-school counselors in Qatar and the region.
Also leading up to the annual outreach event was the launch on September 21 of the ‘Promising Students Program’, a new initiative which envisages better preparing bright Qatari high-school students for admission to any of the universities at Education City.