Educational Reflections of 2012

An educational glance at 2012

As the clock ticks, we will soon welcome 2013.  It seemed so far away, at least for me at one time, because it was my original year of school counseling retirement.  However, professional opportunities afforded an earlier exit, 2012, which I could not resist.

Everyone, young and old, can probably identify some “highs and lows” of 2012.  Take some time today to reflect on the year; cherish the positive and pursue changes for 2013.  We all know the routine, thanks to many years of practice.  I like to review the current year’s resolutions to see how many were achieved.  Success is increased when you know how far you have traveled, and how to plan ahead.

I am listing a few educational reflections of 2012, from my perspective.  It is not a comprehensive directory of events; therefore, I welcome any additions in the comment section.

2012:  Educational Reflections:

1. Higher Education Tuition Freezes and Adjustments:

-Mt. Holyoke (MA), private college, continued its tuition freeze

-Belmont Abbey (NC), private college, announced (December) 33% tuition cut for 2013 entering freshmen and transfer students

-At least 24 private colleges froze tuition and eight decreased it (NAICU)

2. Common Application Essay Change effective 2013-14:

-It was announced that the option, “Topic of Your Choice,” will be eliminated

-The 250-500 word limit will remain with monitoring; alerts will inform minimum and    maximum restrictions

3.  Hurricane Sandy:

Major tragedy for residents in many east coast areas; seniors with pending application deadline dates received extensions.  A thought to consider:  Since we can’t regulate “Mother Nature” and other acts beyond our control, it might be wise to plan ahead, and fulfill obligations weeks in advance of the deadline date.  Generous extensions are not always guaranteed.

4.  Connecticut Tragedy:

Schools must return to their original purpose….a safe haven for learning.  Students should not feel embarrassed to express concern for safety or feelings of mental distress, including high school and higher education populations.  Educational communities should foster an environment of support and students should not hesitate to reach out for help.

5.  Changes in DSM 5 – The elimination of Asperger’s Syndrome:

It has been proposed, and approved by some sources, that Asperger’s Syndrome will no longer be a mental diagnosis in the 2013 revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  The Asperger’s diagnosis will be changed to Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Even though change usually brings disappointment, many specialists, educators, and families can identify positive and negative benefits.  However, the educational perspective of the change for K-12 and college students will be its impact on accommodations and services that provide academic success.


Happy New Year!!

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