South Island School seeks to appoint an outstanding Higher Education Counsellor, to join an experienced and high-performing team, whose role is to provide advice and guidance to our international body of students (and their parents), as they apply to universities around the world. There are many routes into HE counselling, and we understand that you may hold either a recognised teaching qualification and/or a degree alongside further professional qualifications in the field.
Although this is not specifically a teaching position, the role will involve interacting extensively with young people, both one-to-one and in groups. Applicants should have significant experience of Higher Education counselling, preferably dealing with applicants to more than one geographical destination, ideally with an established network of admissions contacts. School-based experience would be an advantage; however we welcome applicants from other backgrounds who are able to demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the school context. Experience of the United Kingdom and North American Higher Education systems would also be an advantage, though not essential.
At South Island School, we run several different academic programmes prior to school graduation. Students commence their studies at SIS with the IBMYP (Years 7-9), progress to IGCSE (Years 10-11), and finish their studies with either the IB Diploma (IBDP), the IB Careers-Related Programme (IBCP), or (for students with individual needs) a bespoke educational package. Our counselling team must be aware of the needs of students within all of the above educational pathways, and must be able to offer each student the very best advice regarding appropriate destinations and institutions, ensuring students are effectively guided in possible ‘stretch’, ‘secure’ and ‘safety’ options. There are approximately 350 students in Years 12 and 13, and our counsellors work very positively with each and every student, building good relationships to foster a spirit of trust and open communication.
The successful candidate will be open-minded and willing to learn. Since dealing with references, recommendations, essays and personal statements is a key area, fluency and a high level of literacy in the English language are absolutely essential, as is the ability and confidence to address large audiences of students, parents and fellow professionals. Above all, we expect our counsellors to enjoy the company of young people, and to show patience, care and good humour in their engagement with our students.
Key Responsibilities will include:
- conducting individual interviews with a caseload of students (and, where appropriate, their parents) in Years 11, 12 and 13, focusing on their Higher Education plans and applications;
- developing close working links with Heads of House, the Head of Post-16 Learning (IBDP Coordinator) and the IBCP Coordinator;
- working with the HE Team in preparing supporting materials for each student’s HE applications, including the preparation and proofreading of references and recommendations;
- assisting the Head of Careers and Higher Education in liaising with HE representatives, students and parents, organising meetings and taking responsibility for presentations on specific destinations, as specified by the Head of Careers and Higher Education;
- working with the HE Team in the production of materials for the HE Guidance programme, in selecting resources for the Careers Centre, and in developing materials on the Careers Department website;
- working with the Individual Needs faculty to offer appropriate guidance on post-school pathways for students on bespoke educational packages;
- working on the SIS Careers online presence;
taking responsibility for the planning and organization of the Year 11 Work Experience Week;
- undertaking other tasks as reasonably directed by the Head of Careers and Higher Education.
The position will be a full-time renewable contract for an initial two year period from August 2020, and includes a substantial end of contract gratuity, in line with that offered to teachers. See ESF Terms and Conditions for further details of the package.
Our HE counsellors follow school term times and are required to be available on pre-agreed days during the school holidays (e.g. examination results days). There will be also be occasions when attendance at evening events is required, and there is an expectation that our counsellors will periodically join overseas Higher Education tours that occur largely outside term-time.
Support with obtaining Hong Kong residence will be provided if necessary.
Working in Hong Kong
Hong Kong is a premier destination for expatriate and local staff! ESF staff enjoy an extremely lucrative salary package and a very high standard of living overall, in an exciting and vibrant world city. Schools are highly respected, student motivation and outcomes are excellent, and all expatriate colleagues receive considerable support from ESF and SIS with settling into Hong Kong, as well as with their professional development. Please feel free to contact us in advance about life in Hong Kong if you feel a conversation on this topic would be helpful.