In keeping with the theme of my last post, 20 Twitter Accounts Every Counselor Should Follow, I decided to compile a list of LinkedIn groups that may be beneficial for counselors and consultants to join.
For any of you who may be new to it, LinkedIn is an online professional network with more than 200 million users in more than 200 countries. The site allows you to connect with other professionals and follow the goings-on of various companies in which you may have an interest.
LinkedIn also features more than 1.2 million interest groups that provide a forum where users can discuss career-related issues. For counselors and consultants, LinkedIn groups can be an excellent place to share the challenges you face and the lessons you've learned and to engage in conversations about important news in education.
Figuring our which of those 1.2 million groups are worth joining may seem like a formidable task, so I've taken the liberty of doing some of the legwork on your behalf by rounding up these 10 groups that may be advantageous for counselors and consultants.
- CollegeXpress for Guidance Counselors and Independent Consultants
"In this group, we welcome you to network with other counselors, discuss news and ideas, and learn more about how you can best aid in your students' college search. Use our discussion board at your own discretion, or tune in to read the latest information posted on CollegeXpress for counselors." New members are joining every day, and we'd love you to be one of them!
- College Counselors: Admissions and Financial Aid
"The professional social network for the college counselor and admission professional. Connect with your peers in college and university admissions to network, discuss issues, and share news. This group is for anyone involved in the college admission and financial aid process. University representatives, admission officers, high school counselors, NACAC, AACRAO, NASFAA, and professional admissions consultants are welcomed."
- American School Counselor Association
"This is a group for members of the American School Counselor Association and others affiliated with the school counseling profession."
- College Counseling for the Rest of Us
"College Counseling for the Rest of Us is a LinkedIn group for open conversation and discussion of relevant topics in the closely related fields of college planning, college admission, and financial aid. While managed by College Counseling for the Rest of Us, LLC, this is an open group designed to foster open communication on the aforementioned topics."
- CollegeBound Experts
"An extension of #CollegeBound on Twitter.com (Mondays 4-5PM EST), this group links those who are dedicated to college-bound students. Led by CBN's VP of Content Development & Social Media, this area connects individuals who wish to discuss college-bound issues."
- Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
A groups exclusively for IECA professional and associate members (proof of membership required to join).
- Parents of College Bound Students
Though not strictly a group for counselors and consultants, it's a great place for you to share some of your expertise. "This is a place where parents of college bound students can network, communicate their concerns, [and] ask general questions about the college admissions process, trends in college admissions, college financial aid, merit scholarships, and affordability. It's also a place to find helpful resources."
- Higher Education Teaching and Learning
"The International Higher Education Teaching and Learning (HETL) Association is a global community of higher education professionals who are committed to advancing the scholarship and practice of higher education teaching and learning."
"This is a group for those people blogging about the K-12 classroom, including teachers, administrators, curriculum directors, professional developers, pre-service teachers, and college level educators who focus on K-12 education."
- Technology Integration in Education
"This is a social networking group for educators and professionals to network together in order to discuss ways in which technology can be seamlessly integrated into the education of students in grades K through college. This site develops a means for business professionals as well as other educators to share ideas and resources through a common link in an effort to improve the education of students globally."
Once you've joined a group, you'll receive e-mails when new discussions are posted. Depending on the group's settings, you may even be able to start discussions of your own (which, by the way, the CollegeXpress group encourages you to do!). Haven't found a group that suits your needs? Consider going the extra mile and starting one of your own. Whether you're hoping to connect with other counselors and consultants or simply looking for a place to share or solicit some advice, LinkedIn groups can be an invaluable resource to draw on in your professional life.
Are any of your favorite LinkedIn groups missing from this list? Share them in the comments!