Blog 🍎 School 21st December 2023

An International School Counsellor's Guide to Effective Reporting with BridgeU

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Rebecca Hambery Schools Content Writer

From working with our community of over 6,000 counsellors, we’ve found that reporting back to key stakeholders, such as leadership teams, parents and students, can be time-consuming and overwhelming. 

Not to mention, having to manage and work with different groups of people at the same time. 

You’re responsible for reporting data to your supervisor and showcasing positive outcomes related to university applications. But also using your findings to help students successfully submit applications, all while keeping their parents informed. 

That’s why today we’ll be talking about best practices for reporting back, and how BridgeU provides counsellors like you with the tools needed to satisfy supervisors, students, and parents.

Reporting back to senior leadership

We know from helping international school counsellors over the last 10 years that compiling student data into meaningful reports can quickly become stressful.

Your role as a school counsellor is an important one, with senior leaders expecting you to deliver measurable outcomes when it comes to university admissions. In addition, your school puts a lot of trust in you to design a guidance strategy that delivers positive results for your school.

So, with the expectation of reporting application outcomes and overall achievement, let’s break it down to make the process less complicated.

Which data points should I report on?

Creating reports that highlight your curriculum is essential for showcasing the time you invest in developing a successful guidance programme. 

However, it can be hard to choose what to include in your reports given the variety of data available.

That’s one of the reasons why, at BridgeU, we’ve specifically developed a tool that not only helps international school counsellors efficiently collect data, but also document it for meetings and presentations.

BridgeU’s Analytics tool allows you to collect a wide range of data, and to help you out, we’ve compiled some recommended data points to include in your next report, such as… 

  • Subject and country interests for each age group.
  • The countries, courses, and universities that were shortlisted by your students.
  • Application outcomes, including the offer rate.
  • Student success per university by grades and test scores.

You can easily generate pre-built reports on students’ shortlisted universities, applications, university offers, and more. When all your data is ready, it can be downloaded in multiple formats, allowing you to easily create presentations to share with your senior leadership team.

An example of the types of graphs you can create on BridgeU to use in your reporting

And don’t worry if you’re not particularly tech-savvy; our dedicated Customer Success Team works hard year-round to ensure you have the help you need. 

Obviously, these are just the basics. As you get to know your students and school better, you’ll have a clearer idea of which data points you’ll need to track and bring up for discussion every year.

Top tip: You can fully customise your reports on BridgeU to suit your needs by adjusting through four key analytics and seven filters.

Learn how Simon optimised BridgeU’s analytics for impactful reports

Now that you have an idea of which data you want to use, we’ll show you how easy it is to compile your reports with BridgeU by having a look at our conversation with Simon Finnigan from British International School.

British International School Ho Chi Minh City

Simon is a big fan of BridgeU’s Analytics, and having all of this data easily available simplifies reporting to other staff members at the school.

He even noted that the headteacher no longer has to contact him to find out things like how many students have already received offers, as he can effortlessly access them by himself.

Simon discussed how his data-driven feedback and insights become more accurate as students engage with the platform more often. This has saved them valuable time since the information is collected and updated in real-time.

Reporting on your students’ outcomes and showcasing your school’s results are made simple with BridgeU Analytics.

“It’s thanks to BridgeU that we can provide the quality of provision we do. BridgeU is collating all this data for us that allows us to tailor our provision to our students.”

Simon Finnigan, University Guidance Counsellor, British School of Ho-Chi Minh City

Find out more about how Simon uses BridgeU here!

Using data to help students find their best-fit university

Now that you’ve collected the numbers you need to report back to senior leadership, you can also use the data as insights to help your students make informed decisions about where they want to apply to university.

We know that submitting university applications around the world can be a challenge for counsellors. From students having unrealistic expectations to being uncertain about their final study destination, there’s a lot to manage.

So, we’re going to take you through how you can use all of the data you’ve compiled to help guide your students towards their best-fit universities.

Using data-driven insights to help students submit successful applications

Since we help international students every step of the way in their higher ed journey, we know that preparing their university applications can be overwhelming.

That’s why BridgeU’s simple, informative analytics dashboard gives counsellors an immediate overview of where students are on their application journeys, so you can provide better assistance and feedback in one-on-one meetings.

In addition, you can combine BridgeU’s data with information from your student’s Profile Builder to ensure the schools they’re applying to fit them academically and personally.

An example of a student report based on their Profile Builder

Each student’s profile displays universities tailored to them based on academic grades, subject preferences, preferred geography, class size, and more. They can then use past cohort data to assess how their application will perform when creating their shortlist.

Sara from Overseas Family School has been using this approach for years and recently sat down with us to tell us all about it.

How has Sara used data to guide her students in making well-informed decisions?

Sara Horsenth-Bates, the Academic Advisor at Overseas Family School, has perfected combining data and student-led research to ensure her students have a realistic picture of how their university applications will go.

So, how does she do this?

Well, after having her students use BridgeU to research universities and create their shortlists, Sara uses data reports to help them understand how their applications will go.

She discussed how she specifically pulls up the data on previous Overseas Family School students who have applied to universities her current students are interested in and their success rates. This helps her students understand how likely they are to be accepted and make well-informed decisions.

Find out more about how Overseas Family School uses BridgeU here!

Managing parents’ expectations with BridgeU

Now that your students have created a shortlist of best-fit universities using your data-driven insights, it’s time to meet with their parents and talk through their decision. 

We have seen recently that more parents want to be more involved with their children’s university applications. However, they don’t always have a good idea of their child’s performance, and may have unrealistic expectations for which university they want their child to attend.

This is where you can combine BridgeU’s tools and reports to help out!

Combining KTS Assessments with BridgeU Analytics

We recently talked to Deepali Aggarwal, Head of the Counselling Department at Strawberry Fields High School, about how she uses BridgeU’s KTS Assessments in conjunction with data when she meets with parents.

BridgeU provides students with access to a range of assessments, including learning style and personality tests. They also provide you with reports for each student that you can show parents to inform their university research and decision-making.

Combining assessment results with data such as students’ subject interests, applications, and university offers when reporting to parents can help ensure they have a solid understanding of their child’s academic options.

An example of data being pulled by students’ profile preferences on BridgeU

How has Deepali used personality tests and data in her meetings with parents?

Deepali shared with us recently how she’s been using BridgeU’s tools in combination with data to provide parents with helpful insights.

To do this, she has her students complete the KTS Assessments through BridgeU. Then, she uses their results as a discussion point during her one-on-one meetings with parents. 

“The students’ psychometric reports are extremely self-explanatory, so even if you’re not from a psychology background, they’re easy to understand and use in university research.”

Deepali Aggarwal, Head of the Counselling Department, Strawberry Fields High School

She also told us that the data provided by the assessment results helps provide students and parents with better clarity on what universities and courses they should research.

Find out more about how Strawberry Fields High School uses BridgeU here!

Learn more about BridgeU

As we’ve discussed, reporting can be a stressful part of a school counsellor’s job and it isn’t talked about nearly often enough.

But with BridgeU in your toolkit, you can easily create a curriculum that benefits your school’s leadership, students, and parents! 

To learn more about why BridgeU is currently trusted by over 1,000 international schools in over 140 countries, reach out to our Education Partnership team below.

Book a free demo

Learn how BridgeU can help deliver better outcomes for your students and improved results for your school