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I just wrapped up an incredible keynote event at the RACMAC conference for College Counselors in Colorado Springs, and I’m still buzzing!  This year’s highlight was hearing Brennan Barnard speak on “Igniting College Admissions.” 

Brennan is one of my guiding lights in this field and his message resonated with me.  He’s all about helping students find JOY in the college application process, which I wholeheartedly believe in.

Brennan was playful throughout the keynote. He invited us to explore our “Why?”  Why are we guiding students through this journey?  We participated in a fun exercise to create our “Sky Banner Message.” Imagine a giant banner flying overhead with a message to inspire our students. What would it say?  It was a great way to engage with each other, and I can’t wait to ask my students the same question! 

Brennan didn’t hold back on the resources!  He shared a “Crazy Book List” full of titles designed to make the college admissions process less transactional and more human-centered.  I can’t wait to dive in! 

Brennan Barnard is a must-follow if you’re a college counselor or anyone passionate about helping students navigate this exciting (and sometimes overwhelming) time.  His message is a breath of fresh air, and his focus on joy is exactly what we need to make this process empowering for everyone involved. Check out his podcast here! 

Check out his book here: The Truth about College Admissions: A Family Guide to Getting in and Staying Together, and his amazing book recommendations: 

Here’s a curated list of books that might interest you, complete with short descriptions to help you decide which ones to delve into:

Mindfulness + For Creating a Practice of Joy: 

Understanding Teenagers

Human Potential and Self-Care: 

Working with AI: 

Are you an IEC exploring ways to spread joy throughout the college admissions process? Join our Capstone Collaborative Community for tons of support and resources to up-level your practice!