Reset Boston had a great time attending the IECA conference in Seattle WA. It’s always an amazing opportunity to be collegial, stay in touch with the industry we work in, and learn more strategies for helping our young adults thrive!
IECA (Independent Educational Consultants Association) is a professional network of educational consultants. These consultants are an integral part of our industry, guiding families and young adults through the challenging and all-important process of selecting the right program to deliver on each client's unique needs. IECA gives these educational consultants the chance to network with each other, and also meet the program directors and coaches with whom their clients may one day work with.
Another great aspect of IECA is their breakout sessions. These are topic-driven workshops led by experienced professionals from within the industry. These workshops are a fantastic way for programs and educational consultants to learn new skills from their peers, and put their heads together to face the multitude of challenges that our young adult clients might present!
There were many insightful workshops but one in particular that really resonated with us was called "Adulting is Hard: Strategies for a Successful Launch". We’d like to give a huge shoutout to Celeste from STRiV Forward and Adrienne from Lighthouse Guidance for putting on such an informative presentation
What stood out for us were the key success factors; agency, integrated identity, and competency. These competencies were defined in research conducted by the University of Chicago Consortium on Chicago School Research. Here is how they broke them down.
Agency is the ability to make decisions, to take an active role in one's life, rather than sitting back and letting circumstances control everything. Integrated identity is a consistent sense of self across various social situations and time periods. Having an integrated identity gives one a solid base from which to make decisions for oneself. Competencies are the abilities we have that allow us to perform; to complete basic and advanced tasks or achieve specific goals.
In hearing about these competencies we couldn’t help but ruminate on how often our young adults lack these foundational skills. And how, without them, they find themselves lacking balance and struggling to succeed in their own lives.
This is why the work we do at Reset is fundamentally based on our students completing daily tasks that are coach supported and driven. The work we do takes place in the real world but with specific structured support in place. Our coaches work with students to create action items every single week, based on their goals and where they want to be.
By moving with students and meeting them where they are at, we help them build healthy habits and muscle memory. This process can’t happen effectively without building those three key success factors. As they build their sense of competency, students become more resilient and attain greater and greater agency. By working with our coaches or working with their own therapist, students explore their identity and work towards that integrated identity and healthier sense of self.
This breakout session was helpful in that it directly applied to, and helped us to think deeply about, the work we do and how we can achieve the greatest level of success with each and every client!
Overall this was a great conference and we’re deeply grateful for everything that we learned and all of the amazing people we were able to connect with!