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2022 Educational Sessions

Subject to change. Dates and times to be announced.

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In addition to a robust expo hall, lively events, and thoughtful networking opportunities, NACAC Conference 2022 features over 100 educational sessions.  See sessions curated for: School Counselors | Postsecondary | International | Independent Education Consultants | Community Based Organizations

Sessions marked with a are offered for NBCC credit hours.

 

2 + 2 = INEQUITIES: Crowdsourcing Data to Empower Financial Fit for Youth 

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

One way the NACAC community embodies a commitment to equity and social justice is through collaboration—sharing people, insights, and resources whenever possible to improve college access and success. But no matter the depth of our commitment to supporting one another, no amount of collaboration can make up for an absence of good data. This absence of data is most painfully evident when trying to prioritize financial fit during our students’ college search. As college pricing has become more and more opaque, the most important factor for low-income students—financial fit—has become by far the most difficult challenge to address. Moreover, the daunting lack of pricing clarity often deters the very students we aspire to help from engaging in the college search process in the first place. Learn how Chicago Scholars (IL) partnered with other like-minded organizations to crowdsource a single central data set of the actual prices that colleges offered. Not only has this new data resource significantly strengthened the depth of guidance our programs can provide regarding financial fit, but it also allows Chicago Scholars to hold partner colleges and universities accountable in the financial aid offers they provide to our students.

Learning Objective:
Increase your understanding of college access as it relates to financial fit.


2022 National Association of Regional Admission Counselors Survey Results 

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The 2022 NARAC (National Association of Regional Admission Counselors) Survey results provide eye-opening data about the state of regional college admission throughout the country, particularly in relation to the 2019 data. Learn about changing geographic trends, temporary and permanent workload increases (with and without appropriate compensation, training, and mentorship), cost of living “must-knows,” and other crucial information to optimize regional recruitment across the country. Take away helpful insights, whether you are a current or aspirant regional counselor, manage regional admission professionals, or are looking to launch a regional recruitment program.

Learning Objective:
Understand the differences between regionally based admission representatives and in-office admission staff.


60 Tips in 60 Minutes: How to Run a Successful Tour Guide Program 

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Student-guided tours are one of the key strategies in recruiting applicants to our universities/colleges. Whether you have five tour guides or more than 100, we all run into some of the same challenges. How do you keep student recruiters engaged, trained, organized, motivated, etc.? Hear from three unique universities that have very different perspectives on their programs. You will leave this session with 60 tangible tips to help build or strengthen your program!

Learning Objective:
Learn how to train student tour guides.


Achieving Enrollment Goals with a Resilient Admission Team 

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

According to higher education job search sites, nearly 2,000 positions are listed as “open” for enrollment professionals across the country. The scarcity of workers in today’s labor force has enrollment leaders wondering how they are going to complete the work necessary to achieve their goals. This comes at a hyper-transformational time when the work of admission offices has never been more crucial to an institution’s future. Meeting your enrollment goals while short-staffed requires a powerful communication plan that utilizes data, predictive modeling, and your CRM software system to focus and prioritize the work of your team on the right prospective students.

Learning Objective:
Develop strategies to increase a small staff’s productivity without causing burnout.


Achieving Resilient Enrollment Management Strategy in the Test-Optional Age

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Adapt, advance, and restore enrollment and student success in the test-optional age. Esteemed enrollment experts from campuses spanning selectivity, size, type, and geographic difference will reflect on their experiences with the pandemic-motivated adoption of test-optional admission policies. They’ll share lessons learned, offer wisdom gleaned, and provide practical guidance needed for sustaining enrollment strength .

Learning Objective:
Identify the most prevalent challenges (experienced differently across various campus types) that enrollment managers faced during the pandemic—specifically, those surrounding the rapid adoption of test-optional admission policies.


Actionable Insight for College Admission Teams from a National Survey of High School Counselors

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 

In the face of historic understaffing, many college enrollment teams are struggling to give prospective students—and the high school counselors who serve them—sufficient attention. Given this context, as well as the rapid shift in student circumstances brought on by the pandemic, it is more important than ever for college enrollment leaders to have a clear and up-to-date picture of what matters most to their key stakeholders on the high school side. Explore EAB data from a large-scale pandemic-era survey of high school counselors focused on how college enrollment leaders can better serve counselors and the college-bound students they support. Then gain further insight from high school counselors representing three distinct types of institutions.

Learning Objective:
Learn the three most important things college admission counselors can start doing immediately to better support high school counselors.


The Adolescent Brain Goes to College

Thursday, September 22, 9:15 AM - 9:45 AM

Research has shown that the adolescent brain is a work in progress and different from a fully developed adult brain. What does this mean for high school seniors applying to college? How does this impact their interactions with adults who manage this process and, ultimately, their decisions on where to attend college? Explore the impact of brain development during the teenage years and gain effective strategies for guiding adolescents through the college admission process.

Learning Objective:
Understand the difference between adolescent brain maturation and adult brain maturation.


Advising Prospective NCAA Student-Athletes 

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

 New to the NCAA Eligibility Center process? Get the facts about NCAA academic initial-eligibility requirements, the core course review process, recruiting basics, and the National Letter of Intent. Learn about changes and updates to the NCAA Division I and Division II initial eligibility requirements in response to COVID-19 and how these changes will impact prospective student-athletes.

Learning Objective:
Understand the NCAA's initial eligibility requirements.


Beyond Binary: Supporting LGBTQIA Students in the Common App

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

In today's political and legal climate, LGBTQIA students face unique challenges in applying to college. As Common App expands reporting options for gender, pronouns, and legal sex, a more inclusive application will raise questions about how students should respond, how counselors should advise, and how colleges treat the information. Learn about the research and principles on which these changes are based. We want to hear what these changes will mean for you and your students. Learn from your peers and help inform future resources and support offerings.

Learning Objective:
Understand national trends in students’ reported gender identity and pronoun selection in college applications as well as the growing range of options for legal sex and gender on state and national documents.


Beyond Email: Creative Outreach Opportunities

Friday, September 23, 11:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Without a dedicated communications department in your small high school counseling office, it can be difficult to grab your community's attention beyond bemoaning "Check your email." Learn about a small handful of free creative platforms that can help you reach students and families! From the mildly creative to the super-artistic, get ready to move beyond email.

Learning Objective:
Consider ways to reach an audience beyond email.


Black Excellence Leadership Roundtable 

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Hear from a panel of Black enrollment leaders with experience across diverse institutional contexts. Topics to be covered include advice for young professionals, finding a “right-fit” employer, the future of higher education, and reconciling your professional mission with institutional priorities.

Learning Objective:
Reflect on how to retain diverse professionals in the field of college admission.


Breaking Down Admission Barriers for Students from Title I Schools

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The Coalition for College’s new partnership with Scoir equips hundreds of thousands of students at Title I schools with tools to understand the college admission process and benefit from a simplified application experience. Hear how this partnership will help the Coalition’s collegiate members strengthen their connections to Title I schools and provide more support to low-income and underrepresented students. Come away with a deeper understanding of the Coalition’s access work, ranging from the new integrated application to engagement opportunities with students and their supporters.

Learning Objective:
Learn about an innovative new partnership that seeks to expand access to college support and resources for underserved students. Understand the Coalition’s access work.


Breaking Through the Divide: Practitioners and Scholars Building Trust and Collaboration for Change

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

How might we routinely engage in integrated and ongoing dialogues between researchers and practitioners in the admission field? Based on a forthcoming coming book, Rethinking College Admissions: Research-Based Practice and Policy, explore how building trust between researchers and professionals is the first step to creating change. Delve into the realm of research-to-practice, including lessons learned and the powerful potential of these collaborations.

Learning Objective:
Understand the power of research-to-practice partnerships.


Building Bridges through Dual Enrollment

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Hybrid education created the need to explore new learning opportunities for secondary school students. Dual enrollment gives students a chance to build confidence, explore options, and earn credits on a college campus. Explore a framework for dual enrollment using the recent partnership between Catholic Memorial (MA) and Wentworth Institute of Technology (MA) as a case study. The “CM-Squared” (Construction Management at Catholic Memorial) collaboration opened the door for students not typically enrolled in Advanced Placement classes to participate in rigorous college-level STEM coursework. Learn about the latest research supporting dual-enrollment initiatives, discuss logistics for launch, hear input from student participants, and take away a toolkit to help start your own dual enrollment collaboration.

Learning Objective:
Understand how dual enrollment can allow students of all ability levels to engage in college-level academics.


Building Resilience for Students with Learning Disabilities: A Bootcamp for Secondary Educators

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Prepare your students as they embark on their postsecondary journeys. Learn about the unique steps of identifying best-fit colleges or postsecondary programs for students beginning in ninth grade and identifying the levels of support available to students with learning disabilities. Explore how to secure and implement accommodations in college, review a timeline of “when to do what,” and much more. Walk away with ready-to-use resources and materials to build resilience for students with learning disabilities, specifically related to executive functioning and self-advocacy.

Learning Objective:
Leave with a timeline of “when” to do “what” when advising students with learning disabilities in seeking out accommodations in college, including variable documentation requirements to have in place before freshman year. Gain a better understanding of the accommodations intake meeting with a college’s office of disability services.


Check Yourself: Addressing COVID's Impact on Stress, Stereotypes, and Bias

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

The ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic include burnout, turnover, and understaffing, which exacerbate the risk of biases influencing our work. Now more than ever, we as college and admission counselors need to build our awareness of and ability to confront conscious and unconscious biases across our field and in our roles. Explore the state of research on stress and biases, consider the impact of bias on our organizations, and build strategies to address bias on both sides of the desk.

Learning Objective:
Establish a shared understanding of bias.


A Closer Look at Direct-Admit Programs in College Admission

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

Many colleges and universities have significantly increased the use of direct-admit placements in college admission—in programs for architecture, business, engineering, and nursing, among others. Learn about recent trends from admission directors at three public flagship universities. How have the universities’ enrollment profiles been shaped by direct admission? In what ways have programs benefited from direct-admit decisions? What opportunities exist (if any) for applicants who do not gain direct admission to their preferred academic program?

Learning Objective:
Gain specific information about direct-admit programs at three universities.


Collective Resiliency: Houston CBOs Differentiate First-Gen Supports

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

First-generation students of color often face intersectional challenges during their educational journey, and these difficulties were exacerbated by the disproportionate consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. This session highlights the differentiated work of four Houston college access organizations (EMERGE, OneGoal, BridgeYear, and Breakthrough Houston), serving first-gen college students in two- and four-year institutions as we continue to navigate the impact of COVID-19.

Learning Objective:
Examine the unique stressors specific to first-generation college students that impact persistence.


College Essay Guy’s Counselor Resource Extravaganza 

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Take an interactive tour through a wide range of over 200 resources—don’t worry, we’ll take dance breaks—geared specifically to high school counselors. Topics covered will include tips for leading dynamic essay workshops; essential counseling resources for a new office; 50-plus resources for LGBTQ+ students; what/when/how to reach students more effectively via email; social media templates for hyping campus events; and the best darn financial aid guide you’ve ever seen.

Learning Objective:
Gain practical resources to use with students right away.


College Possible: Helping Foster Youth Access Higher Education

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Youth in foster care are an overlooked student demographic in college readiness and access. Find out how to make college possible for this important group of students. Develop engaging strategies that speak to foster youth, foster parents, and caseworkers and learn how to identify resources and funding that make attending college a reality for youth.

Learning Objective:
Learn how recruiting foster youth aids in meeting DEI-related goals and objectives.


College Readiness Tools for Those Serving Students with Learning Differences

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

College counselors and educational consultants play an essential role in helping college-bound students who learn differently to successfully navigate the college search and application process. But increasingly, the path to college readiness for neurodiverse learners needs greater support than these professionals alone can provide. Explore a new model of collaboration supporting professionals who work with students with learning challenges and their families. Learn about new tools that showcase how those working with at-risk populations can increase student placement success through student- and family-centered relationships.

Learning Objective:
Familiarize yourself with tools to help you develop a deeper understanding of postsecondary variables to consider when working with students with learning differences and their families.


College-Ready Counselors: Resources for Resilience

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Resiliency asks that we accept change as a part of the process, nurture a positive view of ourselves, and bounce back from setbacks. Since the pandemic we have created systems of support for our students at a rapid pace. But how can we find the space for resiliency for ourselves when we don’t have the time, energy, or resources while supporting our students? Much of the work we do with students requires that we are prepared with a high level of college knowledge. We ask that students be college-ready, but are we as counselors college-ready? Do we have the necessary knowledge and resources to support the needs of our students? With limited budgets and an increase in educators leaving the profession, how are we staying current with college admission updates and processes? The kids are not ok, we are not ok—how can we create spaces of calm, support, and resilience?

Learning Objective:
Understand current changes in admission trends and their impact on the work we do to support students. Identify ways to stay current with the trends and remain resilient during difficult times and ongoing changes.


Committee-Based Evaluation: How Has the Model Endured and Evolved?

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic many admission offices were adopting new models of evaluation to meet increasing application volumes and staff demands. The past two admission cycles brought unimaginable new challenges to these evaluation processes. Hear from a few offices using committee-based evaluation to review applications and learn how they have continued to evolve and refine their processes to meet and plan beyond the changing enrollment landscape.

Learning Objective:
Learn how admission offices are managing this unique moment.


Connecting Theory and Practice for Staff Retention After "The Great Resignation"

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Nearly 20 million workers in the US left their jobs in the year 2021, launching the “Great Resignation.” Those who remain are now seeking ways to reignite their professional passion and motivate their staff to do the same while balancing the continual shift between remote and in-person work. Explore the connections between current research and real-world applications to address topics such as psychological safety, professional judgment, authentic presentation, and the development of coaching models. Come away with team-development tools to increase staff retention and meet the needs of an ever-changing multigenerational workforce.

Learning Objective:
Understand the complex nature of managing hybrid and/or fully remote teams.


Counselor Tips and Tools for Helping Students Understand Financial Aid and the College Decision Process

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Throughout the college admission process, counselors play a key role in helping students translate the language of financial aid. Learn and share specific ways to help students and families approach the issue of college affordability and understand their financial aid options as well as how to make the most of various tools and resources. Specific topics include net price calculators, the College Scorecard website, the FAFSA (including the mobile FAFSA app), uAspire's College Cost Calculator, steps after submitting the FAFSA (such as verification, reviewing financial aid offers, and common student loan questions), and more.

Learning Objective:
Gain helpful tools and resources to support students in their college selection and financial aid decisions.


Creating An Inclusive Environment for Transgender Students

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Learn best practices for working with transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming students, both during high school as they apply to college and after they’ve arrived on campus. Explore strategies and advice on the following topics: guiding students in completing applications and essays; writing the letter of recommendation; identifying trans-friendly colleges, including gender-neutral housing; finding potential scholarships; and more. Examine administrative challenges and opportunities at both high schools and colleges and review the national landscape of challenges faced by students, as well as recent victories and success stories.

Learning Objective:
Identify ways LGBTQIA+ students can best conduct their college search and present themselves in their applications.


Creating Inclusive Admission Practices for Military-Connected Students

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Although colleges have a desire to be military-friendly their policies and procedures often create unintended barriers for military-connected students. Additionally, students' journeys to college are unique, making a one-size-fits-all approach difficult. Examine the results of a qualitative research study to understand how service members describe their experiences during the predisposition, search, and choice stages of the college admission process. Come away with tangible actions your office can take to remove obstacles and create pathways to higher education.

Learning Objective:
Learn ways to be more inclusive to military-connected students.


Data is NOT a Four-Letter Word: Use It, Show Impact, and Excel

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Become more comfortable with data as you learn how to analyze college-readiness indicators, including college and financial aid applications. Become familiar with research-based strategies to reach larger numbers of students while measuring the impact of your hard work. Learn how to construct a data-driven goal and the steps needed to create a collaborative action plan for improvement. Expand your counselor toolkit with case studies of successful practices.

Learning Objective:
Write a college-focused goal statement and assess your school/organization’s college-readiness indicators.


Decolonize Your College Admission Mind

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Gain actionable ideas on how to refresh your college admission mindset via the lens of four island communities. In what ways do we unknowingly reinforce colonial hierarchies in our college admission practices? Let’s open a dialogue on how to build assets and strengths-based frameworks, especially with students from these island communities. Learn how to practice a strengths-based mindset and ways to infuse culturally responsive counseling, recruitment, and retention practices into your office. Lastly, learn why your students should consider the institutions of higher education on Guam, Hawai’i, Puerto Rico, and the Commonwealth of Northern Mariana Islands.

Learning Objective:
Gain firsthand knowledge of culturally responsive counseling, recruitment, and retention practices.


The Demographic Cliff: The Impact on Recruitment of Black Students

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

The national demand for four-year college-bound high school graduates is projected to drop by 5 percent from 2020 to 2030. This is a result of the decline in birth rates during the 2008 recession and financial crisis. While all institutions will have to reckon with this shift, Historically Black Colleges and Universities will have to respond uniquely as more resources are spent to recruit Black and ethnic minority students. Take a deep dive into what this data means and learn strategies to effectively target and recruit Black students.

Learning Objective:
Understand data on the demographic cliff.


Demystifying ROI: Build a Data-Driven Recruitment Strategy

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

The University of Vermont increased investment in recruitment partners but lacked a strategy to measure performance and the impact on the student pipeline. To tackle this challenge, they built a measurement framework using Slate data, partner data, and costs to objectively evaluate the ROI of each partner. They also added a subjective metric around relationship health, highlighting what they valued most from recruitment partners. The practice resulted in transparent, data-driven conversations with partners to uncover new opportunities. This resilient recruitment strategy and partner portfolio optimizes the student pipeline for future classes.

Learning Objective:
Identify the key performance indicators (KPIs) that matter most to your admission organization. Understand how to use a partner measurement framework to measure your return on investment (ROI).


Dialogue Matters: Building Resilience with Difficult Conversations at PWIs

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

George Floyd’s murder led to questions about the role of systemic racism entrenched in police policy and practice. Likewise, professionals in higher education began in earnest to question their institutions’ policies and practices. The outcome was a seismic shift among institutions to become antiracist. Sadly, the follow-up has not been met with the same energy and enthusiasm as the initial proclamation. Releasing strong statements against social injustice and racist practices is a start, but not enough. Identify and develop dialogue topics to strengthen recruitment of historically underrepresented students and develop strategies to create a culture that acknowledges and addresses the opportunity for change in your organizational spaces.

Learning Objective:
Identify the gaps that can exist in admission offices that challenge antiracist dialogues.


Disabled isn't a Dirty Word: Tips for an Accessible Admission Office

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

Learn ways to make your admission office more accessible for disabled students and reduce the stigma associated with disability in higher education. Take away tips and best practices to transform the way you serve this important population of students.

Learning Objective:
Take away at least three practices you can implement in your own admission office to become more accessible for disabled students.


Do More Than Survive: How BIPOC Professionals Can Thrive at PWIs

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

In ​We Want to Do More Than Survive, author Dr. Bettina Love urges educators to embody the rebellious spirit of abolitionists to achieve educational freedom for our students and ourselves. Tapping into our own rebellious spirits, explore how BIPOC professionals can support themselves and each other as we navigate predominantly white institutions. From how to approach self-advocacy to developing support systems within and beyond our school communities, discuss how BIPOC can thrive in professional environments and achieve educational freedom.

Learning Objective:
Identify resources for mentorship, support, and community for BIPOC professionals in cases where those resources may not exist at the institutional level.


Dollars, and Pounds, and Euros…Oh My! Paying for Your Degree Abroad 

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Many students from the United States feel restricted in their options for pursuing a full degree abroad due to the assumed price tag of studying overseas. Learn common myths about the cost of an international education and discover some options to make this dream a reality, including using US financial aid outside of the US, scholarships, and international work opportunities. Examine some unique financial advantages of studying in the UK, Ireland, France, and Spain.

Learning Objective:
Identify financial aid sources for students pursuing a full degree abroad.


 

Effective Student Support Services for Postsecondary Readiness

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

As students transition between grade levels and into postsecondary opportunities after graduation, it has become vital to provide comprehensive student support services to meet students’ academic, social/emotional, and physical needs. During the pandemic, student needs expanded to require purposeful wraparound services, increased family engagement, and innovative postsecondary readiness strategies. As a result, we implemented intentional student support services to address and support the whole student and family. Reflect on lessons learned during the pandemic, including the need to meet student and family needs differently to achieve increased student success and postsecondary readiness.

Learning Objective:
Explore effective wraparound services to meet students’ academic, social/emotional, and physical needs.


Engaging Younger Students for College Success

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

The current admission cycle typically begins in a student’s junior year. Underserved populations, however, may need an earlier jump-start to meet the same levels of readiness as their more privileged peers. Learn the importance of outreach during the ninth and 10th grade years and hear success stories from urban and rural settings. Explore the need for secondary and collegiate partnerships to make these early interactions possible.

Learning Objective:
Demonstrate the importance of early engagement in college and career exploration.


Ethical Implications of Holistic Admission: Doing the Right Thing

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

College admission is going through a period of profound change. Past practices that were widely accepted are being questioned with respect to equity, ethics, and fundamental fairness. As colleges gravitate toward holistic admission, including the elevation of character attributes, admission offices must address underlying ethical issues. Identify important ethical and philosophical issues, where ethical problems or dilemmas may occur, and implications for the future of college admission.

Learning Objective:
Internalize the idea that admission has ethical implications.


Fires, Floods, and Border Closures: Focus on Australian Resilience in Higher Education

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Not only did Australia have some of the world's strictest COVID-19 border and lockdown controls preventing students from coming onshore and on to campus, but the country was faced with additional challenges such as significant flooding and fires. Learn about the overall higher education landscape of Australia, with an emphasis on the creative methods used to provide consistent access to international learning and student support throughout the past two years. Explore admission processes, financial aspects, online and distance delivery beyond the pandemic, and accessibility to higher education in Australia.

Learning Objective:
Become familiar with the Australian Higher Education System.


First Year, Transfer OR Community College? Oh My !

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

The road to higher education is filled with uncertainties and opportunities. Even the most informed students may feel lost after high school graduation (especially in a post-pandemic world) and debate the pros and cons of choosing a first-year or transfer enrollment pathway. These feelings can be compounded by low academic performance, access to resources, and fear of financial commitment. Through a lens of transparency, equity, and access, discuss and workshop the advantages of strong partnerships among first-year admission teams, transfer admission teams, and local community colleges to maximize student success. Examine several case studies and a robust model of transfer pathways.

Learning Objective:
Demonstrate positive cooperation between the first-year and transfer admission process.


The Forgotten Applicant: International Students in US High Schools

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Due to shifting trends as well as the pandemic, international students are joining high schools at different grade levels than in the past. How can counselors guide international students through the necessary application documents? Hear from counselors, universities, and an educational tech company on supporting international students in the US, particularly with English proficiency requirements and testing.

Learning Objective:
Learn strategies to support international students in US high schools.


The Future is Here: Using Performance Assessment in College Admission  

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

As colleges respond to the holistic and test-optional admission movements—trends that were further catalyzed by the COVID-19 pandemic—the use of performance-based assessment in admission has emerged as one promising way to foster more equitable access and success in college. Learn why and how the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and others (including the City University of New York and Massachusetts Institute of Technology) already incorporate K-12 performance assessment information in their admission decisions. Discuss the processes and systems needed to support these strategies. Then learn more about the Reimagining College Access initiative, which since 2017 has been working with a broad coalition of K-12 and higher education leaders—including NACAC—to explore and support the use of performance assessment information in college admission, placement, and advising.

Learning Objective:
Understand why incorporating information gleaned from the use of performance-based assessments into college admission is a promising approach for expanding college access. Learn how this practice relates to the trends of holistic and test-optional admission.


The Future of ACT/SAT-Optional and Test-Blind/Score-Free Admission

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

More than 1,800 colleges and universities did not require applicants to submit ACT/SAT scores for fall 2022 admission. At least 1,650 schools have extended those policies through fall 2023 and, in many cases, years beyond. Why have so many schools dropped testing mandates and what are the initial impacts? How many of these policies will become permanent? What are the long-term implications for equity and inclusion? How will the college application process change for high school students and admission offices? Hear from leaders of major institutions that have adopted test-optional and test-blind policies.

Learning Objective:
Understand the current status of admission testing requirements.


The Future of Race-Conscious Admission: Update on the UNC and Harvard Cases 

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Hear an update on SFFA vs. University of North Carolina and other relevant cases. How did we get here and what are the prospects of race-conscious admission policies being overturned by the US Supreme Court? What steps are being taken in support of the use of race in admission decisions? What will be the impact of this decision on admission practices? Join us for a robust discussion (with more questions than answers).

Learning Objective:
Understand the context and issues in the US Supreme Court cases involving race-conscious admission.


The Gatekeepers at 20: Revisiting a Journalist's Embed in an Admission Office

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

In September 2002, Viking published The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College. The author, Jacques Steinberg, a journalist at The New York Times, recounted a year as an observer inside the admission office of Wesleyan University (CT). The portrait that emerged—of admission officers Rafael Figueroa, Amin Abudl-Malik Gonzalez, and colleagues, as well as several applicants—was human and nuanced. Now in its 28th printing, the book will  mark the 20th anniversary of its publication in September. Discuss what has changed in holistic admission in the years since—and what endures.

Learning Objective:
Gain historical perspective on the last two decades in college admission as grounding for a discussion of the current state of the profession and how it will continue to change in the years ahead.


Grit, Fit and 0ther Ideas that Failed to Help Low-Income Students

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Popular academic ideas often fail to account for the lived experiences and preferences of low-income and underrepresented students. Academics often overlook the important influence of cultural and social factors in student choices, which leads to promising research ideas failing in practice. Explore the real-world implications of some popular academic ideas, often almost exclusively applied to low-income and underrepresented students, such as nudges, grit, fit, and undermatching, as well as the rise of test-optional policies.

Learning Objective:
Rethink how you position students in the admission process (both as a counselor and an admission professional).


"He's So Articulate": Avoiding Bias in Recommendation Letters

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Recommendation letters provide valuable insight and can sometimes tip the scales in admission and scholarship decisions. College counselors are well-positioned to provide unique, first-hand accounts of our interactions with students, but what happens when bias creeps into letters? Learn about a framework for approaching letters through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens and access an adaptable resource to help you build a resilient and sustainable anti-bias letter-writing culture at your school.

Learning Objective:
Develop a stronger understanding of various types of bias. Examine how bias can affect recommendation letters.


Helping Transfers Cross the Bridge: Addressing and Destigmatizing University Affordability Concerns

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Understanding how to finance an education is a barrier that keeps many transfer students from finishing their degree. Beyond the need for financial aid literacy, differences in receiving institutions' processes and societal misconceptions of financial aid add additional barriers. Discuss how we can communicate and destigmatize financial aid through a critical race theory framework, review current financial literacy legislation, and examine research-based suggestions for receiving institutions on helping students understand their financing options. Share your own insights and hear tips and strategies from your colleagues and current transfer students.

Learning Objective:
Discuss how to use a framework of critical race theory in conversations of financial aid and financing education.


High School Perspectives for Our College Admission Colleagues

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Admission folks, we'd love for you to hear our “side” of the story. Whether you want to understand how college policies and procedures play out on the high school side or you are considering a move to the other side of the desk, join us for a panel and Q&A discussion designed to provide a high school perspective on search, applications, and decision-making.

Learning Objective:
Understand how college policies/procedures "land" with high school students.


How to Level the Playing Field for First-Generation, Low-Income Students 

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

First-generation, low-income students face several barriers and equity issues when applying to and attending college. Examine data and evidence collected from literature, policies, and professional experiences to identify roadblocks and ways to make the admission and education process more equitable. Discuss the correlation between institutional DEI initiatives, student success, and satisfaction. Then explore the roles college counseling plays in diversifying the student body as well as ways counseling and admission can influence student body demographics.

Learning Objective:
Identify and recognize barriers that first-generation, low-income students and students of color face. Understand how removing these barriers provides a more equitable education process for all students.


How to Make Sense of a Post-Covid Admission Landscape That Makes No Sense

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

The pandemic upended the college admission process, maybe forever. Test-optional policies, the ever-rising volume of applications at selective campuses (and flat and falling numbers elsewhere), and the loss of so much school time for this generation of applicants has made the admission process for both applicants and institutions fraught with even more ambiguity. Explore the advice counselors are providing to applicants in this new world and how colleges are adjusting their evaluation processes to reach enrollment goals. Examine what steps both sides can take to widen the lens of the college search for students to develop more balanced lists and what admission offices need to do to make the process less stressful and more transparent for both applicants and the colleges themselves.

Learning Objective:
Explore ways to make the college admission process more transparent and better understood by members of both the college side and the high school/CBO/IEC sides of the process.


How Your International Recruitment Strategy Should Differ From Domestic

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Does your institution have a strategy for communicating with prospective international students? Discuss strategies for differentiating marketing campaigns for domestic and international audiences. Learn how the University of Houston (TX) and Alamo Colleges District (TX) segment their audience and develop targeted communications, through email, social media, print, events, and other modalities. learn how to adapt existing marketing collateral to resonate with international audiences and how craft specific messages that address the concerns of international students.

Learning Objective:
Understand the need for differentiated marketing strategies. Explore the complexities of communication with students from different cultural and lingual backgrounds.


In Defense of Boundaries

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

“Love what you do and never work a day in your life.” While a lovely sentiment, this adage can turn harmful–especially for those in “helper” professions like education–if not paired with carefully considered and firm boundaries. Join us for a conversation about boundaries: what they are, how to establish them, and why they are especially important coming out of the COVID-19 pandemic. Hear how developing these boundaries can influence institutional cultures that concurrently value high productivity and effectiveness with sustainability and balance, both for an organization and its personnel.

Learning Objective:
Gain the ability to articulate why professional boundaries promote resilience.


Increasing Refugee Access to Higher Education

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Today, there are 84 million forcibly displaced persons across the world. Many are young people with dreams and aspirations. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, only 5 percent of refugee youth are enrolled in colleges or universities. Significant barriers—including lack of access to internet connectivity, standardized testing, travel documentation, information, and college counseling—prevent refugees from fulfilling their potential. Learn about the challenges refugees face and what we can do to make higher education more accessible to them. Help chart a better path forward for refugees across the world and for universities that stand to gain from their immense talents and skills.

Learning Objective:
Understand the challenges that refugees face in accessing higher education.


International Enrollment Management Standards for Institutions

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

View the American International Recruitment Council’s draft international enrollment management standards for institutions and provide feedback that will be incorporated into the final standards. The standards will provide guidance in serving the best interests of international students, your institution, and your recruitment partners. This is especially important as the field recovers and expands after the COVID-19 pandemic. The five areas of the standards to be covered are: mission and goals; institutional effectiveness for international enrollment management; marketing and recruitment; admission and enrollment; and student well-being and services.

Learning Objective:
Learn the different areas of the international enrollment management standards.


Inventing the Financial Aid Case Study

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

Examine aid awards and use resources to better understand the true cost of college. This is a hands-on session, so bring a laptop! All participants will walk away with modifiable tools they can use in their counseling offices.

Learning Objective:
Walk away with a better understanding of how EFC is determined and how colleges create financial aid awards.


It Takes a Village to Recruit a Transfer Student

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM 

Learn how to build cross-departmental transfer champions, create efficiencies in administrative systems and processes, and use best practices to market your institution to transfer students. Through a combination of expert speakers, peer-to-peer networking, and facilitated activities, you’ll leave the session with a better answer to the question: How do I make my institution more transfer-friendly? Explore the transfer landscape, discuss transfer best practices, and work with your colleagues to complete a facilitated activity.

Learning Objective:
Understand the transfer landscape.


Knowledge is Power: Data Literacy for College Counselors

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

In an era where it seems like there's access to more information than ever, how do college counselors parse through the noise to find reliable data sources, understand data sets, and convey information to students and parents? Learn about data sources in higher education, including IPEDS, Common Data Set, and College Scorecard and review how to gather and utilize data for use in college counseling. Walk away with recommendations to help you get started and stay up-to-date on the latest data trends in higher ed.

Learning Objective:
Become familiar with the most relevant data sets in higher education and how to find data specific to their students.


Leader’s Guide to Change Strategy and Consensus-Building

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Marketing leaders are often burdened with the task of institution-wide change—something that comes with immense challenge and strategic reward. In this dynamic and demanding post-pandemic world, leaders need strategic frameworks to guide their thinking around managing conceptual change and consensus from within and across the institution. In this presentation, two established change leaders will share best practices, examples, and models for success as you prepare for your own strategic change efforts.

Learning Objective:
Learn institutional change and consensus strategies and models for effective large-scale change management.


Managing Staffing when the Hiring "Cycle" No Longer Exists

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Many enrollment leaders now experience the departure of staff throughout the year, rather than during the (former) cycle of spring/summer hiring. This change has impacted the high-volume work periods of recruitment and selection. Engage in a supportive conversation on how we can manage our enrollment priorities and sustain supportive work environments while also managing unstable staffing throughout the year. Our panelists represent three uniquely different institutions with varying leadership and budget structures that influence potential methods of intervention and adaptation.

Learning Objective:
Engage in strategic planning for effective staffing.


Managing the Physical and Mental Challenges of Admission: Ways to Stay Balanced in a Demanding Career 

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Life can be very hectic on both sides of the desk. Discuss how to address common stressors and how to carve out time to achieve your own work-life balance. Get out of your seat to practice deep-breathing and stretching exercises that can help you with every situation—from long plane rides to sitting in front of your computer for extended periods. (Wear comfy and appropriate clothes!) The movements will be inclusive for all bodies and abilities. No matter what stage in your journey you are at, get on more friendly terms with your stress and learn ways to mitigate it.

Learning Objective:
Learn deep-breathing methods and stretching exercises to help manage stress and physical discomfort while in the office.


The Melt Chronicles: How to Overcome Next Summer’s Melt

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The heat is on. So often students work tirelessly to apply to colleges and universities. The students and their families are excited to learn about their acceptances and to commit to a school. Then during the summer months students and families are left to figure out “what’s next.” Because of the limited counseling services students receive, some tend to “melt.” Using the voices of students who melted, learn about student melt, why it occurs, and how to overcome next summer’s melt.

Learning Objective:
Discover how to identify students early in the college process who might melt.


Navigating Identity Intersections Through Leadership and Growth Opportunities

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

A recent NACAC report, DEI Challenges in the College Admission Counseling Profession, highlights the underrepresentation of BIPOC professionals in leadership positions. Opportunities for growth and advancement often come when least expected and in places we do not anticipate. Successful transitions into these senior roles, especially for BIPOC professionals and those tied to traditionally underserved communities, can be inhibited by unfamiliar institutional contexts and limited access to mentorship. Hear testimonials and guidance on how to transition between academic settings, navigate new institutional contexts, and leverage key networks to promote sustainable success for those seeking leadership roles.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to leverage your personal identity in order to advance your professional goals.


A New Tool to Help Students with the Common App

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

As we strive to increase access for underserved students, we need to pay more attention to how the actual mechanics of applying for admission can be a barrier. Data from the Common Application suggest that students who use the platform tend to skew toward those with college-educated, wealthier parents. And additional data suggests that hundreds of thousands of students who create a Common App account never apply to a single member institution. Members of the Independent Educational Consultants Association recently partnered with professional instructional designers from Oregon State University’s award-winning Ecampus to create a free Common App Companion video series to walk students through the process from start to finish. Come see how the tool works and brainstorm ways the Companion can serve students most in need of college admission guidance.

Learning Objective:
Learn about a new tool to assist first-generation students.


Not Your Model Minority: Examining the Complexities of Asian America

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

The model minority myth perpetuates the idea that Asian American students are rule-following academic overachievers who play the piano. Through natural brilliance or their by-the-bootstraps immigrant values, they are achievers of the American Dream. So how is the model minority myth harmful? It treats Asian Americans as a monolithic group, ignores the individuality of each student, and implies that they don’t experience racism or need external support. Explore the model minority myth, discuss disaggregated data, and learn suggestions for working with Asian American students during the college process.

Learning Objective:
Understand how the model minority myth can impact the college process on both sides of the desk.


Oh, The Spaces We Will Go! Embracing Uncertainty with Event Planning

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Overwhelmed by pandemic event planning? Learn how staff at four colleges have pivoted from in-person to virtual and back again. Hear how professionals from East Carolina University (NC), North Carolina Central University, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Stetson University (FL) joined together to support each other personally and professionally, and then bounced ideas off of one another to manage recruitment and event planning in-person, virtually, and in hybrid models. Discuss how to create effective virtual programs, balance multiple recruiting modes, and make the most of a student’s visit on campus.

Learning Objective:
Learn to create effective and resilient event plans.


Other Duties as Assigned: The (Unofficial Yet Essential) Role of Black College Counselors in Independent Schools 

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

As Black college counselors working in independent schools, our mere existence can be countercultural to the communities we serve. Join a group of independent school college counselors of color, relatively new to their roles, as they shed light on the BIPOC counseling experience and share the challenges, opportunities, and successes they’ve experienced in their roles. How do we support one another? How do we show up authentically while still establishing credibility with our colleagues, students, and families? What does access and equity look like when primarily working with privileged families? And how do we encourage, support, and uplift our underrepresented students to thrive in the college admission process?

Learning Objective:
Enter a safe space for folks of color who work in predominantly white school communities to discuss the complex challenges and opportunities faced by counselors of colors. Receive support and resources.


Out of the Recycling Bin and into the Metaverse: Four Ways to Rethink Paper Marketing Using Mobile AR 

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Mobile augmented reality (AR) allows students to use their smartphones to view a 3D digital holographic experience layered on top of the real world. Explore four examples of mobile AR in university marketing: a playful 3D hologram of a school mascot that pops out of a marketing brochure; a business card that displays a 3D interactive menu; a lapel pin that launches a 3D animation; and a fully self-guided campus tour that uses augmented reality instead of a tour guide. Explore DIY approaches to create mobile AR experiences in the Unity platform as well as no-code alternatives.

Learning Objective:
Acquire a deeper understanding of mobile augmented reality and the technology that drives it.


Outside the Comfort Zone into the Connection Zone: Instagram Essentials

Friday, September 23, 1:45 PM - 2:15 PM

Interested in starting an Instagram account to help your college counseling office communicate with students? If you are new to Instagram, you’ve come to the right place! Discuss how to encourage students to follow your account, how to create simple and professional posts with primarily textual content, and how to use Instagram stories to your advantage.

Learning Objective:
Gain the basic skills needed to create an Instagram account and learn ways to encourage Instagram followers.


The Pontem Path: College Readiness for First-Generation College Students

Saturday, September 24, 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Learn about the Pontem Path, a successful model that has helped create a pathway to college for student participants in San Diego, California. The Pontem Path is built upon a foundation of connectedness and education. Student participants leverage relationships with program counselors and take part in a series of workshops to help gain a better understanding of the skills necessary to obtain acceptance to and success in college. In addition, the program’s partnership with the University of San Diego allows students to access resources available at the institution and eliminates existing barriers of entry.

Learning Objective:
Learn about a successful bridge program for first-generation college students.


Portland State University's Admitted Student Questionnaire: A Case Study

Friday, September 23 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

Review the three-year evolution of the undergraduate Admitted Student Questionnaire (ASQ) at Portland State University (OR). Presented as an interactive case study, the session will: 1) clearly define the unique institutional culture and student population of Portland State, 2) provide insight into annual changes made to the ASQ, 3) share ideas for future survey cycles, and 4) offer helpful takeaways for other enrollment management teams looking to implement a similar iterative and collaborative home-grown annual survey project.

Learning Objective:
Gain insight into the survey development and analysis processes of an undergraduate admitted student questionnaire at a large, four-year, public, urban, research institution.


The Power of SIGs: Serving our Membership and Broadening our Reach During the Pandemic

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Learn how the Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling used Special Interest Groups (SIGs) as a way to connect and engage members and provide programming that served a broader group of counselors in Delaware, DC, Maryland, Virginia, and West Virginia. Discover how this NACAC affiliate designed, promoted, and implemented programing during the pandemic and beyond while expanding the number of SIGs and growing its regional membership.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to build a SIG structure within your regional organization.


Prison to University Pipeline: Illuminating Pathways for Incarcerated and Returning Scholars 

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

While more than 35 percent of American adults have earned at least a bachelor’s degree, fewer than 1 percent of individuals who have been incarcerated have done so. Learn about efforts already underway to assist this population in degree attainment. Then discuss ways admission officers, college counselors, and professionals at nonprofit organizations can tap into their experience and expertise to support aspiring college students who are incarcerated or making the transition back to their communities.

Learning Objective:
Examine the many hurdles that incarcerated scholars and those returning to society face in seeking postsecondary access and success.


Promoting Your School Counseling Program Through Social Media

Thursday, September 22, 2:45 PM - 3:15 PM

We're told as educators to meet kids where they're at and today that means on social media. Does your counseling team have social media accounts? How are you currently utilizing them? Learn how to create an Instagram account or take your existing account to the next level! Create relevant content to connect, inform, and engage students in all that your school counseling program has to offer.

Learning Objective:
Create a school counseling Instagram account.


Prospective Family Engagement: A Path to Equity Through Access to Information

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Using data from a 2022 study conducted in collaboration with 30 institutions from across the US, learn strategies to ensure better and more equitable access to college information for all students. The study includes data collected from more than 6,000 families of prospective college students at an array of private, public, and two-year institutions. Delve into data points that highlight how communication preferences (both in channel and frequency) are tied to income and family college experience (first-generation status)—and learn how these variations can result in a lack of equity in access to key college planning information.

Learning Objective:
Learn how equity in access to college information is key to equity in access to higher education.


Proud to be First: Tools and Strategies to Empower First-Generation Families

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

We all work with students who are first: first to attend college (or first to attend college in the United States), first to attend an independent school, first to consider colleges that their families have never heard of or never imagined would be possible. How and when do we engage with populations who are first? And how do we instill a sense of pride to be first, whatever first might be? Learn specific techniques to engage with first-generation families. Topics will include understanding the emotions of first-generation students and families, parent weekend programming, exposure opportunities, faculty support, and community-based organization collaboration. In a constantly evolving admission landscape, the techniques we utilize as professionals must cater to the specific needs of our families. Further your understanding of how it feels to be “first-gen” and take away shareable resources to help you serve students and families.

Learning Objective:
Develop a more nuanced understanding of first-generation students and families.


Proven Approaches to Maximizing Admissions Efforts

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

With competition heating up, maximizing admissions efforts is key to getting ahead. From engaging prospective students to authentically highlighting your institution in tours to acing acceptance announcements, every moment matters — and can be the difference between welcoming a large or small incoming class. Join Kennesaw State University, Cabrini University, and Illinois College to learn how different institutions are tackling these challenges and driving unbelievable results. They’ll share proven strategies for making the most of every engagement opportunity, enhancing the admission process, and standing out from the competition — all while saving time and money.


Public School Counselors Demonstrating Resiliency in Tough Times

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Hear concrete examples and take away practical ideas on how to enhance or grow your college counseling program and demonstrate resiliency during these challenging times. A panel of seasoned public secondary school counselors will answer your tough questions and provide advice about what to do during this highly interactive session. Online resources and materials will be shared.

Learning Objective:
Access resources specifically aimed at helping public school counselors.


Public Service Loan Forgiveness: What's New  

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program has implemented temporary changes in recent months, making this the perfect time to refresh your knowledge of the program and find out what’s new. Learn about the PSLF—what it is, eligible borrowers, eligible loans, eligible payments, how to keep on track, how to apply for forgiveness, and where to get information to share with your students. Then delve into PSLF reconsideration, through which borrowers can request reconsideration of qualifying employment or payment determinations. You’ll also learn about the limited PSLF waiver, which allows borrowers to receive credit for past periods of repayment on certain loans that would otherwise not qualify for PSLF.

Learning Objective:
Understand how the PSLF program works.


Push, Pause, or Pivot: Charting Your Professional Path

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

We’re emerging from the fog of the last two years and things have changed. In this new world, remote work is a real option and we have higher expectations of institutions to support and develop their teams. Many of us are reevaluating what lights us up professionally. We’re wrestling with how our current positions fit, whether loving our job matters, and what other opportunities may be out there. Discuss when to stay, when to go, how to rebound from a setback, and when it might be time to start over.

Learning Objective:
Develop strategies to tackle typical professional roadblocks.


Queering College Admission

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The most recent Gallup poll states 5.6 percent of US adults identify as a member of the LGBTQIA+ community—a notable increase from 4.5 percent in 2017. Millennials and Gen Zers are more likely to identify as LGBTQIA+ than previous generations, meaning incoming college classes are likely to include more LGBTQIA+ students than ever before. Inclusion starts before your first conversation with a potential student. Gain insight on queer inclusion in the college admission process and learn best practices as well as language for navigating preferred names and pronouns. Learn how to anticipate the needs of queer students.

Learning Objective:
Gain awareness of changing demographics and best practices.


Quick, Easy, and Actionable College Essay Feedback: Less Frustration. More Focus. Better Essays!

Thursday, September 22, 10:00 AM - 10:30 AM

How much time do you spend reviewing college essays? Are your students taking full advantage of your feedback? Giving feedback to students on college essays can be time-consuming and a bit of a mystery. How much or little to offer? Will it make sense to them, and will they know what to do with it? Explore a diagnostic and feedback approach built on a framework professional writers use to communicate clearly and intentionally. You'll leave with printed and online resources to share with students, parents, teachers, and colleagues.

Learning Objective:
Develop a context in which to give feedback on essays.


Racism is (Also) Resilient: How White Supremacy Persists in Equitable Admission  

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Resilience is not exclusive to the forces of good in the universe. Racism is also resilient. Enter a dialogue with colleagues as panelists pose thought-provoking questions about how white supremacy is still present in our equitable admission practices. This session is not designed to be instructive; rather, it is intended to raise uncomfortable questions for admission practitioners to ask themselves as we dismantle racism and white supremacy in college admission.

Learning Objective:
Identify and acknowledge white supremacy in the college admission process.


The Real Scoop on Paying for College: Students’ and Families’ Expectations vs. Reality

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

While most families agree that college is an investment in their student’s future, many are confused and stressed about paying for that education. Learn what college-bound high school families know and expect when it comes to paying for college, and how that compares to the realities experienced by currently enrolled undergraduates. Then investigate how families’ understanding of available funding sources, attitudes, and behaviors change as they progress on their higher education journey. Gain insights from two new research studies by Sallie Mae and Ipsos, College Confidence: What America Knows About Paying for College and How America Pays for College 2022. Take away tips and best practices to help your students successfully plan to pay for college.

Learning Objective:
Learn what the families of college-bound high school students know about paying for college.


Resiliency Through Collaboration: Delivering an Effective Developmental School Counseling Curriculum at the High School Level

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM

Research shows that comprehensive school counseling programs have positive outcomes on student achievement and increase the likelihood of students enrolling in college. We also know that counselors are stretched thin in many high schools, particularly in public high schools, and must find creative ways to expand their bandwidth. Learn how a large, urban, public high school is developing an effective comprehensive counseling program in collaboration with counselors, administrators, and teachers and see how skills developed during the pandemic ultimately enriched in-person learning. Come away with useful resources that can be adapted for your own counseling program and gain beneficial insight into developing a school counseling curriculum. Those on the admission side of the table, meanwhile, will gain a bird’s-eye view of challenges that high school counselors face and ways that they may be able to collaborate with their local high schools to help enrich school counseling programs.

Learning Objective:
Understand how to develop an effective school counseling program in a public high school.


Rethinking the School Profile: Are We Sharing What Colleges Need?

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Emerging research suggests secondary school profiles and the needs of admission offices are poorly aligned. From grade distributions and course offerings to matriculation lists and graduation rates, assembling a lean school profile is difficult and nuanced. Discuss common disconnects and best practices for constructing a high school profile that tells the story of your community and also gives admission offices what they need.

Learning Objective:
Identify the most critical pieces of information to include in a school profile.


Shaping Global Citizens: The Role of International Ed in a Changing World

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

The past two years have taught students to be resilient, adaptable, and ready for the unexpected—precisely the skills that will help them be successful college students in a new country and culture. International education shapes culturally competent, forward-thinking global citizens. With ever-selective admission processes and annual tuition hikes, the list of affordable and attainable bachelor’s degree programs in the US is shrinking. Students are looking for better options, focusing on affordability, student body diversity, and exciting post-graduation outcomes. Explore the various benefits of pursuing degrees abroad and tackle the perceived barriers to an international education.

Learning Objective:
Gain an understanding of the accessibility and nontraditional benefits of international education.


"Should I Stay or Should I Go?": Supporting Students Through Challenges in Their First Year of College

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Even when a student finds a great college match, no first year is perfect. A student might return to their admission or college counselor with questions about fitting in, handling college work and professors, paying for college, or what to do after getting passed over by the fraternity or sorority they dreamed of joining. Sometimes they just miss home. Professionals in student success, college counseling, and enrollment management draw on research, theory, and experience to discuss how admission counselors and college counselors can support student resilience through the difficulties of the first year of college.

Learning Objective:
Gain insight to prepare you for conversations with former advisees about overcoming adversity in the first year of college.


So…Who Wants to be a Chief Enrollment Management Officer?

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

As if building a career off the decisions of teenagers wasn't hard enough, the demographic cliff and global pandemic have created an incredibly complicated environment in which to lead enrollment efforts. But, for the intrepid folks who are thinking of taking the baton, a new survey of chief enrollment management officers provides a glimpse into who serves in these leadership roles and the greatest challenges they face. Examine aspects such as salary ranges, diversity, reporting structure, skills critical to success, and the issues—existing and emerging—that come with leading an enrollment operation.

Learning Objective:
Learn about the characteristics of chief enrollment officers.


Started from the Bottom, Now We're Here: Maintaining Resilience During Organizational Change

Friday, September 23, 11:45 AM - 12: 15 AM

In his 2013 hit, Started from the Bottom, hip hop artist Drake recounts his journey from humble beginnings and his meteoric rise to fame. In a similar vein, learn about the many challenges faced by one team as they attempted to rebuild a dormant alumni advising program. Hear their story and examine ways alumni advising can remain steadfast amid organizational change. Discuss major accomplishments, opportunities for future growth, and how other high school and college preparatory professionals focused on alumni advising can start from the bottom and work up to the top.

Learning Objective:
Understand best practices for alumni advising within the context of a college preparatory school that serves low-income, first-generation students.


Statistics are an Admission Director's Best Friend

Thursday, September 22, 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Data, metrics, and statistics are necessary building blocks for any admission director and enrollment manager, yet we don't receive nearly enough training on how to pull data, build narratives around data, or share data that is relevant and valuable to campus partners. Join an avid baseball-statistician-turned-admission-director and an enrollment-manager-who-doubted-she-would-love-data for a discussion of the practical nature of leveraging data to garner campus buy-in. Learn how to embrace and develop your own relationship with data and how data can make you a stronger enrollment leader.

Learning Objective:
Gain practical knowledge about developing a relationship with data.


Steps to Flourishing: Using Lived Experiences to Inform Programming for Former Foster Youth

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:30 AM 

Only 50 percent of youth served by the foster care system graduate from high school; 3 percent earn a college degree. What are the most common barriers to matriculation and eventual graduation? Despite previous programs and efforts, the college graduation rates are not improving as hoped. Hear how one child welfare agency is connecting with former foster youth and making changes in career and college exploration based on students’ lived experiences. Then learn how a community college has created spaces to provide students with wraparound services and options that empower them to persevere and work toward personal independence and educational success. Both programs are meeting students where they are and reducing barriers to career success and degree completion.

Learning Objective:
Increase your knowledge of the statistics surrounding former foster youth and postsecondary educational success.


Strength in Numbers: Creating Better Enrollment Outcomes with Data

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

With budgets and audiences both declining, it’s imperative we leverage all the data at our disposal to guide our decisions and drive our outcomes toward resilience. Whether developing a strategic enrollment plan or making investments that will impact the next entering class, it’s the numbers that guide us. Discover how to access the numbers that matter. The right data—including a look at how key performance indicators compare to other institutions—helps you know where you stand, determine where to focus your limited resources, and communicate effectively with various stakeholders on campus.

Learning Objective:
Identify how the right data will help your institution achieve its goals.


The Story of Us (and Them): Personal Narratives and Recommendation Letters

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

We all love a good story. Our personal narrative tells the story of each one of us. Explore how counselors can effectively employ the use of self in their relationships with students to write effective and compelling letters of recommendation. How does thinking about and writing our own stories guide the questions we ask our students to help draw out stories that matter from their own lives? Ultimately, how might our own self-awareness help elevate self-awareness among our students?

Learning Objective:
Understand how to tell your own stories in a way that encourages students to share theirs.


Strong School Counselor and Administrator Relationships = Student Success

Friday, September 23, 1:15 PM - 2:15 PM

Bridging the gap between school counselors and administrators can be rewarding. It is essential in improving student achievement and requires trust, collaboration, and communication. Learn how a school counselor and principal collaborated with their district, school, and community to offer resources related to mental health, college/career, and financial aid. Take away strategies and resources to use when partnering with your administrator and learn about creating school counselor mentorship programs.

Learning Objective:
Gain strategies to build collaborative relationships with your community, staff, and college and military reps.


Student Leaders to Admission Counselors: Creating a Pipeline

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Student leaders serve as crucial links between prospective students and the office of admission. Explore how to create a pipeline for current student leaders to enter the field of college admission and hear from those who have made the jump.

Learning Objective:
Learn ways to provide opportunities for student leaders within an office of admission.


The Student Value Proposition: Engaging Transfer Students with Degree Pathways to Limit Friction

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Learn how four Ohio public institutions collaborate in a student-first mindset, establishing high-impact degree pathways to reduce barriers for transfer students as a tool for recruitment. Explore successful strategies to coordinate student services and advising with degree pathways, customizing the process to address the challenges of individual students. Discuss how to meet students’ needs while navigating institutional culture, policies, and procedures.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to build partnerships with community colleges.


Tangible Ways to Counteract Bias in the College Admission Process

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM 

Understanding that we are all biased beings lays the foundation for deeper conversations about equity and inclusion. This foundational session offers crucial understandings about what we see, what we don’t, and how our brains contribute to stereotyping. Consider how bias fuels systemic inequity, then learn and practice concrete strategies to mitigate your own biases as you advise students in the admission process.

Learning Objective:
Understand the difference between implicit and explicit bias.


Think Globally: An Exploration of First-Year Abroad Programs

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Hear perspectives on first-year abroad programs and global engagement opportunities available at the very start of a student’s higher education experience. Explore access, value, benefits, challenges, and outcomes associated with these unique study abroad experiences as well as details surrounding the various admission processes used by such programs. Broader topics and trends pertaining to first-year study abroad and experiential learning will also be addressed.

Learning Objective:
Gain a better understanding of how students spend their first year abroad and pursue this opportunity intentionally.


Tools of the Trade

Thursday, September 22, 7:15 AM - 10:15 AM

Are you a new or nearly new secondary school counselor? Come "fill your toolbox” with strategies, best practices, and effective counseling techniques to help guide students through the college admission process. Topics include how to create the ideal college counseling office, essential resources for providing effective college counseling services, writing impactful letters of recommendation, ethical issues in college counseling, the use of technology, counseling the college-bound student-athlete, the role of standardized testing, and the financial aid process.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to create an effective college counseling program.


Transforming Admission to Expand Opportunity for Underserved Students

 

Thursday, September 22, 2:15 PM - 3:15 PM

Expanding access requires not only lowering complex logistical, financial, and systemic barriers, but a revolutionary shift in the admission process altogether. What if we could develop a more equitable system from the ground up? What if we could create a system that does a better job of helping students match with and enroll at colleges and helps colleges recruit a new set of students? This past fall, a pilot project called Greenlight Match (which included 25 CBOs/schools and 10 institutions) increased college access for first-gen and lower-income students by flipping the script on traditional college admission. Could this be the future of more equitable, accessible, and inclusive admission?

Learning Objective:
Understand the challenges first-generation, lower-income students face in the current college application process.


Tuition Pricing and Discounting Through and Beyond COVID-19

Friday, September 23, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Gain insight into tuition discounting, tuition resets, and other pricing strategies that took place leading up to and during the COVID-19 crisis, then explore the outlook for these strategies as institutions move beyond the pandemic. Discuss the various institutional reasons for and outcomes related to discounting and resets and examine doctoral research findings. Hear how institutions’ pricing and discounting structures are changing in light of COVID-19 and how the higher education business model may shift as a result.

Learning Objective:
Understand the landscape of price sensitivity and elasticity and how each impacts enrollment and revenue. Use the data to make decisions regarding pricing and discounting.


US Service Academies: A Guide for School Counselors and School Officials

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

Join the US Naval Academy's admission team for a deep-dive into the application process for a US service academy. Explore the process from the perspective of school officials, gain more information about the academies as a college choice, and learn about summer programs for pre-college students.

Learning Objective:
Summarize the five US service academies and their missions.


Using Data to Improve College Readiness

Saturday, September 24, 9:30 AM - 10:00 AM

Discuss best practices to utilize, disaggregate, and apply data to improve college readiness with indicators such enrollment in honors, Advanced Placement, and dual-credit courses; SAT/ACT scores; and career and technical education certifications/licensures. Learn how to encourage rigor and readiness by harnessing the power of your student information system to collect data and systematically target students "on the bubble."

Learning Objective:
Identify types of data to collect to improve college readiness.


Voices of Asian American Pacific Islanders: Shared Experiences of Resilience in High School and College

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Learn about the history of Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) in education, the assumptions and stereotypes associated with this community, and ways to support AAPI students and staff. Then delve into the recent rise of anti-Asian crime and violence as well as discussions surrounding recent secondary and postsecondary admission lawsuits. View survey results that reflect resilient voices of AAPI members from high school and higher education and identify ways you can actively support students and professionals.

Learning Objective:
Understand how the historical and current rise of anti-Asian crime and violence impacts AAPI students, families, and professionals today.


What's New in FAFSA World?

Friday, September 23, 1:00 PM - 1:30 PM

The FAFSA Simplification Act and FUTURE Act require a number of changes to the FAFSA form and aid eligibility calculation. Review the basics and take a big-picture look at the changes. See what’s already been implemented, preview of what’s coming soon, and learn what will be finalized for the 2024-25 application cycle. Discover reliable sources for updates, further information, and student and parent outreach.

Learning Objective:
Familiarize yourself with features of the FAFSA Simplification Act and features of the FUTURE Act that are already or about to be in place.


Where Did All Our Colleagues Go? Looking Beyond the Great Resignation

Saturday, September 24, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM

The Great Resignation did not spare admission offices, and yet, we find ourselves in one of the most challenging recruitment landscapes of our lifetime while hiring and training new staff. Explore why some of our colleagues have chosen to leave their roles, the importance of culture-setting and culture-maintenance, and the new kinds of support and flexibility that our teams require in a post-pandemic world. Review data on how roles are changing in the admission profession, what best attracts and retains team members, and what new skills are required for admission professionals to succeed. Hear from three professionals who made career leaps in the past 18 months and yet are also in the precarious position of recruiting and retaining their own team.

Learning Objective:
Learn how to build an effective team culture.


“Why Us?”: What Colleges are Looking for in Supplemental Essays and What Students Reveal About Themselves

Saturday, September 24, 12:30 PM - 1:30 PM

Character plays a prominent role in holistic admission, with many colleges asking increasingly nuanced supplemental essay questions. This opportunity for students to elaborate on their personal qualities can also add stress to the application process. “Why Us?” essays, among other related questions, ask students to showcase their understanding of a school, demonstrate their fit, and reflect on their personal values. Listen in as admission officers and counselors discuss why colleges ask these questions, the importance of answering them thoughtfully, the role of purposeful college research, and best practices for an effective approach to supplemental essays.

Learning Objective:
Understand why colleges ask supplemental essay questions and the critical role they play in the admission decision-making process.


Win the Battle: Time Track Your Way to Actually Advising Students

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

School counselors across the country continually face a similar battle—being used for non-counseling duties. From campus testing to lunch duty to data entry, schools seem to find many ways to utilize counselors for all things—except the actual counseling and advising of students. Learn how school counselors in one district successfully utilized a simple (and easy to use) time tracker to gather data to share with decisionmakers. The result? Lower caseloads, guidance instead of test administration, and more time advising and helping students. The American School Counselor Association recommends 80 percent of a school counselor's time be spent in direct and indirect services to students. Are you there yet?

Learning Objective:
Learn how time tracking helped school counselors in one district successfully advocate for lower caseloads and more time advising students.


The Write Approach to College Admission: Resilient and Responsible Reporting

Thursday, September 22, 12:45 PM - 1:45 PM

Covering college admission for a national news outlet requires a willingness to probe deeper than clickbait and a refusal to settle for facile conclusions. Reporters must seek transparency and help cut through the noise. In a climate of information overload, what data matters and how can writers responsibly go to the heart of the issues? Hear from three veteran higher education reporters as they reflect on the current landscape of admission and look forward to the big stories of 2023.

Learning Objective:
Learn which sources are most reliable for journalists covering college admission.


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