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Iowa ACAC Past-President Nominated

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Changes of Scenery



  • The University of Iowa has hired two new event coordinators: Kate Bolton and Sarah Overbergen.
  • Iowa College Aid welcomes Elizabeth Yaddof to its Community Engagement Team. Liz facilitates Iowa College Aid's statewide texting program to assist students who receive the Last Dollar Scholarship, as well as high school students transitioning into college. Through texting Liz is able to connect students to services on campus and ensure they are setup for success through the duration of their program. 
  • Iowa College Aid also recently began a College Success Coach program, which is facilitated by Keyli Keifer. The College Success Coaches are placed on campuses to assist students receiving the Last Dollar Scholarship and ensure they are meeting the program requirements.  
  • ISCA selected Theresa Putnam-Genz as the Multi-Level School Counselor of the Year; Amanda Stenes as the High School Counselor of the Year; and Dave Ford as the Advocate of the Year. Congratulations to these recipients!

Welcome and congratulations!

Visit the HIll

On Thursday, February 27, higher education professionals, school counselors, grad students, and high school and middle school students all came together for one event: Visit the Hill. Visit the Hill is an annual event hosted by Iowa ACAC’s Government Relations Committee. It is a time to gather and learn more about the various issues that students, educators, and educational institutions face and be informed on ways we can make a difference on these issues.

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Finding Balance and Peace

The postsecondary search and application process is meant to be reserved as a time for reflection, growth, maturity, and self-discovery for our students. Unfortunately, many of our teenagers face unrealistic expectations and experience extreme stress, anxiety, and depression. Having open and honest dialogue with students about the battles has become a core part of school counseling and admissions/orientation/advising programs around the world. As our students face barriers, we as secondary and postsecondary leaders do everything we can to stand alongside them through the trenches. We offer support and guidance in times of need, and often shelter them from the pain they fear. But sometimes, we forget the burden that takes on us and our colleagues.

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What Does Out of Pocket Really Mean?

We’re recruiters. Our titles may differ, but our jobs have the same goal: to recruit students to our College/University. Personally, I was offended when someone first told me this with such a blatant disregard for my personal style of work. I don’t like to think of myself as a “salesperson” but at the end of the day we are working to “sell” our school to people.

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Food is Everything

This is the third part of an Iowa ACAC series on food in Iowa. Join us as we explore food in our state, food on campuses across Iowa, places 
you should find, and much more.

“He who eats alone chokes alone.”

“Life is too short to eat bad food.”

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What's New in Higher Education & Admissions?

The University of California system is facing a lawsuit unless they eliminate their ACT or SAT requirement for admission. Back in October, the University of California was threatened with a lawsuit unless it drops its standardized test requirement. Lawyers representing the Compton Unified School district, college-access organizations, civil-rights groups, and students sent a letter to the UC system’s Board of Regents, stating that the ACT/SAT requirement violates civil rights laws in the state of California. The argument is that well-qualified students are being discriminated against, particularly underrepresented minority students, students whose first language is not English, students who have disabilities, and students from a lower socioeconomic status. If the UC system decides to drop the test requirement, many other institutions may choose to do the same, with massive impacts on ACT and the College Board. Check out the Chronicle of Higher Education for more information.

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Communicating with High School Students

Whether you are a high school counselor or an admissions counselor, you have probably all been scratching your heads trying to figure out the best way to disseminate information to high school students. As a school counselor, I find myself counting on both hands the number of times I have to repeat myself or refer students to the same resource to find information. We have asked students many times at Linn-Mar what the best way is to get information out to them (see table below). You can see that text messaging ranks highest with email and Twitter following closely behind. Below is a list of 5 resources that we have found helpful when communicating with students.

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Membership Renewals

With the Freddy Miranda Access Scholarship deadline approaching, it's a good time to remind everyone to renew those memberships, if need be.

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Resolutions Out, VTH Goals In!

This year don't set resolutions, set goals instead and make a difference.

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Perspectives on a First Travel Season

Traveling was one of the biggest things that attracted me to the Admissions world. I never was one who liked staying in one place over a long period of time. I always knew there was plenty of uncharted territory waiting to be explored and I found ways to do just that. 

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Holiday Celebrations at UNI

At the UNI Office of Admissions, we love parties, games, decorations...but mostly food. We potluck any chance we can get! But our holiday fun doesn't just stay in our office. Here are some of the fun ways that the UNI Office of Admissions likes to celebrate various holidays.

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Important President's Update

As many of you are aware, a number of important issues were voted upon recently at NACAC’s 75th Annual Conference in Louisville. Following the conference, NACAC President Jayne Fonash provided an update to all members:

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Counselor Caseload

Earlier this month, NACAC publicized data illustrating student-to-counselor ratios in high schools across the country. The interactive maps draw on data from the 2015-16 academic year, and illustrate how counselor caseloads vary from district to district. The data illustrates significant equity gaps within certain states.

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Save the Date!

The 2020 NACAC National Conference is September 24-26, 2020...and it's in our backyard! 

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Recruiting as a Millennial

As we know, a millennial (Gen Y) is anyone born between 1981-1996, while our newest generation the "Gen Z’s" are classified as anyone born in 1997 and onward. Now, for a while I detested being categorized as a millennial – mostly because my grandparents and other people of older generations that were in my life (and we’ve probably all heard these statements or maybe it was just me, growing up in a small farming, conservative community in Minnesota) would often say, “Oh those millennials, they don’t know how to work.” Or, “We’re in trouble with these kids.” And so on and so on. I often thought to myself, that is not me at all. Now, at times, I find myself saying or thinking those exact same things (or worse) about the Gen Z’s. But how is that fair? What are we saying about the people that raised us and even now ourselves (those of us that are parents/guardians)?

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C2C: What to Expect

Colleges to Counselors (C2C) is a more recent addition to the Iowa ACAC event lineup, and one that we are so excited about! We kicked off this event in 2018 at Drake University and had a wonderful time. For the second year, we will be hosting C2C in September. This year, it will be at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa, on Thursday, September 26. 

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The Morale Captains

One of the most popular student organizations for college students on many of our campuses is Dance Marathon, an organization where motivated, enthusiastic, and generous college students raise money throughout the year for pediatric cancer patients. Dance Marathon’s Big Event, held on high school and college campuses around the country, consists of participants dancing for 12 or 24 hours straight, ending in a “big reveal” of how much money has been raised throughout the past year. This is a truly incredible organization, and there are a lot of things that we as admission professionals can learn from these dedicated, energized, and enthusiastic students.

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Time for a Facelift

Do you ever look in the mirror and say, "Ugh...I need a new look"? I've often looked at our web site and said the same thing. Recently, we were offered a special opportunity from our hosting company, MemberClicks, to upgrade to a new platform. Our web site is getting a facelift!

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Admission Counselor University Recap

The Iowa ACAC Professional Development Committee organized the annual Admission Counselor University (ACU) conference for new professionals in our world. This year, the conference was held at the University of Northern Iowa and had 27 attendees. Some were on their second or third day in the profession, where others were rounding out their first year. There were many informative sessions that took place, including Listening for Leaders, Recruiting vs. Counseling, Things I Wish I Knew During My First Year in Admissions, and Travel Tips & Tricks. Troy Anderson from Iowa College Access Network (ICAN) led an informative session on Financial Aid 101 and Haley Best, PD Committee Chair, gave an overview of the NACAC’s Code of Ethics.

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