Iowa ACAC

Discount rate, net price, average indebtedness, college rankings, early decision, highly selective, selective, open admission, AP credits, dual credit, enrollment fees, deposits, graduation rates, completion rates, we’re No. 1, they’re No.1 and the list goes on and on!  Are you confused yet?

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In the upcoming months, the Iowa ACAC blog will feature a three-part series titled "Things I Wish You Knew."  This series will focus on survey responses received from admissions counselors, school counselors, upper level admissions staff, recent college admits and their parents to offer a new perspective into their lives, which will hopefully impact the way you interact with these individuals.  Watch for a survey from me in the future in your Inbox!

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Life in admissions moves fast from September–November, then we take time to focus on family and friends (and hopefully a little less on work) in December, and January brings another new year and another opportunity to work on those “resolutions.” The truth is, that despite our best intentions, sometimes we forget, or run out of time, to focus on self-improvement. Practicing mindfulness is an easy way to focus on ourselves during those hectic times.  

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Sometimes it is difficult to put into words how thankful you are for the people, experiences, and things in your life. It is easy to say “thank you,” but those words have so much more impact when supported with specifics. Thank you to all of our readers and browsers, but also to those who took a minute out of their day to spread their appreciation:

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Do you have fellow Iowa ACAC members close to your office from another college?  Looking to start a holiday tradition?  Why re-invent the wheel; just follow in the footsteps of the Kirkwood Community College Eagles and the Mount Mercy University Mustangs.  Each December they compete for the “StangEagle” Award to see which Admissions Office has the best bowlers. As you can see from the picture, the trophy resides at Kirkwood…which side of the Cedar River will the trophy call home for 2018??  Stay tuned!

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The trick to buying gifts is realizing who you're buying for. Every person has different likes and dislikes, personalities, talents, annoyances and preferences. That's why there isn't one perfect gift for everyone. Even though we all think money is a perfect back-up plan, it also shows a lack of effort and attention to the receiver. 

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Shalon Frye has come full circle. She started as an elementary teacher in 2000 at Independence Community Schools, and after three years decided to go back to school for her school counseling degree at UNI, which eventually brought her back "home" to Independence.

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Why should high school counselors be involved with Iowa ACAC?  Being involved with Iowa ACAC has been one of the best professional development activities I have ever done. The reality is, as high school counselors we are also college admissions counselors. Iowa ACAC is a great support for high school counselors. Here is how I got involved:

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Have you wanted to attend one of our state or national conferences, but didn’t have the funds? Maybe you have a great program in mind you’d like to start at your school, but need some help getting the financial wheels rolling? Or maybe you simply would like to be a member of both organizations, but the membership fees to renew or join are not in the budget?

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What's on YOUR fall Bucket List
• Grab your favorite fall drink at your local coffee shop
• Drive to see the fall foliage
• Go to the pumpkin patch
• Walk a corn maze
• Learn how to make pumpkin pie from scratch
• Donate to a local food bank
• Go to a football game and tailgate
• Have a bonfire
• Go to apple orchard
• Attend a local Farmer’s Market
• Enjoy some apple cider
• Help your neighbor rake leaves
• Watch seasonal movies
• Carve a pumpkin
• Buy a new sweater or hoodie
• Decorate your home for fall
• Find a local fall festivity
• Take a hay ride
• Have a family or friends game night
• Make caramel apples
• Go on a nature walk, hike, or bike ride (bring the camera!)
• Do a Color Run, Color Dash, or other colorful 5K
• Try a new recipe!!
  

Being thankful has a positive effect on many parts of our lives. Studies have been telling us for years just how beneficial gratitude and recognition are in the work place, in our relationships, and towards our mental and physical wellbeing.

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Ashlee Duimstra is in her fourth year as a school counselor at East High School in Des Moines. Before that, she was a school counselor in Knoxville, Iowa, for three years. She says being a member of Iowa ACAC helps keep her in the know on what's happening in college admissions, so she can share those resources with her students...and some of those resources came from her making time to take one step.

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We all know communication has changed. Twenty years ago, as an Admissions Representative, I received letters, postcards, and flyers in the mail from Iowa ACAC...you know, that stuff that comes on paper by a person who delivers it through rain, hail, sleet or snow...with information on college fair registration and the individual fairs, spring conference, and the Scenes newsletter. I'd open each and every item, save as needed, note on a calendar, or throw in the trash can. We do all of those same things today, but electronically. Unfortunately, we sometimes feel inundated with email and get overwhelmed. Then we become selective. Then we overlook. Then we miss out.

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The fall can be a crazy time of year - our road warriors are out and about recruiting students and our in-office friends are helping cover visits. With the lack of down time, stress levels tend to be a little higher than normal. Therefore, it is even more important to find time to de-stress. For me, this involves using my mind in a more creative manner. Unfortunately, the examples I am providing today are not my personal creations, but hopefully they inspire you to add some school spirit to your existing pumpkin traditions – or make something new for your office!

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Three ways you can answer the call to share your knowledge or simply show thanks:

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“Oops, I forgot my table banner!” 

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After 10 years of teaching history and government, Jedd Taylor switched gears. He completed school counseling training, and became school counselor for grades 11 and 12 at Glenwood Community High School (Glenwood, Iowa). With the exception of one semester as a long-term substitute, he has spent all 15 years at Glenwood.

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At the 73rd NACAC Conference, the Iowa ACAC Assembly Delegates were part of a historical and defining vote. 

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The 15th Annual R.I.D.E. (Rediscovering Iowa’s Diverse Education) took place June 11-14, 2017, in eastern Iowa. Thirty-one high school and independent counselors from throughout the state of Iowa visited Kirkwood Community College, Northeast Iowa Community College (Peosta), University of Dubuque, Loras College, Clarke University, Cornell College, Mount Mercy University, and Coe College. The participants toured the various campuses, learned about admission requirements and heard from faculty, current student, and several college presidents about the unique mission of each institution. A huge thank you to the host institutions for their amazing hospitality including providing meals and giveaways, coordinating the many details of the visits, and providing overnight accommodations. Partial funding for the R.I.D.E. was also provided by an Imagine Grant from the National Association for College Admission Counseling. All attendees expressed how beneficial this free event was for their professional knowledge and well as the many students they serve! Thank you to these wonderful counselors for taking time to join us. 
Please keep your eyes open for information on next year’s R.I.D.E.  Looking forward to another great event next year!

 On the evening of July 19, 2017, 39 new Admission professionals embarked on their Iowa ACAC journey. Iowa ACAC member institution, Coe College, hosted the yearly ACU professional development opportunity. The fun kicked off with an evening cheering on the Cedar Rapids Kernels, and newly formed friendships weathered a storm of biblical proportions.

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