School Counselors
Our annual conference will look a bit different this year and it is all to benefit you, our members! 

The theme for the 2019 conference is “Change is Necessary for Growth” as the landscape for college admissions continues to evolve. 

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As we travel the state of Iowa recruiting students this fall, it’s important to be aware of other resources that can help students and families navigate the college search process. One resource that we can reference students and families to is ICAN, a nonprofit that provides college and career planning and financial aid resources to students and schools across the state of Iowa. Formerly known as the Iowa College Access Network, the organization has changed its name this year, along with changing some of their programming to better serve students and school counselors. In addition to focusing on financial aid and college planning, the organization will also focus on professional development for school counselors and educators. ICAN’s Director of Communications, Britt Morey, shares more about the organizations changes:

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If its fall, most of us are busy with college fairs, school visits, campus visits, travel itineraries, applications, and endless emails. It’s hard to find a day when the entire staff is in the office at the same time.

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School Guidance Counselor - The American School Counselor Association (ASCA), in conjunction with NACAC, recently published a report that shows school counselors in Iowa average 418 students on their caseload, but we all know school counselors with many more students!

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Iowa ACAC is excited to announce the first ever Colleges to Counselors (C2C) Events coming for the 2018-2019 school year!

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The 2018 R.I.D.E. is in the books, and what a successful experience it was! Thirty-one professional school counselors from every corner of Iowa, and even a special guest from Minnesota, took some time for some “college knowledge” by participating in Iowa ACAC’s 15th annual three-day learning trek.

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A school counselor’s perspective...

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As a school counselor or college admissions counselor, it is “in our blood” to think of others first. We strive daily to help our students in any way we can and not just between the hours of 8a.m. and 5p.m., Monday thru Friday. Something we all need to remember, at times, is to step back and do something for ourselves. Professional development is a great opportunity to improve yourself that can also have a positive impact on the students we serve. Whether you are brand new, or a seasoned veteran, there IS something for you.

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Over 40 students attended L.E.A.P. 2018 at the Mount Mercy University Graduate Center in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. This annual leadership conference for underrepresented and first-generation freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in Iowa, is organized by the Iowa ACAC Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee. This year’s participants included students from Iowa City, Postville, Muscatine, West Liberty, and Columbus Junction. 

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The Iowa ACAC Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee is excited to host the third annual L.E.A.P. Conference on Wednesday, April 4, 2018!

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"May 1 is so ingrained in me, I can’t imagine a world without it."

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Our Iowa ACAC blog series "Things I Wish You Knew" focuses 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 in the future in your Inbox!

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As we are all very familiar, during the spring we often see two different types of students wanting to visit campus:  admitted students making their college decisions and prospective juniors starting to think about college. This can be a confusing time for many, not knowing which visits are offered for whom, which would be the best fit, and, of course, the May 1 college decision deadline swiftly approaching.

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Visiting universities, searching their websites, and meeting faculty, staff, and students are all very important steps in the college decision process. When proceeding with these steps, it is important for prospective students and their families to optimize the time they have on each campus.
One way to do that, is to ask questions to help make the decision easier! Here are 5 questions that each student should ask as they go through the big college decision process:

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School counselors are absolutely essential in high schools across the state. In many school districts, school counselors are responsible for scheduling students’ classes, motivating students who are struggling, providing academic success resources, responding to social-emotional concerns, assisting students in crisis, teaching college and career prep classes, organizing  admission visits, helping students with ACT prep and college applications, answering questions about financial aid, and generally keeping a school and its students in motion.  

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The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), has been a huge help to the immigrant population that arrived here as children. After the entire population was placed on a roller-coaster of having DACA rescinded and reinstated, we are not yet sure what the future holds. As a recipient myself, and undocumented before this, I was always afraid of disclosing my immigration status. Although DACA recipients cannot apply for any federal aid, there are many ways that institutions can offer help. Here is what we recommend for DACA recipients:

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How?  With a FREE one-year High School Memberships to school counselors who are not currently Iowa ACAC members.

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There has been a lot of attention on helping first generation students navigate the college search process, and rightfully so! There is confusion for most high school juniors and seniors, let alone those who haven’t had anyone in their family navigate the process before. So let’s start there. When we talk about first generation students, we are referring to students whose parents have not obtained their four-year college degree. Here is what we recommend when working with this student population:

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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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“As soon as any man says of the affairs of the State "What does it matter to me?" the State may be given up for lost.” These things matter, not only to individuals invested in education, but as a citizenry as a whole.”                                                                                               Jean-Jaques Rouseau

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