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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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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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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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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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ACU - The New Counselor Perspective

This past July, I, along with 29 other Admissions Counselors from across Iowa, participated in Iowa ACAC’s Admissions Counselor University (ACU) at the University of Northern Iowa.  The majority participating were in their first year as Admissions Counselors, with some starting their first week. I was in my second week as a counselor at UNI and was excited to start networking with the Professional Development committee and fellow counselors across the state. It was interesting hearing from first time counselors and how diverse their backgrounds are. Admissions brings a wide range of personalities together. Some had backgrounds from outside of higher education while others were fresh out of their undergraduate or graduate degrees. I knew every conversation was going to be different. 

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GoToCollegeFairs Updates

As travel season is quickly approaching, GoToCollegeFairs has made some changes. GoToCollegeFairs (GTCF) is an organization Iowa ACAC contracts with to help streamline college fairs. Students are able to create a barcode for college and university representatives to scan their information. This saves time for both students and admissions representatives, because students don’t have to stand at the table and fill out contact card for every school that they’re interested in. GTCF has recently made some changes to make it easier for colleges and universities to scan barcodes.

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Iowa ACAC Spring Conference Recap

We hope those of you who attended the 2019 Iowa ACAC Spring Conference on May 19 and 20 found the conference to be beneficial and fun! 
Over 175 admissions and school counseling professionals attended the conference this year at Prairie Meadows in Altoona, Iowa. Twenty-three sessions and roundtables were offered for individuals to attend and grow in our profession.
A survey was sent to all attendees regarding the conference. If you haven’t already, please complete the survey or email the Conference Planning Committee with your feedback. We’d love to know what you thought about the location, the new two-day time frame, and the sessions and roundtables that you were able to attend. Your feedback will help us make the next conference even better.
**A note from the Iowa ACAC Executive Board: Special thanks to Conference Planning Committee Chair Mallory Luensmann and Conference Planning Committee members Jenny Connolly, Katie Wyman, Megan Grove, Bailey Camenisch, Erin Gabriel, Sabrina Tapps-Fee, Jaclyn Tungesvik, Craig Juilfs, Autumn Luce, Eric Sickler, Susan Dickinson, and Navya Mannengi for all your work in planning the conference!

So Now What Happens?

I have a co-worker who enjoys saying “So, now what happens?” at times when it is crystal clear what is about to happen. (My kind of humor). This expression took on new meaning to me recently, as I found myself officially passing the gavel to Tom Paulsen of The University of Iowa. In the blink of an eye, I was no longer the President of Iowa ACAC. This marked the first time I seriously asked myself, “So, now what happens?”

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All About ACU

Admission Counselor University, also known as ACU, is an annual event hosted by Iowa ACAC’s Professional Development Committee. It is geared toward new (1 year or less) professionals in the Admissions profession. This year, ACU will take place at the University of Northern Iowa, July 16-17. It is a great event to attend; now I'm going to tell you why!

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Fighting Food Insecurity on College Campuses - Eat Well Series, Part 3

More research is needed to accurately estimate the number of college students in Iowa facing food insecurity and hunger. However, as the problem grows, college campuses are finding ways to accurately assess the problem and effectively implement solutions to deal with it.

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