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Reflecting on a Virtual Fall Recruitment Season…So Far

This time last year, those who regularly travel to recruitment territories were likely out on the road, hopping from hotel to hotel, catching up on emails in coffee shops, and constructing the perfect college fair table layout. This year, most are likely not experiencing the same type of fall travel season. Personally, I love that my role as an admission counselor allows me to travel, and attend large recruitment events on campus. Adjusting to a recruitment cycle with a lack of those activities has certainly been a change. However, there are pros and cons to the new, virtual recruitment cycle we are all likely experiencing this fall.  

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3 Tips for a DIY Travel Season

It’s early October (in 2019). You’re packing up your life, heading to Starbucks or Dunkin’ to get your 29th Pumpkin spiced something while listening to (insert podcast name here). It’s travel season.

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Transfer Week: Community College Spotlight

What transfer planning resources are available to your students?

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Transfer Student Transitions: 3 Colleges’ Approaches to Support Incoming Transfers

As we begin another academic year, college campuses across the state are busy with transition programs for new students. From welcome week activities to first-year seminars to peer mentoring programs for incoming freshmen, the opportunities for first-year students to get help mastering their transition to college are abundant. However, it is important to recognize the great work that many colleges and universities are doing to help a different group with their college transition: transfer students. Three campuses, Iowa State University, Central College, and the University of Iowa, shared their initiatives to help transfer students make a successful transition to their new university.

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Being Positive during COVID

The phone call we all dread came - “Mom, I tested positive for COVID.”  My college sophomore was on his way home from college after just one week. In spite of six months of planning, strategizing, and thinking through every scenario on the campuses I worked – I didn’t expect my own child to be one of the first to come home from his college experience. His next words were “Should I just take the semester off?”  (Um… NO!!!)

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Changes of Scenery!

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ACU 2020 - In the Books!

Admission Counselor University (ACU) is an annual event put on by the Iowa ACAC Professional Development Committee that exposes new admission professionals, whether day one on the job or nearly through their first year, to the valuable information they will need to succeed in the profession,  and the advice of more experienced professionals in the field. ACU, typically held in-person over two days, was held virtually this year on July 21, 2020. Each session was hosted by members of the Committee, and attendees were sent a digital itinerary with each session’s title, time, and respective link. This year, 54 admission professionals statewide attended the virtual event.

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Return to Learn: The Teacher Perspective

As school districts across the country prepare for the beginning of the 2020-21 academic year, we felt that it was important to hear from teachers about their thoughts and fears about their districts’ return to learn plans. This is a stressful time for everyone, as we learn to navigate the changes that COVID-19 has brought. Hearing teachers’ perspectives is helpful for us as admission professionals as we reflect on the ways in which our own work will change this upcoming fall.

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Updates from Iowa ACAC Executive Board

The Iowa ACAC Executive Board met Monday, July 27, via Zoom, to plan ahead for the upcoming year. While we know that this year is going to look different than normal, we are excited to continue working to serve members, school counselors, and students across the state of Iowa. Below are a few updates from the exec board meeting:

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Developing Students into Leaders & Beyond

This past year I had the opportunity to co-advise the University of Northern Iowa (UNI) Student Admissions Ambassadors (SAA), an all volunteer group that gives campus tours, assists with student panels and much more. I will say it is a bit different to be on the "other side," as I was a member of this exact group during my time as an undergrad at UNI.

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Virtual Vision 2020 Recap

Dr. Bill Withers, faculty emeritus at Wartburg College, got our first ever virtual Iowa ACAC conference off to a great start! He discussed that in recent years many areas have been going through disruptions (or accelerated changes), and these have only been hastened by COVID-19 – media, health care, and K-16 education.

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Social Justice Education

Black Lives Matter. Racial justice and social justice must be prioritized in our work and on our campuses. It is our responsibility and obligation to educate ourselves. There is no excuse for not putting in the work and engaging in these conversations. Wherever you are in the process of educating yourself about social justice, here are some recommendations and resources that you can engage in.

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5 Questions to Ask

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Looking Back & to the Future: Government Relations

Over the past three years I have had the opportunity to lead our Government Relations Committee, while serving as Government Relations Chair for Iowa ACAC. Through this experience, we have successfully put on 2½ Visit the Hill events for high school students, counselors, admission professionals, and more (½  because the first year I took over there was a crazy ice/snow storm where we probably should have canceled the event, but didn’t, and only a few people ventured out to attend!). These events have had really awesome sessions, where hundreds of people have been able to learn more about issues that directly impact them. I will always be grateful and appreciative for the Government Relations committee members. They are the real reason why these events have been so successful and it has been a joy to work alongside them!

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Reflections on 54 Years of School Counseling

With 54 years there have been so many changes in education and counseling!! My comments below are based on 36 years in the Waterloo Community School District and 18 years in the Iowa City Community School District as a teacher, school counselor, district student services coordinator, assistant principal, part-time college teacher, and academic adviser.

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President Profile

Meet our 2020-2021 Iowa ACAC President Tara Winter!

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COVID-19 from the High School Student Perspective

Last month, we reflected on how COVID-19 is impacting admission professionals, especially with the adjustment to virtual recruitment and working from home. This month, we wanted to hear from current high school students about their experiences during the pandemic, including online courses and a virtual college search process. Three students participated in the interview via email. Alex and Marta are high school juniors from Iowa City West High School; they are at the beginning of their college search process. Brooke is a senior from Glenbrook North High School in Illinois who plans to attend the University of Iowa. Thank you to all three of them for answering our questions!

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Two Sides of the Same Student Coin

Professional school counselors and college admissions counselors can work together to help students in innumerable ways through the college decision process. Working as partners, they can call upon the skills and expertise of each to provide the best information and most satisfying college search process for students. As a former professional school counselor, now college admissions counselor, I see many ways the two groups can work together for students.

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Generational Diversity

Last month I had the opportunity to attend the National Association of Diversity Officers in Higher Education (NADOHE) conference in San Diego, CA. The theme of the conference was “crossing borders and bridging communities”. There was one particular session I attended during my time at the conference that stuck out to me and it was a session about generational diversity.

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Life in the Home Office

The world has changed so much since our last edition of Scenes. Last month, I had drafted an article around the first of March about staying healthy during spring travel. The article including some tips about avoiding the flu, and just barely touched on COVID-19. By the timeAdmissions team videoconference we got ready to publish Scenes in the middle of the month, most of us were working from home, classes were transitioning to a virtual format, and students were moving out of the residence halls. Things certainly changed fast!

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