College Admissions

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

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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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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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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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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!

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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In the March edition of Scenes, we introduced a multipart series, “Eat Well, Live Well” - if you missed it, you can catch up here. In this first edition, Tom Paulsen, Iowa ACAC President-Elect, shared some great places around the state to grab a bite. We asked Iowa ACAC members what spots around the state needed to be added to that list and here is what you told us:

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Some of our member colleges and universities are hosting student visit days just for international students.

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Whether you’re new to the team or an admissions lifer, you probably have an excess of items in your office that you no longer need. Photo: BSGStudio

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Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of the City of Chicago and former President Obama’s chief of staff, believes in the American Dream and the right to an affordable education. Because of this belief, he has assisted in the creation of the “Chicago Star Scholarship” program.

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Now that admissions staff and students are back from winter break, many admissions offices are conducting their winter all-staff training. Although there are many similarities in how we all train and refresh staff on important topics, there’s a lot we can learn from each other about the best way to learn more about our campuses and improve in the work that we do to support students. To learn more about how different offices handle all-staff training, I spoke with Marcus Phillips from the University of Iowa, Tom Heiar from the University of Northern Iowa, and Drew Shradel from Cornell College.

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Having a baby, whether it’s your first or third, can be a very exciting, and stressful, time in your life. For me, I am anticipating my third, and final, pregnancy in mid-January 2019. While this pregnancy was planned, pregnancy in itself doesn’t always come with perfect timelines. I was fortunate that for my first two pregnancies, they both hit in what admissions professionals would call the golden time of year to have a kid…the month of May! Wahoo! However, kid number three didn’t get the memo, and while January isn’t the worst time to have a kid in our profession, I will say guilt was one of my first emotions.

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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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We have heard it, read it and likely said it ourselves:

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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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Although travel season is winding down, we know some of you road warriors might still have a few trips left on your calendar. If you are out and about traveling around our beautiful state for work, or for fun, consider making a stop at some of these hidden gems! Happy trails!

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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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As an undergraduate I, like many students, had various interests, but was unsure of my career path. In a Personnel Psychology course one of my best college instructors, David Whitsett (now an Emeritus Faculty Professor at UNI), continually encouraged our class to find a career in which we had a passion. Financial security was important, but job satisfaction was critical to being happy and having a meaningful life.

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