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From the Other Side

"Hello from the outside
At least I can say that I've tried
To tell you I'm sorry for breaking your heart"
Adele really hit me with the feels while I started writing and made it so fitting to share a verse. The other side is almost what we would imagine as recruiters, schedules, emotions, schedules, and future planning. 


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Navigating Gen Z: Insights from Iowa ACAC's Winter ACU

On a wintery Iowa day, I attended the virtual Iowa ACAC Winter session of Admissions Counselor University (ACU). During this session, we covered ethics, territory management, building connections, and communicating with gen z. Toward the end of our meeting, we were joined by a great panel of high school counselors and career advisors who provided insight on best practices when talking with students and visiting schools.

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Golf Anyone?

This year the 2024 MIDWest Conference will be hosting a golf social event on Sunday, May 19. Plans are to converge on the Bunker Hill Golf Course, located less than ten minutes from our conference hotel, the Grand Harbor Resort.

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Connecting with Others on the Road

This month will mark my 12th year in Admissions, and while I love my job and working with students, one of the biggest reasons I’ve stayed in  Admissions is because of the people I’ve been fortunate to work with or alongside. Recently, during one of my Iowa ACAC committee meetings some of my committee members remarked about how different the landscape of admissions travel has become over the years. When we had first joined the profession, connecting with admission reps from other schools for lunch in-between fairs or a social hour after a day of travel was the norm. A few of us reminisced about the good ole days in Shenandoah! These types of stories seem to be fading, and it made us all wonder why?

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We're Ba-ack! Winter Virtual ACU Returns

Has your admissions office recently hired new admissions professionals this semester? Are you looking for a way to refresh your basic knowledge on college admissions, tips for the travel season, or admissions best practices? If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you need to keep reading!

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L.E.A.P 2023 - Inspiring Dreams & Empowering Futures

LEAP was back for 2023 and, oh my, was it missed!  After a 3-year hiatus due to Covid and a shortage of bus drivers, it was great to welcome students once again. LEAP is held on a different campus each year and we were grateful to be hosted by Mount Mercy University in Cedar Rapids.   Our hope is that students get to know what it is like at each campus and learn about what each institution has to offer.

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Baking up Sweet Holiday Magic!

Here is a little treat my wife loves to bake during the holidays. She’s an amazing baker not just at home, but at one of the local bakeries, Feedwell in Cedar Rapids, as well as doing some at home wedding and special day cakes. If you’ve never tried treats from Feedwell and you’re in the area, make sure to stop by and try their cinnamon rolls or, one of my personal favorites, a Paris-Brest.

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CCTC: A New Wave of Support for Iowa's Underrepresented High School Students

Over the last three years, the Iowa Department of Education has worked to expand access to professionals who understand the college admissions process for underrepresented students in high schools across Iowa. In the spring of 2021, the department opened up it’s first grant opportunity to allow community colleges and high schools to partner to add College/Career Transition Counselors (CCTC).  Now, 2 ½ years later, there are nearly 50 CCTCs across the state with nearly every community college employing at least one school counselor. By the end of this school year, there are plans to have a CCTC at every community college serving at least one high school. As the network expands, it is important to understand the role of this new person at Iowa high schools and how college admission counselors can partner to increase student enrollment in college.

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Meet the Board: Inclusion, Access, & Success

I want to introduce you to Janine Baeza and myself, Juanita Zavala, Co-Chairs for the Inclusion, Access, and Success committee. Janine is the Associate Director of Freshman Recruitment & Access at the University of Northern Iowa and I am a College and Career Transition Coach (CCTC) at Indian Hills Community College. Our committee works to identify how to better serve and support underrepresented high school students with their post-secondary plans.

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Meet the Board - College Day/College Night

My name is Marissa Wetrich, and I’m your Iowa ACAC College Day/Night Chair! I also serve as one of the Assistant Directors of Admission at  my alma mater, the University of Iowa. I still hit the road and attend many Iowa ACAC College Fairs. 

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Meet the Board - Professional Development & Practices

The Professional Development and Practices Committee is excited to provide you with the latest updates from our committee and a few essential details about what’s to come this year from our area!

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ACU Review from a New Professional

I felt that everyone at ACU was really nice and it felt like they wanted us to be successful. In the Building Bridges chat, I thought that the “selling points” activity was nice to see what all the different schools had to offer and some of the similarities that we had, especially to other small private schools. I really liked the speed dating activity that we did, I do wish that we could have been more spread out. I felt like I was shouting to talk to the person across from me, and I had a lot of trouble hearing what they had to say. I also feel like spreading out the reps that were from the same school would be helpful, that way we can hear from multiple different schools.

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Hats off to our New Grads - ACU Highlights

Despite 100 degree temperatures, 2023 ACU attendees powered through their curriculum, listened and engaged in the phenomenal presentations by our “professors,” and made ACU 2023 an event to remember. 

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Hello? Can You Read Me Now?

Working in Admissions 30 years ago, I regularly received letters, postcards, and flyers in the mail from Iowa ACAC with information on college fair registration, the individual fairs, spring conference, the Scenes newsletter, events, etc. I'd read each and every item, save as needed, note on a calendar, hold on to, or toss. We do all of those same things today, but electronically.

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A First-Timer's Conference Perspective

I have been advising students over the last 9 years working in admissions at Ellsworth Community College. I heard about the Iowa ACAC Conference but never had the experience of attending one. This year, I could attend the one in Iowa City and it was a game changer. It was so refreshing to hear and meet folks that are passionate about what they do and especially to help young minds.

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Spring Conference Turning Points

During his keynote address at the 2023 Iowa ACAC Conference, Dr. Jared Smith talked about turning points. The subject of his newest book, Jared shared some moments in his life that may have seemed small at the time, but wound up shaping the trajectory of his life in really meaningful ways. As I reflect on this conference and my experiences with Iowa ACAC, I wanted to share a few of my own turning points with this association.

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Summer in Iowa Bucket List

Recently I found myself visiting with one of my former tour guides that is a recent Iowa State graduate and is going to FINALLY spend his first summer in Iowa! We got to talking about the things he must do in order to enjoy some of the best parts of our state this summer! I know this list is the tip of the iceberg as far as summer fun in our fair state, but perhaps it will give you ideas of new things to explore!

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4 Reasons to Attend Admission Counselor University (ACU)

Are you a new admissions professional looking to kick-start your career in the field? Look no further than Admission Counselor University, also known as ACU. ACU is an annual event hosted by Iowa ACAC’s Professional Development Committee. It’s geared toward new professionals (0-12 months) in the Admissions profession.large group of people

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Celebrating our Membership!

As we approach the end of the school year, Iowa ACAC would like to thank our members. Our current organizational membership includes 129 colleges, universities, military, and non-profit organizations and 70 high schools. All of those organizations incorporate 900 members in our Association.

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Get to Know...Julie Fopma!

Julie Fopma has had a role in Iowa ACAC for many years. Connect with her at conferences and learn from her extensive experience in higher education!

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