A Message from Iowa ACAC Leadership

Iowa ACAC stands against all acts of hate and bias and condemns the Anti-Asian violence and hatred that has taken place this past week. Unfortunately, it’s only a glimpse into some of the hate crimes that have surfaced over the past year to the Asian community. Like all of you, we are angry and frustrated that this kind of racism continues.
As educators and admissions professionals, we must continue educating ourselves and others. There are many resources, but you can begin by visiting the following links:
It remains clear that there is so much work yet to be done to address the racism in our country. It takes all of us to make a difference and it starts with education.
Tara Winter, President
Jaclyn Tungesvik, President-Elect
Tom Paulsen, Past-President

Bending and Flexing for Advocacy

I had a professor in grad school who often reminded us that as school counselors, we need to “bend and flex.” The Government Relations Committee bent and flexed its way right into 2021, creating what has been touted--mostly by members of the committee--as the best Virtual Visit the Hill ever. We hope it is also the only Virtual Visit the Hill ever, but we’ve certainly exercised our creative thinking skills to learn what we can do when our usual practices are disrupted. In a year when it would have been easy to say, “Nah, maybe not this year,” Iowa ACAC and ISCA’s Visit the Hill delivered on its promise of learning and advocacy.

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The Supervisor/Supervisee Relationship

Our relationship with our supervisors is one of the most important relationships that we have in our career, but it times it can also feel the most complicated. As three admissions professionals who have been in the field for a while, here are some things that we have learned over the years that can help you establish a great relationship with your supervisor.

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What Do You Do with CRM?

In the last two years, I’ve had the honor of experiencing two incredibly transformative responsibilities:  being a first-time father and leading the implementation of Technolutions Slate CRM. While there is no “one right way” to be a parent or to build out a new database and information system, I was fortunate to have these roles at the same time. That overlap allowed the children’s book collection “What You Do Matters” by Kobi Yamada to serve as inspiration and fuel throughout the implementation process.

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Simple Steps to Assist First Gen Students

“Go to the FAFSA website and create your FSA ID. You will need to use your parent's 2019 tax returns which you can link to your FAFSA using the IRS Data Retrieval Tool.  Once we receive your FAFSA, we can tell you how many loans and grants you qualify for based on your EFC. You might get selected for verification. You will be notified if you are selected, and additional documentation will need to be completed. Login to TritonPass and accept your financial aid package under the ‘Academic Profile’ tab. You will then be prompted to complete Entrance Counseling. We recommended only borrowing what you need, and suggest avoiding the unsubsidized loan if possible because that accrues interest while you are attending college. Do you have any questions? Great! Call us if you need help with anything.”

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Zooming into Spring Freshmen Recruitment

“Can everyone hear me?” “Nope, go ahead!” “You’re muted!” are just a few statements that have been uttered in the countless Zoom meetings we’ve all endured for almost a year.

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Lessons Learned

If you are anything like me, you likely left work on Friday, March 13, 2020, expecting to return on Monday. When you ultimately did return to your office, perhaps you found a time-capsule of life “pre-pandemic” – calendar still on March, piles of papers on your desk, mystery food in your work fridge, etc.

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New Year. New FAFSA?

Now that 2020 is squarely in the rear-view mirror, what can we look forward to in the new year? A new FAFSA perhaps? No, not exactly, but we can expect major improvements in the not-too-distant future.

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Remember Who's Watching

As 2021 begins to unfold, the lessons of 2020 are still fresh in our minds. We know it’s important to be connected, not to take anything for granted, and to have flexibility. However, one reminder helps me find daily perspective about how to handle each situation that gets thrown our way.

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Changes of Scenery!

Mount Mercy University is thrilled to welcome Todd Coleman as their new Assistant Vice-President for Enrollment & Marketing and Sabrina Tapps-Fee as the Director of Undergraduate Admissions!

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Meet our Newest Board Member!

The Iowa ACAC Executive Board is excited to welcome a new member! Yuri Tilapi is the new co-chair for Inclusion, Access, and Success. We asked Yuri to share a little bit more about her background so that we can get to know our new exec board member.

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Silver Linings Around Us

Last month, Tom Paulsen asked our members to share what they are thankful for this year. We know it’s been a tough year, but there is still a lot to be thankful for. Here are some things that our members are thankful for this year!

  • An office that knows how to pivot to create a successful virtual event!
  • I am thankful that despite the challenges of 2020, we have also gained some unexpected positives that will be a part of our "fabric" going forward: creating new virtual strategies to reach prospects without barriers of distance, cost and time; strengthening our need to collaborate and develop new skills; having new-found time in our homes with our loved ones to focus on what matters most; developing a renewed appreciation for the simple joys of life and being able to wear slippers all day long! Here's to the challenges that, while difficult, brought us some significant gifts! May 2021 offer hope, peace, joy and good health to you and yours!
  • Pets, Significant Others, "Non-Busy" Time at Home
  • We welcomed our first child in January 2020, right before COVID hit. She has been the constant ray of sunshine during these uncertain times.
  • Faith Family Friends Remote-work-ability Shelter Food Clothes Flexibility Innovation
  • The amazing connections via Zoom that have expanded my community. Also, the time to reflect on what is important in life. And what is important are our relationships. In the end that is all that matters.
  • A time to refocus on the things that matter.
  • Gift of time with my family.
  • Supportive coworkers, longtime friends, and the health of myself and my family!
  • I’m thankful for great leadership on our team that has supported our staff through the transition to working from home, and who have supported us in finding a work-life balance in this tricky time. I’m also thankful for a wonderful husband and our awesome dog! Working from home is so much better with a dog in the house.

Professional Development During COVID-19

In light of everything happening in our society today, you might think that professional development has been put on the backburner, but it is actually quite the opposite. Each type of company, association, and higher education news website is trying so hard to provide guidance and assistance to all of us in higher education as we navigate these unprecedented times. While we have continued to stay busy, it is a different type of busy that might offer more flexibility in our daily schedules, allowing us to catch some of these webinars and professional development experiences.

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Friendly Competition

If your office is working similarly to ours, you don't see all of your co-workers face to face each day or week. Maybe you're on an in-office rotation, maybe you're strictly working from home. If that's the case, you're probably struggling to continue that team bonding and cohesiveness you once had pre-Covid. Perhaps you're wanting some new ideas to connect - or maybe you have some to share!

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What are Your Silver Linings?

Eight months ago, the Coronavirus struck hard and quickly changed our personal and work lives in unimaginable ways. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken over 200,000 American lives and over 1 million people globally. It has negatively affected people’s mental health and wellbeing due to worry and stress, social isolation, loneliness, and job loss. Add the political divide and numerous crises, 2020 has left many mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausted.

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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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