Focus on the Future: An In-Depth Look at WICHE's Updated Knocking at the College Door Report
Brian Prescott, Director of Policy Research, Western Interstate Comission for Higher Education (CO)
In its recently released report, Knocking at the College Door (8th edition), the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE) reports that while the number of public high school graduates will decline slightly before stabilizing in the next few years, graduating classes will be increasingly diverse. By 2019-20, 45 percent of graduates will be non-white—an increase from 38 percent in 2009. The country’s continued demographic shift represents challenges to our educational systems which to this point have not been able to effectively address the needs of students of color. The imperative to improve our practices at all educational levels has never been greater. This stimulating session will examine the state and regional growth models while highlighting ways in which counseling professionals can ensure that they are serving students and families with an eye toward the future.
The Elephant in the Room: Is College Worth It?
An uncertain economy punctuated by the fiscal cliff and extended tax cuts has left the average American more cost-minded and financially discriminating. Big ticket purchases historically seen as sound investments are being questioned, perhaps none more than higher education. As the cost to attend both private and public colleges continues to rise, federal aid becomes increasingly unable to cover a significant portion of the costs— causing many students stop or drop out at alarmingly high rates. In addition, an inordinate number of college graduates find themselves un- or underemployed— unable to make monthly student loan payments. Many families now wonder if the pursuit of a college education is worth it. Join deans and directors of admission for this provocative discussion on the return on investment and the varied paths to a college degree and learn ways in which you can address student and parent concerns related to this hot-button issue.
Innovative Ways to Engage Parents in the College Admission Process
More often than not, parents are inaccurately portrayed as a hindrance to those who work in the college counseling and admission professions. Fortunately, much the opposite has been found to be true. When engaged effectively, parents serve as key contributors to the college search process. This session will highlight operative strategies that facilitate parental involvement while also sharing best practices for helping parents better understand their important role in this life-changing process.
More than a Fad: Making Sense of Gap Year Growth
Once considered taboo, the notion of taking a year between high school and college has seen a large boost in momentum—especially in the last five years. But what really constitutes a gap year? How do colleges view them? Are there situations wherein electing to participate in a gap year program can hurt a student’s chances for admission? This session will outline the ways in which gap year programs are viewed in the college admission process—emphasizing the distinct differences between formal initiatives and DIY activities.
On the Verge: Showcasing the Use of Innovative and Disruptive Technology
Over the course of the last decade, the college search and application processes have been inundated with technological resources to assist students. Tasks that were once burdensome for school counselors are now handled in seconds. This session will not only examine the ways in which technology is presently utilized in the college search, but it will also look toward the future in an effort to contextualize the latest EdTech boom.
Best Practices for Counseling the “C” Student
In national conversations about college admission, the discussion tends to veer almost exclusively toward students with the highest and lowest credentials, respectively. Little attention is devoted to ways in which counselors can help students with mediocre qualifications navigate a path to college. This session will focus on the common challenges faced by the “C” student, while also highlighting effective strategies to engage this population in the college search process.
An Updated Look at the Disclosure of Student Disciplinary Information
Although student disciplinary information is frequently requested from secondary institutions during the college admission process, a 2008 NACAC Research to Practice Brief revealed that just 26 percent of high schools have written student disciplinary disclosure policies. As part of its Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP), NACAC recommends that secondary school counselors establish written disclosure policies to maintain a healthy line of communication between high schools and colleges. This session will guide attendees through the assessment of student disciplinary records and suggest methods for developing disclosure policies.