The NACAC Board of Directors is presenting a revised membership model that responds to members’ concerns voiced during last year’s Annual Membership Meeting and in the months leading up to it. The board believes this revised model has the potential to strengthen the association and help it to grow in the years to come by making easier for more institutions and individuals to join.
Beginning with the 2019 Winter Leadership Meeting for the Affiliate Presidents Council and the affiliate conferences, and continuing through the spring and summer, NACAC intends to share the details and to hear feedback from the members.
The revised model is a hybrid model that retains the feature called the “institutional model” that was introduced last year while adding other options for individuals whose institutions are unable or unwilling to join.
The institutional membership allows colleges, universities, secondary schools, CBOs, and other organizations to enroll their entire staffs – including professionals at every level – to receive the benefits of membership at a reduced rate. Institutions’ dues would be based on staff size, that, in almost all cases, would be less than the current model that charges a fee for each additional member. The institutional membership also would make membership possible for those professionals at public institutions whose state and local policies prohibit them from paying for individual memberships but do allow them to pay for institutional membership.
The institutional model could potentially offer the benefits of NACAC membership to thousands of professionals that are not currently included under the current membership pricing structure. Our hope is that this will create opportunities for a more diverse range of professionals at all levels of experience. By helping NACAC add thousands of new members to our ranks, we will amplify our collective voice as we advocate on behalf of students and their families. The board believes that the revised model offers NACAC the best chance for sustainability and growth in the years to come.
Last year, however, taught us that an institutional approach was not universally beneficial and could result in some members being unable to remain a part of NACAC because of their individual circumstances. Not all professionals interested in NACAC membership are employed by an institution or organization. And for others, administrative policies or limited resources prevent their school or college from becoming an institutional member.
In response, the revised membership model offers a hybrid that includes not only institutional membership but also offers two other options for those whose institutions are unable to join. The proposed model for individuals includes membership that would give both secondary and postsecondary members the full array of benefits – the ability to vote on bylaws, to serve as an Assembly delegate, to run for elected office, to receive member rates for NACAC programs, services and events such as the National Conference, and more. Individual Secondary, Individual Postsecondary, Independent Education Consultants, and retired professionals would be eligible for this category.
The board is also proposing a new, lower-cost “associate” membership that would provide access to all NACAC’s digital resources – online publications, the Bulletin, the “Today in College Admission” news service, and the digital version of The Journal of College Admission – to those who are interested in remaining connected with NACAC but unable to take advantage of all the NACAC member benefits. The Associate membership would not be a voting membership and would not offer member discounts to NACAC programs and events. Individual Secondary and Individual Postsecondary professionals would be eligible for this category, as would students, nonaffiliated professionals, affiliate staff, and university system and school district staff.
In separate charts we illustrate the member benefits as they would be available to each category. We have also modeled suggested dues for all the proposed institutional and individual member categories to provide an idea of what fees might apply to each. Note that these dues and benefits are just “proposed” for the purpose of demonstrating how this revenue-neutral model would operate – and note that raising or lowering the dues paid by any member segments would require corresponding changes in others to retain revenue neutrality. Final decisions on member categories and dues will be made by the board after hearing feedback from the membership. A vote on bylaw changes required to enable parts of the revised membership model would be held at the 2019 Annual Membership meeting in Louisville, with expected implementation after the 2020 conference in Minneapolis.
We strongly believe the revised model would make NACAC stronger as an association and enable it to deliver more benefits to more people in our professional community – ultimately allowing us to reach and serve more students and families. These benefits include:
- The opportunity to be part of the only professional organization solely devoted to college counseling and admission;
- The chance to connect and network with thousands of professionals across the United States and around the world – colleagues who share our passion for and commitment to ethical college admission;
- Access to the latest data and research on the higher education environment, as well as practical advice to help professionals grow and advance in their careers;
- News and analysis about federal, state and local policies that affect US education and our profession in particular;
- NACAC’s one-of-a-kind annual conference; and
- An organization that effectively advocates for members and the students they serve with federal, state and local governments as well as other higher education authorities.
In short, the board believes the revised model can help NACAC secure a more sustainable and healthy future, and, potentially, to serve a larger, more inclusive segment of our profession.
We look forward to discussing these ideas and to hearing your feedback.
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