Arlington, VA (April 13, 2021) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and ACCEPT, in partnership with Dr. Adrian Huerta, a professor of education in the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California, today announced a $5,000 microgrant from Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) to create equity-focused college fairs and other programs that provide college-going information to students and families.
“ACCEPT is thrilled to partner with Dr. Huerta and NACAC on the ‘Radically Reimagining College Fairs’ project,” said Marie Bigham, EdLoC member and ACCEPT founder and executive director. “We are so grateful to EdLoC for their policy support and microgrant award. This is the next step of Dr. Adrian Huerta’s policy paper, “Reimagining College Fairs for Equity: The Role of High Schools and Postsecondary Education,” developed for Hack the Gates, a research-to-practice initiative that we launched in 2019. Through this project, we hope to design, test, and share a student-centered and equity-focused model for college fairs. EdLoC’s funding and support allow us to begin surveying students and other constituencies, the first step in redesigning college fairs.”
“We are thrilled to receive this grant to help us to imagine how our college fairs, which for many years have set the standard for programming that helps students to make meaningful connections with postsecondary institutions, can discover new and better ways to serve under-represented and under-resourced communities,” said David Hawkins, NACAC’s chief education and policy officer. He said the grant will support efforts to pilot the creation of a strong and equitable college fair opportunity for low-income high school students through socially distanced, in-person programming. The groups will pilot a survey of students and counselors in a large metropolitan area not only to re-design college fairs but to be more relevant and helpful to underrepresented students, he said.
Huerta outlined the challenges to expanding equity through college fairs by noting, “It is well documented that colleges and universities, which often target their recruitment to wealthy and white students, do not reach all eligible, prospective college students due to limited resources and geographical limitations,” he wrote. “However, strategically coordinated college fairs can serve as an opportunity to bridge the ‘knowledge gap’ for students, families, and guardians to gain valuable information to support their navigational capital and expand their postsecondary institutions options and possibilities.
“The complexities and nuances of the college application ‘gauntlet’ can and have discouraged 10,000+ students each year from applying to higher education. Local college fairs can provide needed information about financial aid, academic programs, and institutional resources and supports, particularly for students of color, low-income, and first-generation college aspirants. College fairs can serve as one approach to improving students’ college pathways and institutional understanding by providing needed information to navigate college access structures.”
Admissions Community Cultivating Equity & Peace Today (ACCEPT) empowers college admissions professionals who seek to center anti-racism, equity, and justice in our work and communities. As educational gatekeepers, college admissions professionals hold the most responsibility in removing barriers to postsecondary education; everyone in this work has a role to play. ACCEPT will lead the college admissions profession in creating an equitable, just, and anti-racist path to postsecondary education.
Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC)
Education Leaders of Color (EdLoC) is a community of more than 400 leaders of color working to elevate the leadership, voices, and influence of people of color in education and to leading more inclusive efforts to improve education. EdLoC aims to advance a third way that breaks through the polarizing divides that have consumed efforts to improve public education and to forge the alliances needed to realize and sustain EdLoC’s vision of providing low-income children of color expansive and substantive opportunities for the highest levels of academic and economic attainment.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 23,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.
USC Pullias Center for Higher Education
The mission of the USC Pullias Center for Higher Education (Pullias) is to bring a multidisciplinary perspective to complex social, political, and economic issues in higher education. Our work is devoted to the key issues of college access, retention, and accountability for underserved students—and the effectiveness of the colleges and universities that serve them. Both directly and through our research, we engage with institutional leaders, policymakers and the community at large to address the major challenges in educational equity today.
“We are thrilled to receive this grant to help us to imagine that our college fairs, which for many years have set the standard for programming that helps students to make meaningful connections with postsecondary institutions, can discover new and better ways to serve under-represented and under-resourced communities,” said David Hawkins, NACAC’s chief education and policy officer. He said the grant will support efforts
Expand / Collapse All