NACAC Assembly Adopts New Code of Ethics and Professional Practices for College Admission Profession

Shanda Ivory

Arlington, VA (Sept. 18, 2017) — College counselors and admission professionals have a new code of ethics to guide them as they assist students in the transition to postsecondary education.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling’s Assembly voted unanimously to adopt the document — Statement of Principles of Good Practice: NACAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices —during the association’s 73rd National Conference in Boston.

The code went into effect immediately. The 15-page document provides clear ethical principles, as well as procedures for implementing and monitoring them. It protects students from unethical recruitment practices and shields institutions from unfair competition. All NACAC members agree to follow the statement.

New policies, procedures, and professional practices related to student disciplinary infractions, financial aid award letters, and the recruitment of students who have already enrolled at other colleges are among some of the changes NACAC members will find in the redesigned statement. The document also includes tighter restrictions on the use of housing deadlines to manipulate commitments, a stronger emphasis on the national May 1 Candidates Reply Date, and detailed guidelines concerning school profiles and the use of commissioned agents.

Promoting ethical admission practices has been the cornerstone of NACAC since its founding in 1937. The association’s code of ethics serves as the basis of the admission profession and an affirmation of the values guiding the work of NACAC’s more than 15,000 members.

“NACAC is known for its role as a trusted source of ethics within the college admission process, and the new code is unique in that it includes our mandatory practices as well as potential penalties if individuals or institutions don’t observe these standards,” said Joyce Smith, NACAC CEO. “Although we’ve always had them, procedures addressing education, monitoring, and penalties have been added to the code of ethics so members understand there are consequences if one is found to be out of compliance.”

The last time the code underwent a major revision was 2007. The newly approved version was crafted by a 20-member steering committee comprised of college counselors and admission professionals. Committee members reviewed thousands of comments before submitting the final document to the Assembly for approval. The new code is designed as a more durable and globally applicable document, allowing NACAC to respond to changing practices, innovations in the profession, and the increasingly international educational landscape.

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The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 15,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education. NACAC is committed to maintaining high standards that foster ethical and social responsibility among those involved in the transition process, as outlined in the association's Code of Ethics and Professional Practices.

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