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Updates from NACAC's Board Chair

Dear NACAC Members,

The work of our profession never slows! Like you, I had an exceptionally busy spring of counseling and recruiting for our incoming first-year and transfer classes but also felt the unmistakable thrill of speaking with students and families from across the country and around the world—playing a small role in a decision that will transform a young person’s life. Every day, I delight in knowing that my NACAC peers, 26,000-strong, are also engaged in this work. On behalf of the NACAC Board of Directors, I offer my hearty and heartfelt appreciation to each of you for your role in shaping the lives of countless students.

I write to you today to continue to deliver on the board’s promise to share information following each board meeting. The NACAC Board of Directors convened on May 12 and 13, 2022, and in the spirit of transparency, I am happy to share what we learned from NACAC CEO Angel Pérez during his comprehensive organizational update.

  • Advancing NACAC’s Online Offerings and Tools. The NACAC staff is moving full steam ahead on initiatives to redesign the association’s website, develop a new member engagement platform and app, build a new suite of education and training offerings with improved technology features, and redesign the NACAC logo. We are eager to reveal these exciting projects to the NACAC membership at the Houston conference this September.
  • Global Engagement Strategy. As I referenced back in February, NACAC engaged with expert Clay Hensley to support the association as it builds a strategy to better engage its international members and stakeholders. In the months ahead, Clay will help staff examine international members and non-member data and offer advice related to international partnerships and stakeholder engagement.
  • Advocacy & Legislation. NACAC will join The College Board and the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers to draft a joint amicus curiae brief regarding the race-conscious admissions case to be considered by the Supreme Court. NACAC was asked to endorse the “Student Loan Borrower Relief Act,” which refines several repayment options to offer more favorable selections to borrowers. Also, NACAC joined efforts to support the Biden Administration’s education budget for FY2023, including $1 billion for school mental health professionals, and putting the government on the path to doubling the Pell Grant.
  • Financial Health. NACAC closed FY2021 in a strong financial position, and we are pleased to report that Q1 continued this trend thanks to successful efforts related to increased digital marketing and sponsorship solicitation. NACAC’s staff and the board will remain vigilant in the months ahead as the economy ebbs and flows, but we are optimistic that the association will continue to meet and exceed its goals and performance this year.
  • In-person College Fairs. The NACAC team is working with its event partner, Maritz Global Events, to fundamentally redesign the future of college fairs. In early May, “design thinking labs” kicked off to assess the current state of fairs and how fairs must be improved moving forward. Throughout the summer, stakeholders including students, college and university partners, CBOs, and funders and sponsors will be invited to participate to lend their voices to this process. The NACAC staff and the board are committed to building upon the great success of the past to envision exciting and innovative college fairs of the future.

Among the strategic conversations had by the board, we discussed the reports and recommendations of the four ad hoc committees that concluded their work in February 2022:Engaging Public High School Counselors, Serving Next-Generation College Counseling and Admission Professionals, Developing Programs and Services for College Counseling and Admissions Professionals at Rural and Small-Town Schools and Colleges, and Reimagining the NACAC-Affiliate Partnership. I would like to thank all committee members for their time, student- and peer-focused considerations, and recommendations. The board thoroughly enjoyed seeing their final bodies of work and the suggestions were outstanding.

While the conversation was substantial, the decision to recognize the spirit and motivating principles of all recommendations was an easy one. The harder part will be putting them into practice in the coming years, along with other board-designated priorities. For that reason, the board officially delegated the prioritization and operationalization of all ad hoc committee recommendations to the NACAC CEO and staff. That includes communicating directly with each ad hoc committee co-chairs and committees about the outcomes and timelines in the weeks ahead. Once this is complete, we will share all information with the greater membership through the Bulletin.

Earlier this week, the application for committee service closed. I am delighted to share that we had a significant number of applicants for NACAC’s Admissions Practices Committee and Governance and Nominating Committee, as well as the new Ad Hoc Committee on Mental Health and Equity in the Transition to Postsecondary Education and Ad Hoc Committee on Centering Students in the Development of Equitable Admission Practices. We will be announcing the composition of these committees this summer.

A friendly reminder to mark your calendars for the electronic 2022 Annual Member Vote that opens on July 27 and closes on Sept. 9, 2022. During that period, voting members in good standing can cast their ballot for the next chair-elect and three board directors. Take advantage of this opportunity to exercise your voting privileges! Your vote matters. 

  • The board director nominee town hall will take place on Tuesday, June 7, from 5-6 p.m. ET.  Register today! 
  • The chair-elect nominee town hall will take place on Wednesday, June 22, from 3-4 p.m. ET.  Register today! 
  • Did you miss out on the first nominee town hall that took place on May 16? View the recording on NACAC’s website

As we shift gears from counseling to attending graduations to offering support in our students’ transitions, I extend my personal wishes to each of you for a restful and restorative summer. Thank you for all that you do every day to uplift students in their pursuit of higher education.

Sincerely,

Ffiona Rees
Chair of the Board

 

Previous Letters from Ffiona Rees

February 2022

December 2021

November 2021

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