Message from the Chair
February 2023 NACAC Board Meeting Update
Warm greetings to you as we make our way through February and the winter season. It is a busy time for college counselors and admissions officers as students finalize and submit applications—requiring the expertise that our profession provides. I find this time of year requires extraordinary resilience and I hope that you are all taking care of yourself and your wellbeing.
Today, I write to you with an update from the NACAC Board of Directors. The board is committed to increasing the flow of information with members and creating greater transparency in our work and decision making.
The board convened virtually in December to approve NACAC’s fiscal year 2023 budget. This year, the NACAC board committed important resources to the association to rebuild after two years of strong financial stewardship following the pandemic and financial crisis. For fiscal year 2023, we aligned financial resources with NACAC’s mission and the board’s annual strategic priorities. These investments enable the association to hire key positions, particularly to advance its policy/advocacy platform and develop a philanthropy program to increase funding for mission-based initiatives. The board believes these areas are critical for NACAC to continue to amplify the work of members regionally and nationally.
Last week, the board held its regular February meeting. In addition to standard business items, the board received organizational updates from NACAC CEO Angel Pérez.
- Celebrating NACAC staff. Several NACAC staff members were promoted in the new year and the board paused to celebrate their achievements. NACAC also recently welcomed new staff members to the association. The board was grateful to hear about how NACAC continues to evolve as an organization and grow the team—building its internal capacity to better support members and continuing its positive momentum toward a vibrant staff culture.
- Policy & Advocacy Updates. NACAC is working closely with Education Counsel to develop a series of resources for members in anticipation of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding race-conscious admission practices. NACAC’s website features programs and resources for members. In the months ahead, NACAC will hold webinars, provide member-type specific advice, work closely with affiliate government relations teams, and more. Last week, NACAC hosted Elevate Equity, an event funded by a grant from the Lumina Foundation. The symposium brought together diverse stakeholders, with a primary focus on teams of institutional leaders from colleges and universities. Together, these teams developed a new framework that institutions can implement to examine and change practices that create barriers to entry to postsecondary education for traditional-aged and adult students of color, particularly Black students.
- Member Renewal Campaign. It is time to renew your membership! The board received an update about the renewal campaign and how it compares to past years. Thanks to the outstanding work of NACAC’s membership and marketing teams, the membership campaign is strong, and there is growth in new members.
- Reimagining College Fairs. Over the past year, the NACAC events team worked with its global events partner, Maritz, to reimagine the future of college fairs. This spring, NACAC will pilot new ideas to make college fairs more engaging for students. In fact, efforts are already underway. For example, at the upcoming New York National College Fair, NACAC will host a silent disco in conjunction with a workshop on mental health. The board looks forward to learning more about how these enhancements are received by students and families, as well as the institutions that serve as exhibitors.
Important business items at the board meeting included the affirmative vote of the board to change the name of the “Governance and Nominating Committee” to the “Nominating Committee.” The role of the Nominating Committee is unchanged, as it is remains responsible for the recruitment and selection of nominees for the Board of Directors, as well as management of nominee activities. The board believes the name change better represents the defined work of the committee.
The board voted to approve the topics of the 2023-24 ad hoc committees. The theme of the ad hoc committees is, “Building and Sustaining the Workforce of the Future.” Recent NACAC reports, including the 2022 Lumina-funded report, “Toward a More Equitable Future for Postsecondary Access,” the DEI environmental scan, and the recent member needs assessment, reflect the increasingly diverse population of prospective students and the need for improved diversity in the admission office.
NACAC member research also indicates that college admission counselors are confronted with burnout, understaffed and under-resourced offices, mental health needs of students, and demands of institutional enrollment goals. These are all indicative of a system that places a significant amount of stress on college admission counseling professionals.
- Ad Hoc Committee to Identify DEI Hiring Best Practices in the College Admission Counseling Professional Settings – Efforts to document established and promising practices within college admission and school counseling/college advising professional settings are relatively sparse. The purpose of this committee is to identify, document, and develop best practices for DEI hiring practices in college admissions and college counseling offices.
- Ad Hoc Committee to Establish Guidance for the Workplace Wellbeing of Professionals & Office Culture – The purpose of this benchmarking exercise is to improve the general well-being of college admission professionals. NACAC’s members will benefit from accessing current guidance and research related to overall workplace wellbeing in secondary and postsecondary professional settings.
Service on the committees will be from October 2023 through February 2024. The committee application process launches on March 1 and closes on April 21. In one application, members may apply for an open seat on the Nominating Committee, Admission Practices Committee, or the two ad hoc committees. I urge all members to consider getting involved and invite you to learn more about volunteer opportunities at NACAC. It is a great way to bolster your own professional development, provide direction and expertise to our profession, and create systemic change in the field of college admission counseling.
Recruitment for the Board of Directors is also underway. The only requirement for board service is that a candidate must have been a voting member for five years. NACAC values the remarkable diversity of experience that comes from serving your institution, students, and families, as well as the skills gained from other volunteer leadership activities. There is no one path to becoming a board member—each board members brings a distinct perspective to their role.
NACAC board service has been one of the most rewarding professional opportunities of my career. I invite you to learn more and apply today. If you have questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NACAC staff and the board are off to the races to better support members in their work and amplify the voices of the profession through advocacy, resource development, and volunteerism. Together, we are building the NACAC of the future, and we are grateful for your continued support of the association’s important work on behalf of the college admission counseling profession.
I always welcome the opportunity to hear from NACAC members. Please reach out to me at email@example.com.
Chair of the Board