NACAC CEO Joyce Smith sent the following message to members last week:
I have seen a number of accounts about anxiety in our schools, colleges, and communities following the election, and I’ve heard from many of you who are asking about NACAC’s response.
As the dust settles from one of the most contentious presidential races in our history, concerns have emerged about the future of programs and initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, as well as the safety and security of the students we serve.
The extent to which campaign promises and political appointments will come to dictate policy remains unknown. Yet despite those uncertainties, be assured: NACAC remains steadfast in its commitment to inclusion, access, and success for all students regardless of their race, ethnicity, gender identity, religious beliefs, sexual orientation, or immigrant status.
The care you provide students at this critical juncture is vitally important. In these uneasy times, please know that NACAC remains committed to its longstanding values and will continue to serve as an unwavering advocate on behalf of the profession and the diverse families we serve.
In the weeks and months ahead, the association will redouble its efforts to:
• Commit public funding to education, including support for K-12 schools and particularly school counselors, support for college access programs, and support for need-based financial aid for postsecondary education.
• Advocate for the urgency of public policy measures to ensure inclusion, access, and success to higher education for underrepresented students.
• Defend students and taxpayers from unscrupulous recruitment practices, and ensure that the public investment in higher education assistance is not wasted on fraudulent institutions.
• Protect undocumented students who received deferred action status, and advocate forcefully for a path to higher education.
• Maintain an environment in which students wishing to study in the United States can do so without fear of hate, violence, or violation of fundamental human rights.
• Provide training for college admission counseling professionals emphasizing the value of tolerance, diversity, and inclusion in education; and promote pathways for underrepresented populations to enter the college admission counseling profession.
• Encourage members to engage in professional, collaborative discussions addressing the divisive challenges we face as a profession and a country.
Feel free to reach out to me and other NACAC staff members with questions, comments, and suggestions. Thank you for your passion and the hard work you do every day on behalf of students.
NACAC Chief Executive Officer