All posts by Ashley Dobson

Former NACAC President Offers Strategies to Prevent Summer Melt

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Nearly one-third of college-bound high school graduates don’t arrive at any college campus the following fall.

This pervasive problem is known as summer melt and Patrick O’Connor, a former NACAC president and current school counselor ambassador fellow at the US Department of Education, has some advice for combating it.

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Texas District to Hire Additional Counselors to Better Meet Social/Emotional Needs of Students

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Texas has an average of 449 students per counselor. Citing school safety concerns, one public school district in the state is looking to change that ratio.

Frisco ISD will add 44 counseling positions next school year, The Dallas Morning News reported.

The new staff members are expected to take over standardized testing duties and oversee services for students with disabilities. The hope is that these new counselors will make it possible for existing counselors on staff to spend more time focusing on the social, emotional, and mental health needs of students.

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College Access Documentary Now Streaming Online

What does it take to overcome your circumstances and make it to college?

Roadtrip Nation, along with Better Make Room and the ACT Center for Equity on Learning, wanted to find out. So they sent three first-generation college students, Esther, Ikie, and Estephanie, on a road trip around the country. The trip was turned into a documentary titled Beating the Odds.

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Facebook Live: Join Us Next Week to Learn about ‘Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions’

Looking to break down some of the barriers that prevent students from moving beyond high school?

We’ll be broadcasting via Facebook Live at noon on Tuesday, June 19 with Ben Castleman, a #NACACreads author and a co-creator of a new guide Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions. This guide is a free tool for educators as they develop strategies to assist students in the transition from high school to college.

Tune in at noon ET to talk about the guide, Castleman’s new nudge hotline, and how behavioral science can be used to combat summer melt and encourage student success.

Continue reading Facebook Live: Join Us Next Week to Learn about ‘Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions’

Join Us for a Facebook Live Q&A with GWI’s Keynote Speaker

We’ll be broadcasting via Facebook Live on Thursday, June 14 with David Dixon, this year’s Guiding the Way to Inclusion keynote speaker. Dixon worked in college admission and enrollment management for nearly a decade at Oglethorpe University (GA) before moving to education policy work. He currently serves as a senior legal and policy advisor with EducationCounsel, LLC.

Tune in at 11:30 a.m. ET to talk about the 2018 GWI conference, college access, and why Dixon started working in education policy, strategy, and advocacy.

You can watch the full conversation live on NACAC’s Facebook page.

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Report: Cost Puts Many Public 4-Year Institutions Out of Reach for Low-Income Students

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Have low-income students been effectively shut out of public four-year institutions of higher education?

A new report by the National College Access Network (NCAN) examines this question and the results aren’t pretty.

Only 25 percent of residential public four-year institutions meet NCAN’s measure of affordability, data show.

Continue reading Report: Cost Puts Many Public 4-Year Institutions Out of Reach for Low-Income Students

Popularity of Happiness Course Shines a Spotlight on Student Mental Health

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Yale University’s most popular course ever may be one of the best indicators of the mental health of incoming and current college students.

Psyc 157, “Psychology and the Good Life,” a twice-weekly lecture that tries to teach students how to live happier lives, enrolled nearly a quarter of the entire student body this semester. It is reportedly the most popular course in Yale’s 316-year-long history.

The course is led by psychology professor Laurie Santos who speculates that the college admission process and the high-pressure campus environment it fosters are behind the class’s popularity. In high school, she said, students had to deprioritize happiness to gain admission to school, leading them to adopt unhealthy and harmful life habits that culminate in “the mental health crises we’re seeing at places like Yale.”

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Charter School System Embraces New Approach to College Counseling

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About 40 percent of undergraduates at four-year institutions do not complete a degree within six years, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. And the number is even higher for low-income students.

One charter school system wants to change that statistic for their alumni. They have retooled their college counseling program and instead of focusing solely on getting into college, they now address what it takes to graduate from college.

Continue reading Charter School System Embraces New Approach to College Counseling