All posts by Ashley Dobson

Perspective: The Rural Student Experience

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Recruitment of rural and low-income students is often a goal of universities. But some schools don’t offer the support system to allow these students to succeed once they arrive on campus.

That was the case for writer Alison Stine.

Stine recently authored an essay recounting her experience as a student from a rural background at a private college.

“I wasn’t the first person in my family to go to college — I was the second generation, after my parents — and on teachers’ and guidance counselors’ advice, I had applied to several schools, including state universities,” she wrote. “But the private colleges were the ones that seemed to really want someone like me. They courted me. They offered me money, and I couldn’t say no to that. I couldn’t afford to.”

Continue reading Perspective: The Rural Student Experience

Facebook Live Q&A: College Signing Day 2019

It’s never too early to start getting excited about College Signing Day!

College Signing Day has grown into a movement where counselors and students in all 50 states, including DC, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, celebrate students and build a college-going culture at their schools.

We’ll be counting down to May 1 with Eric Waldo, executive director of Reach Higher, at noon ET on March 13. We’re chatting about plans for celebrating College Signing Day and the 5th anniversary of Reach Higher.

Continue reading Facebook Live Q&A: College Signing Day 2019

Report: 1.7 Million Students in Schools with Police, No Counselors

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High student-to-counselor ratios are a persistent problem in the United States, but what about schools that have no counselor at all?

Using the most recent federal data, the ACLU compared the number of police in schools to the number of counselors, nurses, psychologists, and social workers on campus.

Their analysis found that 1.7 million students are in schools with a police presence but no counselors. Another 14 million students are in schools with police but no counselor, nurse, psychologist, or social worker.

Continue reading Report: 1.7 Million Students in Schools with Police, No Counselors

Explore Ways to Center Equity and Justice in Admission Work

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Equity and justice are important in all aspects of life, but absolutely vital in college admission.

NACAC members Ethan Sawyer, The College Essay Guy, and Marie Bigham, the founder of the ACCEPT: Admissions Community Cultivating Equity and Peace Today Facebook group, recently recorded a podcast episode on the ways school counselors and college admission professionals can work toward these goals.

Continue reading Explore Ways to Center Equity and Justice in Admission Work

US Fails to Reach Obama-era Targets for College Degree Holders

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In 2009, then-President Barack Obama announced a $12 billion initiative with a goal of returning the US to first in the world in the proportion of the population with degrees.

Ten year later, however, this goal seems even further out of reach.

The Hechinger Report recently looked at the goals and plans set by the American Graduation Initiative (AGI) and found that the US has fallen way behind. Continue reading US Fails to Reach Obama-era Targets for College Degree Holders

#NACACreads: Hear More from Michelle Obama

Our #nacacreads chat with Reach Higher on Michelle Obama’s Becoming is coming up in just under a month.

But in case you can’t wait that long, you can hear from the former first lady in her own words.

Obama recently talked with a group of young women convened by her publisher about “imposter syndrome,” the importance of education, and many other topics highlighted in her book.

“I had to contend with ‘how do I get my education when I’m surrounded by people who may have different expectations of me?’ And those weren’t just the kids in the neighborhood. There were teachers I had to confront, teachers who underestimated me… When I sat down with my high school counselor — somebody who didn’t know me but was assigned to work with students to help them apply to college — and I told them my intention was to apply to Princeton. That counselor told me, ‘I don’t think you’re Princeton material,’” Obama said in the interview.

“The person whose job it was to help young people reach their dreams when it came to college saw me and whatever she saw in me told her that my dreams were too high…Even though I continued on, I applied, and you know obviously I got in, but I still remember that story. I remember that feeling of doubt. Just another adult placing a barrier on me that I didn’t even have for myself. So then, to enter into an elite school when your high school counselor has told you you’re not good enough, when all of society looks at kids of color or kids from poor communities or rural communities as not belonging, I, like many others, walked into that school with a stigma in my own head.”

Watch the full video and make plans to join us next month for this important conversation. We will be discussing the former first lady’s own journey to college, her experience as a first-generation student, the importance of diversity on campus, and the role college counselors play.

The #nacacreads Twitter chat will kick off promptly at 9 p.m. ET on March 19.

Ashley Dobson is NACAC’s communications manager for content and social media. You can reach her at adobson@nacacnet.org.

Creating College-going Culture in Rural Communities

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The higher education community and businesses must work together to create a college-going culture in across rural America.

The Hechinger Report found that rural communities often face a mindset problem when it comes to higher education.

For generations, rural Americans were able to get good jobs with only a high school diploma. Now many of the jobs available require a more specialized skill set.

Continue reading Creating College-going Culture in Rural Communities

Student-to-Student Advice for People of Marginalized Backgrounds

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There is no better advice that the advice from people who’ve been there.

Teen Vogue recently compiled a list of advice from students of marginalized backgrounds to other students in similar situations.

Their list of student advice discusses topics ranging from the need for a support system to practical advice on saving money on textbooks.

Continue reading Student-to-Student Advice for People of Marginalized Backgrounds