All posts by Mary Stegmeir

Admitted writer/editor Mary Stegmeir welcomes additional comments and story ideas at mstegmeir@nacacnet.org.

#NACACreads: Book Club Examines Racism in America

Beverly Daniel Tatum’s classic book —Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria? — is chock-full of hard truths.

And when participants in Monday’s #NACACreads chat gathered online to discuss the bestseller, they confronted many of those realities and shared ideas for how to make things better for the students they serve.

“Prejudice is one of the inescapable consequences of living in a racist society. Cultural racism — the cultural images and messages that affirm the assumed superiority of Whites and the assumed inferiority of people of color — is like smog in the air,” Tatum writes in the book, revised in 2017. “Sometimes it is so thick it is visible, other times it is less apparent, but always, day in and out, we are breathing it in.

“None of us would introduce ourselves as ‘smog breathers’ (and most of us don’t want to be described as prejudiced),” she added. “But if we live in a smoggy place, how can we avoid breathing the air?”

Counselors and admission professionals from across the country joined in the discussion. Here are highlights from the hour-long chat.

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Achievement Pressure Linked to Anxiety, Depression

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Schools with high-achieving students are reporting higher than average rates of teen depression and anxiety, a growing body of research shows.

“What we’ve found is that kids in high-achieving, relatively affluent communities are reporting higher levels of substance abuse than inner-city kids and levels of anxiety and depressive symptoms are also commensurate — if not greater,” Suniya Luthar, a professor emerita at Columbia University’s Teachers College told NPR.

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Join Us Monday for a #NACACreads Discussion About Race

Our next #NACACreads online discussion is fast-approaching.

On Monday, we’ll chat with author Beverly Daniel Tatum about the new edition of her bestselling book, Why Are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria?

Tatum, president emerita of Spelman College (GA), will answer questions as we explore how racism continues to affect students as they make their way to and through college.

The chat will kick off on Twitter at 9 p.m.

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New Report Offers 5 Rules for College-Bound Students

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It’s well-documented that investing in a college education pays dividends over a lifetime.

But with tuition and fees rising faster than family incomes, figuring out the best path to a degree is easier said than done.

New guidance from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce seeks to take out some of the guesswork by outlining five (sometimes contradictory) rules for students to follow as they make decisions about their future.

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College Counselor Compiles Summer Reading List

Looking for summer reading suggestions for yourself or the students you serve?

NACAC member Brennan Barnard has released his annual compilation of book recommendations.

The full list — featuring titles suggested by college admission deans and counselors — appears on The Washington Post website. Some selections are related to education, while other titles are simply good reads.

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Pediatrician: Later School Start Times Could Boost Achievement

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Could shifting school schedules help teens succeed?

Pediatrician Aaron E. Carroll thinks so. In a blog published by New York Times in 2016, the doctor cites research showing that later start times are linked to higher rates of attendance and achievement among high school students.

Teenagers need about nine to 10 hours of sleep a night, Carroll writes. But, in many cases, extracurricular activities and homework — combined with an early school start time — make it difficult for teens to catch enough zzz’s.

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Learn How to Apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program

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Still paying off your student loans?

Debt relief is available for qualifying school counselors and college admission professionals through the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program.

Learn the ins and outs of the program on June 6 during a free webinar hosted by the US Department of Education’s Office of Federal Student Aid.

The one-hour session starts at 2 p.m. ET and will teach you how to apply for and navigate the PSLF program.

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Share Our New Checklists with Your Students

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Researching colleges can be a daunting task. Important questions often go unasked, and it’s hard to keep all the details organized in one place.

A new resource from NACAC aims to simplify the process for college-bound students.

Created in collaboration with the association’s Inclusion, Access, and Success Committee, Ask the Admission Office is a series of six checklists designed to help students determine what to ask when researching college options.

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