Category Archives: Access

Report: Counselors Positively Impact College Access

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Students who meet one-on-one with a school counselor are significantly more likely to attend college and apply for federal financial aid, according to a new study released today by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).

The findings, culled from nationally representative data, are the first to demonstrate that school counselors have a positive impact on student outcomes that is both quantifiable and statistically significant.

NACAC’s latest research report — How Can High School Counseling Shape Students’ Postsecondary Attendance? — shows that 12th graders who talked about their future plans with a school counselor were:

  • 6.8 times more likely to complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
  • 3.2 times more likely to attend college.
  • Two times more likely to attend a bachelor’s degree program.

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Report: Demographic Changes Ahead for Higher Ed

wicheAfter steady growth over the last three decades, the overall number of US high school graduates is leveling off.

However, trends vary by geographic region, according to a new report from the Western Interstate Commission for Higher Education (WICHE). States in the South and West are poised for growth, while those in the Midwest and Northeast continue to see declines.

In addition, the racial and ethnic makeup of students is becoming more diverse, data show.

Continue reading Report: Demographic Changes Ahead for Higher Ed

NACAC at ASHE: College Promise Programs

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Earlier this month, NACAC research associate Tara Nicola attended the annual meeting of the Association for the Study of Higher Education (ASHE) to present NACAC work as well as stay abreast of the latest research in the field. This is the first in a series of posts highlighting exciting research relevant to admission and high school counseling professionals.

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School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

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School districts may be able to boost college-going rates by changing the way they introduce students to the application process, according to a recent piece published by the Harvard Business Review.

Too often, the conversation is focused on ensuring students submit an application to at least one college, writes researcher Lindsay Page. But when teens apply to a range of institutions “they are more likely to get accepted to an institution that is a good fit,” she notes.

Continue reading School Districts Can Help Students Adopt New Attitudes About Admission Process

New Report Highlights Access and Inclusion Strategies

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Low-income and minority students continue to face barriers to higher education and the resulting gaps have contributed to diminished social mobility in the US, data show.

A new report — Advancing Diversity and Inclusion in Higher Education — highlights strategies institutions can use to help reverse that trend. The 89-page publication uses federal statistics to demonstrate the scale of the problem and highlights strategies colleges and universities can use to help more underrepresented students get to (and through) college.

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ICYMI: NACAC Affirms Longstanding Values Following Presidential Election

NACAC CEO Joyce Smith sent the following message to members last week:

Dear Colleagues,

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.

Continue reading ICYMI: NACAC Affirms Longstanding Values Following Presidential Election

Member View: Counseling While White

Author note: This piece was written in the days before the Presidential election. The issues discussed here are only more pressing as a wave of bias incidents occur on our campuses and impact our diverse communities.

Can I speak to my white colleagues for a moment? Over the past several years, we Americans have been struggling to confront our racial history — frequent cases of police brutality, racist incidents on college campuses, and a controversial presidential election have dominated the national news cycle. As college admission counselors we may find ourselves engaged in these conversations as well (wittingly or not), given the ways in which racism affects a rapidly diversifying student population. For white counselors in particular, these conversations can feel like uncharted territory.

Continue reading Member View: Counseling While White

ACT to Offer Testing Accommodations for English Language Learners

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English Language Learners (ELL) taking the ACT will soon be able to apply for testing accommodations.

Starting next fall, students who receive ELL services can ask for additional time on the test and other supports, including the use of a word-to-word bilingual glossary.

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Obama Calls for Celebration of American Education Week

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President Barack Obama is calling for support of local schools and educators in recognition of American Education Week — a seven-day celebration that runs through Saturday.

In a proclamation issued last week, Obama asked Americans to do their part to help “create opportunities for every school and student.” He also emphasized the importance of creating pathways to higher education for all.

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Study: Empathy Training for Teachers Could Reduce Student Suspensions

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Exercises designed to help teachers empathize with their students may lead to a drop in suspensions, according to a recent study from Stanford University (CA).

Researchers provided professional development to 31 middle school math teachers. Half of the educators were assigned readings that encouraged them to think about the underlying reasons students misbehave in class. The other half read about how technology can enhance learning.

“Students in the group whose teachers received professional development on empathy were half as likely to be suspended over the course of the school year than students whose teachers were in the control group, and the differences remained significant after controlling for race, gender, and other factors,” according to an Ed Week report about the new research.

Continue reading Study: Empathy Training for Teachers Could Reduce Student Suspensions