Survey: Majority of LGBTQ Youth Face Negative School Environments

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The majority of LGBTQ youth experience negative and even hostile school environments, according to a new report from the Human Rights Campaign.

The advocacy group surveyed roughly 12,000 students between the ages of 13 and 17 who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer, and found that 70 percent had been bullied at school because of their sexual orientation.

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Georgia State Lauded for Student Success Initiative

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Georgia State University has reinvented itself.

“By focusing on retaining low-income students, rather than just enrolling them, the college raised its graduation rate to 54 percent from 32 percent in 2003,” according to a recent New York Times article. “And for the last five years, it has awarded more bachelor’s degrees to African-Americans…than any other nonprofit college or university in the country.”

Officials from the university — a NACAC member institution — say data analysis and targeted supports have helped boost student success. Advisers monitor the daily progress of the school’s 40,000 undergrads and act quickly to provide assistance at the first sign that a student is struggling.

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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.

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A Counselor’s Thank You to Teachers

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Editor’s Note: National Teacher Appreciation Day was celebrated on Tuesday, May 8. National Teacher Appreciation Week runs through Friday, May 11.

We hear about all the great teachers in the counseling office. The one who set the times tables to the tune of Pharrell Williams’ “Happy,” ensuring kids will remember them forever, even if it will take a while to get to eight times nine. Mr. Jones, the history teacher who dressed up like Benjamin Franklin for an entire week and never once broke character. The 10th grade English teacher who finally explained “i after e” in a way that made sense. When you put that much thought into a lesson, it makes for memorable teaching.

Of course, that’s not the only way teachers become memorable. The teacher who said just the right words at just the right time to the bully who had incredible art talent, making the student more comfortable with who they really were, and less of a bully. The teacher who wore the cut-rate perfume a special needs student gave her at Christmas, every time that student had a spelling test—the same perfume she’d wear when attending that student’s graduation from medical school. The teacher who shows up at the Saturday soccer league and cheers loudly for all her students on the sidelines, even though her students are spread throughout both teams, and it’s 40 degrees out.

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New Report Highlights Changes in International Student Population

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The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) has released its biannual SEVIS by the Numbers report comparing international student data from March 2018 to March 2017.

The report highlights a 0.8 percent increase in the number of international students with F and M visas enrolled in higher education degree programs.

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Study: Students of Color Disproportionately Affected by Inequitable College Spending

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Students of color are facing yet another barrier to college access and success.

A recent study from the Center for American Progress (CAP) found that two-year and four-year public colleges spend about $1,000 less per year on students of color than on white students. Collectively, this means public colleges are spending about $5 billion less per year on these students than on their white counterparts.

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Spots Still Available for Students at More Than 450 Colleges

More than 450 colleges and universities still have openings, financial aid, and housing available to qualified freshman and/or transfer students for the Fall 2018 semester, according to NACAC’s annual College Openings Update.

Both public and private colleges and universities are included on the list.

The update will remain on NACAC’s website through July 2. Colleges have been asked to modify their listings as the number of openings at their institutions changes.

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Michelle Obama Celebrates College Signing Day in Philadelphia

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Getting into college is just the beginning, former First Lady Michelle Obama told a group of Philadelphia students Wednesday.

The next step? Having the courage to make connections and ask for help.

“Some of you may be the first or only people from your family or your community to even take this step — and that might feel a little scary,” Obama told the teens, who were gathered to celebrate College Signing Day. “…But when you hit those roadblocks, when you have trouble in that class, when you feel like you’re falling behind — you have to ask for help.”

No one, she said, gets through college on their own.

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Now Available: ‘Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions’

Interested in using behavioral science to help more students get to and through college?

A new guide— Nudges, Norms, and New Solutions —is now available for educators as they develop strategies to assist college-bound students. A Nudge Hotline has also been established to help counselors and others customize the guide’s advice for the communities they serve.

Both the guide and the hotline are free and were developed through a collaboration between the Nudge4 Solutions Lab at the University of Virginia and ideas42, a nonprofit that applies behavioral science to today’s toughest social problems.

Former First Lady Michelle Obama’s Reach Higher initiative is a project partner. Topics covered in the guide include access to college, student finances, and college life and academics.

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Daily updates on NACAC and the world of college admission counseling. For more information about NACAC, visit nacacnet.org.