Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium


A group of private schools wants to remove letter grades from the college admission process.

Instead, members of the newly formed Mastery Transcript Consortium (MTC) would submit reports to universities outlining how well students demonstrate mastery of key academic concepts. Other qualities, such as creativity and persistence, could also be highlighted on the new transcript.

The model is inspired in part by competency-based education, a method where students progress through the curriculum based on their demonstration of knowledge and skills, rather than seat time. Consortium leaders say each member will have the freedom to determine which “performance areas” will be included on their school’s transcript.

NACAC research shows that grades matter most in college admission. But many counselors say the resulting pressure to attain perfect marks undermines student learning and development. Continue reading Rethinking the Transcript: High Schools Join New Consortium

Studying in the UK: One US Student’s Perspective

Aiysha Whitfield

There are more than 17,000 US students pursuing college degrees in the UK, a number which has grown by 17 percent since 2009.

Many are attracted by the possibility of broadening their international experience without struggling with a language barrier. Others relish the chance of learning at world-famous institutions older than the United States itself.

For others, it may also be an opportunity to get back to one’s roots as it was for Aiysha Whitfield, a student from Portland, Oregon, who has just finished her combined bachelor’s degree in film studies and communication, media and culture at Oxford Brookes University (UK).
Continue reading Studying in the UK: One US Student’s Perspective

Get Ready for #NACACreads with Tressie McMillan Cottom

Can you believe it’s already June? That means our next #NACACreads book club chat is just days away.

On June 12, we’ll discuss Lower Ed: The Troubling Rise of For-Profit Colleges in the New Economy.

The conversation will kick off at 2 p.m. ET on Twitter, and we’d love to have you join the chat!

Author Tressie McMillan Cottom will participate in the hour-long discussion, and there will be plenty of opportunities for you to share your own thoughts about the book, as well as for-profit colleges.

Continue reading Get Ready for #NACACreads with Tressie McMillan Cottom

NACAC Workshop: Learn More about Counseling and Recruiting International Students

I just completed my 19th year as director of college counseling at Kents Hill School in Maine, 15 years of which also included building and directing its international program. As I close this chapter and begin my next as director of academic advising and college counseling at The American School in London, I am awed at the rapidly changing landscape of international students in the US, particularly at our high schools, and the dire need for more professional development on both the secondary school and college side in support of this growing population of students.

Continue reading NACAC Workshop: Learn More about Counseling and Recruiting International Students

Between the Lines: What a College List Does Not Tell You


Editor’s note: A version of this post originally appeared on Admitted in May 2015. It’s being republished as part of NACAC’s Best of the Blog series.

It has become customary for many schools to publish a list of college decisions each May. The Ellis School, where I work, is no exception. Our students are so bright and involved and — with 30 students accepted to more than 80 colleges and counting — every girl has excellent options.

But after more than 13 years in the college admission field, I have come to understand that, no matter how impressive, a college list alone does not convey what is truly important and meaningful about a young person’s college admission story. What matters most are the truths they discover about themselves during the process.

Continue reading Between the Lines: What a College List Does Not Tell You

Study: Interest in International Transfer Pathways Growing Among Community Colleges


Community colleges are an integral facet of the US higher education system. Serving nearly 6.3 million students, these public, two-year institutions offer a variety of courses and degree programs at a third of the price charged by four-year colleges. Because most community colleges have transfer agreements with baccalaureate-granting institutions, many students who seek a bachelor’s degree initially matriculate at a community college to take advantage of its cost-saving benefits. In fact, data from the National Student Clearinghouse show that 49 percent of students who completed a degree at a four-year university in 2015-16 had previously enrolled in a community college during the last 10 years.

Community colleges have typically established transfer agreements with local and regional institutions. These include “2+2” pathway programs, which guarantee admission for students at the partner four-year college if specific academic requirements are met, and articulation agreements that delineate how specific coursework will transfer between programs.

Results from a recent survey of 140 community colleges conducted by NACAC and Community Colleges for International Development (CCID) indicate a growing number of these colleges are also interested in pursuing transfer partnerships with universities abroad.

Continue reading Study: Interest in International Transfer Pathways Growing Among Community Colleges

Hobsons Launches Counselor Community


Editor’s note: While the Admitted blog regularly reports on NACAC’s own research, products, and services, or those available from non-profit sources, we occasionally feature posts that focus on the work of our partners and sponsors in the private sector.

You’ve worked in the admission office for three years, and now you must take over a new territory. You don’t know the schools, you’re not familiar with the high school counselors — oh, and you need to figure out your travel schedule in just a week or so. How do you know where to visit? What’s the makeup of the student body at the schools on your visit list?

Or — you’re a high school counselor with students who have some fairly detailed questions about College A. You want to email or call the admission officer who works with schools in your area, but you don’t know who that is. How long will it take to find that information on the college’s website?

You can find the answers to these questions and many more in the new Hobsons Counselor Community.

Continue reading Hobsons Launches Counselor Community

Sylvia Karpf Celebrates 30 Years with NACAC

Sylvia Karpf

Sylvia Karpf knows what it takes to keep NACAC’s National College Fairs program humming along.

From planning and promoting individual fairs, to negotiating with vendors and managing the program’s operating budget—Karpf has done it all over her three-decade tenue with the association.

“I still come to work with the same excitement that I had on my first day,” said Karpf, who joined the college fairs program as an administrative assistant and now serves as the department’s senior associate director. “I love the program, and I love what I do.”

Karpf, who celebrates her 30th year with NACAC this month, recently sat down with Admitted to talk about finding her niche, the value of college fairs, and what inspires her work.

Continue reading Sylvia Karpf Celebrates 30 Years with NACAC

Rethinking the Campus Visit


Campus visits often play an influential role in a student’s enrollment decision, but one clinical psychologist is questioning whether teens rely too heavily on their initial impressions when selecting a college.

“If we are making a decision we haven’t made before (such as where to go to college) then our present selves must rely on imagination, instead of experience,” Erica Reischer writes in a recent New York Times op-ed. “…Visiting the campus — to take a tour, meet students, get the lay of the land — seems like a prerequisite to making a good decision. But visiting a college is not the same as being a student there, and this distinction matters a lot, because of the many ways in which our imagination misleads us.”

Continue reading Rethinking the Campus Visit

Imagine Fund Supports Iowa Student Conference

Teens need good information as they approach the college application process, but they also need inspiration.

The latter factor is a key component of an Iowa youth leadership conference that encourages teens to include higher education in their postsecondary plans.

The day-long event — held last month at Mount Mercy University (IA) — was supported by a $900 grant from NACAC’s Imagine Fund. The conference is aimed at students who have traditionally been underserved by America’s colleges and universities.

Continue reading Imagine Fund Supports Iowa Student Conference

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