Friday, March 13, 2015

CFBNP Guide to College Enrollment for High School Students

The Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP) at the U.S. Department of Education is pleased to share this comprehensive step-by-step guide to the college enrollment and financial aid process for high school students

This guide serves as an invitation to you as our nation’s faith leaders, neighborhood associations, and community-based nonprofits—both secular and faith-based—to join us in strengthening our students’ pursuit of higher education.  You can help create a culture of success in your community. Education provides a critical pathway to success for individuals and families, and partnerships between schools and community organizations can help to ensure it for all students.  It is through working in partnerships with organizations, such as yours, that the federal government accomplishes amazing things on behalf of our students’ education.

Did You Know?

The United States once ranked #1 globally in the percentage of students completing college. We have now dropped to #12. This has motivated President Obama to advance the goal that by 2020, the U.S. will once again have the highest rate of postsecondary attainment in the world.  CFBNP continues to share research and practices that help students not only attend college but complete college with a degree.

What’s Inside?

This guide provides materials to assist you in becoming active stakeholders in promoting college access and completion. Each section provides background information and suggestions of ways that you can become involved in promoting college access and completion. We invite you to work with us to inspire and motivate young people to take control of their education. This guide is available for online distribution and printing at


How You Can Help

•  Join our email list and follow us on social media at

•  Identify an individual to serve as your education liaison with our center.

•  Use this guide to promote college access and completion.

•  Develop a communication plan within your organization to encourage a culture of academic excellence.

•  Host events to highlight college access and completion.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Professional Development Opportunity

The IACAC High School Counselor Professional Development (HSCPD) and Summer Institute Committees are excited to promote IACAC’s Summer Institute hosted by Knox College in Galesburg, IL from July 15 – 17, 2015. 

In the past, Summer Institute was geared towards college admission professionals, but this year, it will include a high school counselor track as well! Summer Institute is an excellent opportunity for new and not-so-new school counselors to expand their knowledge and to learn the “Ins & Outs” of the college admission process.

This professional development opportunity is designed for high school counselors with zero to three years of school counseling experience or for any educator in a new role assisting students and their families in the college search and application process. The three-day event will offer the opportunity to attend multiple presentations led by Illinois’ leading voices in college admissions and network with college admission professionals and other high school counselors. Attendees are also eligible for professional development hours through ISBE.

The price will be $50, which includes meals and residence hall accommodations for two nights.   

Due to the generous support of a NACAC Imagine Grant and the IACAC Executive Board, we are pleased to offer this subsidized rate for high school counselors in this initial year.  Preference will be given to counselors currently working in high schools.

IACAC Conference:

 First Timers Sessions for High School Counselors

April 29-May 1, 2015

We invite all high school counselors, especially those newer to the profession or in graduate school, to our annual conference! Below you will find the sessions that are specifically geared towards high school counselors in their first few years, but also know that we have over 60 sessions with varying topics and presenters, amazing keynote, endnote, and guest speakers, and lots of networking opportunities! Click here for more information!

Session A-1 AND Session D-25: Tips for IACAC First Timers (Weds. 4/29 from 9:15-10:15AM OR Thurs. 4/30 from 9:45- 10:45PM)
Welcome to your first IACAC Conference! As you begin to “Imagine all of the Possibilities” that this profession and IACAC has to offer we want to take this opportunity to help you make the most of this conference. Learn about member benefits and the different IACAC committees. This session is designed to give you ideas to consider before, during, and after the conference to make your experience the best it can be! The more you put into it… the more you will get back!

Session A-3: Admissions and the Arts (Weds. 4/29 from 9:15-10:15AM)
Navigating portfolios, art songs, monologues, concertos, sprung marley floors and showtunes? Learn the ins and outs of the college admissions process for performing and visual artists including: special events to look for, unique aspects to the college visit, how to prepare for the audition/portfolio review, how to determine if your student is “college prepared” or “American Idol” prepared, as well as great colleges to look for in each discipline.

Session B-10: High School Counselor Interviews – Part 1 (Weds. 4/29 from 10:30-11:30AM)
Have you job hunted or are you currently job hunting and wondering what the people on the other side of the table are thinking? Here is your chance to get the inside scoop from a panel who have experience interviewing candidates for high school counseling positions. They will share thoughts, experiences, and tips based upon all they’ve seen and heard. This session will definitely offer up insights that will be enlightening as you navigate the interview process.

Session C-18: High School Counselor Interviews – Part 2 (Weds. 4/29 from 3:00-4:00PM)
Looking for a new secondary school opportunity? Hear three different perspectives from professional school counselors who interviewed for various openings at high schools. These counselors will offer personal accounts of questions asked to candidates along with the approaches to interviewing with both counselors and administrators.

Session E-33: Unsolved Mysteries: Secrets of the Admission Committee (Thurs. 4/30 from 11:00AM-12:00PM)
Ever wonder what happens when the admission committee meets? Don’t miss this chance to solve the mystery of how admission decisions are made at smaller private to larger public institutions with varying degrees of selectivity. Join the seasoned admission professionals as they provide some helpful insight to demystify the process.

Session F-45: You’re Driving Me Crazy (Thurs. 4/30 from 2:00-3:00PM)
Why do high school counselors and college admissions professionals do the things they do? Why do high school counselors weight those grades that way? Why do colleges not accept the ACT off the transcript? Why are we still using so much paper? With a humorous bent, the panel discusses common admissions practices with an eye towards understanding why the “other side” is doing things this way.

Session H-58: Transitioning into College Counseling (Fri. 5/1 from 9:00-10:00AM)
So I am a college counselor in a high school, now what? Hear different experiences as three counselors speak about transitioning to college counseling role. Speakers will come from a variety of backgrounds discussing what steps they took to become more knowledgeable on college counseling, and what resources are most helpful as they continue their professional development.

The First Timers Committee invites you to Imagine all of the Possibilities that IACAC can offer you as a new professional at the Spring Conference. The following are ways that you can get involved at this year’s conference:

  • Specific First Timers Track Sessions
    • These sessions will be marked “First Timers” in your conference booklet and will be held throughout the conference.
    • Start your day (either Wednesday or Thursday) with the “Tips for IACAC First Timers” session.
  • Coffee Welcome Tables
    • Stop by and meet other first time attendees as well as seasoned professionals.
  • First Timers Luncheon
    • Fun and interactive way to network and meet others over a delicious lunch with a fun Disney Theme. (Please bring your business card to exchange with your table host.)
  • Mentorship Reception
    • In conjunction with the mentorship committee, the first timers committee will be hosting a reception on Wednesday before dinner, so you can mix and mingle.

Throughout the conference, be on the lookout for your “Disney Match”. All first time conference attendees will have a sticker referencing a Disney movie so watch for your match, it’s a fun way to meet another first timer.

Volunteer Opportunity

This curriculum offers hands on experience with adults with disabilities, and offers a window into the organizations that serve them and the way a curriculum is built around them.