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Down to Business

Exploring trends and tips in advising students

IN THIS ISSUE: From the President..........................1-2

Message from the President: Friends and colleagues: may 2017 bring you good health and happiness! As you know, January marks the beginning of NYSACAC’s golden anniversary. To commemorate this milestone, we will continue to build upon fifty years of hard work put toward the best of purposes: the advancement of educational opportunity for the young people of our state.

Hidden Figures, which revolves around the contributions of three brilliant African-American women--Katherine Johnson, Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson--the brains behind the NASA operation that launched astronaut John Glenn into orbit in 1962. By the time Johnson was in grade school, as the opening scene in the film shows, every teacher who had worked with her knew that she was a phenom. She was I often reflect on the crucial work encouraged to attend the only nearby we do within college admission school that would educate Africancounseling. I recently saw the movie American children after eighth grade.

Conference Updates.............................3 Advising Tips & Trends....................4-5 Member Spotlight................................6 Upcoming Events..........................................11 Government Relations.......................12 Need Over Numbers......................14-15 New York State Association for College Admission Counseling

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Winter 2017 Newsletter


NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017 continued from page 1

From Susan Davidson, NYSACAC President, continued

In order to guide our students on their unique paths toward higher education, we must continue to recognize the innate spark that lies within each and every one of them. We must continue to help them tease out their strengths, address areas of challenge, and envision what they want their adult lives to be like. Our work is different each day because each student is different. This, I believe, is what keeps many of us in the profession.

Congratulations to Bob Herr from Wagner College and Courtney Cyr from Hofstra University for their dedication in planning this year’s program. Thank you as well to Manhattanville College for hosting this program once again.

On February 14th, NYSACAC will host Legislative Advocacy Day at the Hampton Inn in downtown Susan Davidson, M.Ed., is Associate Albany. See: Director of College Counseling at Rye legislative-advocacy-day for more Country Day School Since the 1960s, the landscape information. This is an opportunity to of higher education has certainly speak with your representatives and changed. Even the SPGP, which advocate for our students to have governs our work, has morphed access to need-based financial aid, Stay tuned for more information and expanded. What remains is the quality counseling, and a rigorous about the Seedling early college awareness program. dedication of the professionals in curriculum. this field. I thank NYSACAC founding As a reminder, every donation In addition, regional Professional presidents Jonathan Pierson III, from to NYSACAC will go to the Road to Union College, and Donald Dickason Development Forums are offered at 50 Fund, supporting programming from Cornell University for having the no cost to members on the following and helping counselors attend foresight to create an organization dates at the locations listed below. professional development programs. that would guide the next generation University of Rochester: Tuesday, Thank you for continuing to support of college admission counselors. On March 14, 2017 the association. behalf of the full executive board, Hofstra University: Monday, March The advancement of the space I hope that members will take 20, 2017 program in the 60s, led by minds every opportunity to participate in Fordham UniversityLincoln Center: such as Johnson, Vaughan and NYSACAC programs this spring and Tuesday, March 21, 2017 Jackson, guided and advanced to seek volunteer opportunities, so higher education and the equity of that they can fully partake of this Syracuse University: Wednesday, educational opportunity. I would impressive legacy. Below you will find March 22, 2017 information pertaining to some of D’Youville College: Friday, March 31, argue that if we are to continue to be the world’s leader in higher our most popular programs, each one 2017 designed in the spirit of our founding education, we must be concerned Manhattanville College: Tuesday, mission of service. about who has access to higher April 4, 2017 education and need-based financial The 2017 Annual NYSACAC Siena College: Tuesday, April 11, 2017 aid and advocate for opportunities Conference and Coming Together The spring will bring NYSACAC for all students. Further, we must will take place at SUNY Geneseo from Tuesday, June 6th through Friday, Regional College Fairs and NACAC ensure that our students are poised June 9th. Registration and additional College Fairs to Syracuse, Rochester, for successful college completion and beyond. information will be available at www. Buffalo and New York City. As always, I can be reached at We welcome counselors to join us The second annual Winter Institute for our Long Island College Tour from for comments took place on Friday, January 13th. March 26-29th. and questions. 2

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Updates from the NYSACAC Annual Conference Rob Piurowski, NYSACAC President-Elect In less than 125 days, NYSACAC Members, Colleagues and Partners will start to arrive at the beautiful campus of SUNY Geneseo for the start of our 39th NYSACAC Annual Conference! Team Geneseo and the Conference Steering Committee have been working hard to put together a truly comprehensive, collaborative and enjoyable professional development opportunity. Highlights Include: - The 20th Coming Together Conference: With a theme of “20 Years of Education, Advocacy and Standing with Our Students”, the Coming Together Conference focuses on engaging dialogue to addresses how to best support college access and success among our most vulnerable students.

The format for this year’s conference will return to facilitated presentations through proposals submitted by conference attendees. In addition, we are proud to announce our Keynote Speaker, Angel Perez, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success at Trinity University and also will recognize those that have contributed to the continuous success of this amazing program. - Conference Keynote: Dr. Michael Oberg; a SUNY Distinguished Professor of History at SUNY Geneseo, who is an internationally renowned scholar in Native American studies. Dr. Oberg has published seven books, most recently a work titled Peacemakers. In addition, Dr. Oberg is a master ethnohistorian, who mines the scarce historical record

for Native American voices, breaking new ground in much of his published work; - Over 50 Educational Session Presentations - FUN-draisers: Options including a Paint and Sip Experience, Bocce Tournament, tours of Letchworth State Park and the National War Plane Museum; - Conference Socials: Include a Wednesday “Knight’s” Tailgate Celebration and More! Conference registration is live and I encourage you to visit our conference website at nysacac frequently for updates. See you in June and Go NYSACAC!

Mentor a Conference Newcomer Calling all NYSACAC Annual Conference fans and experts! You’ve been to the conference and valued your experience; now share your enthusiasm and expertise with a NYSACAC Conference Newcomer. Newcomers might be new to the profession, to the field, to the organization or just to the conference. Newcomers reflect the diverse demographics of our college applicants: young in appearance or young at heart; new to a career or a seasoned professional. Make sure to say YES to serving as a mentor on your conference registration form. Even if you cannot make it to this year’s conference, you can still sign up to become a Pre-Conference Mentor. Consider emailing Newcomer Committee Co-chairs Sara Robinson or Luis Barcelo to express your interest in learning more at or 3

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Down to Business & Tested Tips ESSAY CORNER: The Personal Statement: A Mini-Memoir Approach By Allison Somers, NYU College Advising Corps Writing the personal statement is often the most dreaded component of the college application process. As a former creative writing student and current college counselor, I look forward to showing my students that each of them has a unique voice and a compelling story to share.

Common Application prompts, I ask to try out for the Kids Jeopardy game my students one simple question: show. I think the essay was successful What is your happiest memory? because it highlighted a special day I view the personal statement as a without losing focus, and also shed mini-memoir. It is the space to hone in light on my love of trivia and learning.

on one moment in a young person’s life that has made a lasting impression. By focusing on just one moment, the Having worked in a high school for student is freed from the anxiety of two years, I have noticed a common describing every accomplishment pitfall in the writing process. Many and set-back they have endured. students feel that they must convey I often share with my students the their entire life’s experiences in 500 topic of my own personal statement. words. This produces great anxiety, My essay followed my happiest but is also an impossible task. My memory at the time, which is still one approach to teaching the personal of my most cherished moments as a statement is a bit unique. Rather young adult. My personal statement than relying on the four or five focused on the day my father took me

I like to think of the personal statement as a snippet into a student’s life. We can’t learn everything about a student in a single page, but a wellchosen memory can reveal a lot. For the students who are stuck, asking them to write about a memory can open up a dialogue about their passions, goals, and accomplishments. Narrowing in on a single memory allows the writer to create a focused essay that will stand out from the rest, and produce joy in the process.

Why Every Student Should Consider a Gap Year By Tim Porter-DeVriese, Director, Rustic Pathways Gap Year Students of all kinds, from those who excel academically to those who struggle should consider taking a gap year before entering college. Wellplanned gap years ease stress and burnout, allow students to explore careers, foster global citizenship, increase maturity, and prepare them for life away from home before starting college. High profile gappers like Malia Obama put gap in the spotlight. A growing body of evidence from organizations such as the American Gap Association 4

shows that purposeful gap years offer students real and lasting benefits that continue throughout college and into careers. Top universities such as Harvard, Tufts, and Princeton actively encourage incoming freshman to take gap years and even provide scholarships to defray the cost.

or Burn Out for the Next Generation, “Many of us are concerned that the pressures on today’s students seem far more intense than those placed on previous generations. Regardless of why they took the year off or what they did, students are effusive in their praise. Many speak of their year away as a ‘life-altering’ experience or a Harvard Dean of Admissions Bill ‘turning point,’ and most feel that its Fitzsimmons, and his colleagues full value can never be measured and Marlyn McGrath and Charles Ducey will pay dividends the rest of their write in their seminal essay, Time Out lives.” continued on page 7

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

s: Emerging Trends s for Students A Message for High School Students: The Interview By Mark Maas, First Foot Forward The interview is usually arranged by an alumni network (or sometimes an Admissions Office) and takes place in some neutral location like a Starbuck’s or Whole Foods. Some interviewers do them in their office. The interview lasts between 30 and 45 minutes generally, and is an opportunity for both the interviewer AND the student candidate to ask questions and learn from the other. The interviewer is given very little information - your current high school and maybe your intended major. As a candidate, you should come relaxed and ON-time, and open to asking questions as well as answering in more than a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’. Interviews are the ‘spice for the soup’, meaning that the interviewer is looking to get a feeling about who you are, what you like, how you relate to your family and your community, and what your aspirations might be. It is not about a resume’, grades, SAT scores or other information that shows up in an application. It is personal. It is not a list of involvements. As an interviewer, I want to learn about your passions and what excites you outside of school.

A few years ago my college was looking for ‘engaged’ students. I might want to find out from you what you think that means.... what is an engaged student? I have a couple of questions that I throw out at a moment, which help me to compare students, for example, “You’ve just won the lottery and have a $1,000,000 in your pocket... what would you do with it”? There is no right answer, of course, but rather I am wondering about your ability to come up with thoughtful aspirations or involvements.

you might want to add to your essays, which I might include on your behalf, or personal changes since you’d applied. Finally, I ask whether you have any questions for me - about my school or my experiences. Interviews are not tests, and there are no right or wrong answers. It is really about you, being relaxed and truthful. This will help you come across well. I have learned that most students are great - really! Each student has a passion.

I’ve learned that the lion’s share of what you are all about is in the grades and test scores and essays. I might ask about diversity at The interview can be important, your present school, and whether a and it might be more important at diverse student body is important some colleges than at others. Thank to you. You’d be amazed at the you notes are appreciated at some importance of the issue, and the colleges, and not at all necessary ‘rightness’ of the fit between you --the or expected at others. It’s cultural. candidate and the school you are I know that I am one of the few adults applying to. Don’t take it for granted. from my school that you will meet, so I ask about family, and siblings - I am representing my school, and do just to learn more about you and it proudly - you are there to learn from your parents as well. I might ask me as well as my learning about you. what you would recommend to If interviewing makes you nervous, your current school to make it you might want to practice with better after you’re gone, or what schools that are not high up on your you might have done last summer. list.... you’ll get more comfortable I ask whether there is anything that the






NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Member Spotlight: Alison Newman By Sara Robinson NYSACAC Newsletter, Co-Chair

The New York State Association for and families as well as a last-dollar College Admission Counseling Board retreat is held each summer during the first days of August on the picturesque Marist College campus. Over the course of three days, board members from across New York State convene to reflect on the successes of an academic year, strategize on improving our organization’s initiatives, orient new board members, and provide professional (and personal) development. It is a tradition, as long as I have had the privilege to be a member of the board, for the Western New York contingent to carpool to these meetings. It was on this journey that I had the pleasure of meeting Allison Newman, Co-chair of the CBO and Opportunity Program Committee, who allowed me to ask her a few questions about her past, present and future in this field and with NYSACAC. SR: When did you discover this field was for you? AN: I was involved with Teach for America, in which I taught English for two years in Texas. I loved teenagers but not the demands of teaching. I decided to pursue my school counseling certification, so I moved to New York City for graduate school and earned my Master’s in Counseling Psychology. After six years, I moved back home to the Buffalo region and worked for a college access organization, College Summit, where I wrote college access curriculum. After another three years serving as a school counselor in a Western NY suburb, I realized my heart is in Buffalo, so I took the opportunity at Say Yes and have been here four years. SR: Tell me about your role at Say Yes Buffalo. AN: Say Yes to Education is a partnership between the Buffalo Public Schools, city and county governments, philanthropic organizations, higher education partners, professional unions and parent organizations. The goal is to provide comprehensive support to students


scholarship. As Scholarship Director, it is my role to manage the scholarship process and coordinate college access activities. SR: How long have you been involved in NYSACAC and in what capacity? AN: I attended my first conference while with College Summit, but have only really been involved on the periphery, attending conferences every other year. I had the opportunity to present on behalf of Say Yes during the Adelphi conference. SR: How did you come to be co-chair of the CBO and Opportunity Programs committee? AN: I was approached by Carla Shere, former CBO and Opportunity Program Co-chair, after the Adelphi presentation, as she wanted to establish a college access network in Buffalo, modeled after the successful College Access Consortium of New York in NYC. It was Carla who helped me become involved with the CBO fair committee during the Wagner conference and who recruited me for this role. SR: What were your first impressions or key takeaways from the board retreat? AN: I was really excited to be surrounded by people who share the same professional interests. I work in a silo at Say Yes, as I am the only one from a secondary school background as most come from non-profit or business sectors. I want to be involved in real advocacy work to benefit my students and have interactions with decisionmakers at high levels. Working with underrepresented student populations, it is these people who can help guide me in the right direction so that I can guide my students. In turn, this allows me the opportunity to be a conduit to my school counselors in the Buffalo Public Schools. SR: What are some of your goals for your committee this year? AN: We hope to breathe new life into the Seedling Program, restarting it

Alison Newman, Co-Chair - CBO and Opportunity Program Committee

from a brief hiatus, both downstate and upstate; recruit more CBO and H/EOP colleagues to join the organization and committee and help spread the word of the membership benefits; and host CBO fairs at the conference and downstate for students. SR: What message might you want to share with members of NYSACAC? AN: Even if you’re not a high school or college counselor, there are so many benefits to membership for college access professionals who work with underrepresented students; NYSACAC provides a network of support that might not be so obvious to those who come from CBO or other college access roles. The whole world of college admissions is complicated for those who work in it but even more so for students and families. This is compounded for underrepresented and first-generation students. Having an adult helps, NYSACAC helps those adults help their students better. NYSACAC provides local networking where it counts, as underrepresented students are less likely to leave the state. Membership in this organization reminds and informs us that are part of a bigger movement focused on access and equity.

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Considering a Gap Year, continued from page 4. Perhaps, counterintuitively, gap years can save students considerable time and money. According to Virginia Gordon, half of college freshmen begin their studies not knowing what major they intend to declare. In addition, most college students change majors at least once, and many do so several times. A third of college students will transfer colleges before graduating, often to two-year institutions. Victor Luckerson, of Time writes, “According to the Department of Education, fewer than 40% of students who enter college each year graduate within four years, while almost 60% of students graduate in six years. At public schools, less than a third of students graduate on time.” Each additional semester comes at a considerable, unplanned cost. Taking time to mature and develop purpose before college could bring these numbers down, even reducing costs in the long run. Students can easily cite the benefits of taking a gap year. Mikaela Gillman, who participated in a program offered by Rustic Pathways, traveled to Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama, and Peru, before enrolling at the University of Michigan in 2013. For Mikaela, a gap year was the perfect transition from high school to college. Gillman’s gap semester allowed her to experience new countries and cultures, improve her Spanish, venture outside of her comfort zone, and discover causes she was passionate about. During her gap semester, Gillman was introduced to the Sacred Valley Project, a nonprofit that focuses on improving access to education for young women from low-income families in the remote, mountain communities of Peru. Gillman credits her gap experience for preparing her for college. By

traveling and participating in meaningful service before starting college, she was able to identify her interests, become more independent and self-reliant, and begin her studies with more confidence and focus. For others considering a gap year, Gillman has these words of advice: “Whether you work, travel, learn a new skill, or something different, it is valuable to take time away from school to learn about yourself and about life from outside of an academic environment. I always tell people that taking a gap year was the best decision I ever made. It shaped my interests and gave me direction once I started college. I felt that I knew myself better after spending a year on my own and

outside of my comfort zone. I also have a much clearer idea of who I am, what my interests are, and what I want to gain from my education.” Encouraging students to consider gap years will help take the pressure off this generation, opening the doors to self-actualization and healthy choices, rather than pushing them into a potentially damaging race to keep up with expectations. Highquality gap year programs, along with helpful gap year statistics and information, can be found at www.

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club Hosts College Access Training Seminar By Carol Harrington, Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club

This fall, Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club’s Keystone Club hosted a College Access training seminar for Boys & Girls Clubs across the New York Metro Region, including Clubs from Long Island, New York City, Mt. Vernon, Albany, and Stamford, Connecticut. Other community-based organizations such as S.T.R.O.N.G. Youth, Inc. from Uniondale also attended the program. Staff members from the Goddard Riverside Community Center’s Options Institute provided the curriculum, materials and instruction for the day. The Options Institute offers training to professionals in the youth services field with a focus on specialized knowledge and skills needed to provide high quality college advising for underrepresented populations. The day was full of information ranging from strategies to help match students with the right university based on their grades, financial need and institutional support, to ways to develop quality college access programming for teens. Also in attendance were college admissions counselors representing the New York State Association for College Admissions Counselors (NYSACAC) and ROAM NY, a regional based group of admissions officers who recruit in the New York region for their respective universities across the country. A group of admissions personnel served on a panel and spent their time speaking


to the audience about the importance of community based organizations playing a role in the college admissions process and how they can collaborate with colleges and universities. The Boys & Girls Clubs’ staff in attendance asked for advice on how to reach the middle school population and create effective programming to engage the pre-teens. They discussed their objective to create a college-going culture as well as ways to best collaborate with admissions officers in the future.

“It was a productive day, ”said Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club teen coordinator, John Keating. “We hope the attendees are able to bring back best practices and build more effective college access programs in their home clubs. It is our goal to establish a more inclusive college going environment for our middle and high school populations. A special thanks to the First Lady’s Reach Higher program for connecting The Grenville Baker Boys & Girls Club to the Options Institute to help put on this great day!”

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Preparing for College: Setting Goals and Getting Support By Ryan Herriault Lead Academic Coordinator at College Internship Program

It’s that time of year again. But how do we know if and when our students are ready? There is much more to college preparedness than having a backpack full of supplies and a map to class. Transitions can be especially difficult for students on the Autism spectrum or with learning differences, but there are many different types of supports you can utilize to get started on the right track. A Step-by-Step Approach Motivation can be achieved by setting goals. The smaller the goals, the more achievable they are. Achieving goals promote individual confidence and momentum. For example: “In order to get a job, I will need a degree. In order to get a degree, I will need to be successful this term.” Ask yourself: What does success in college look like for me? Examples: 1. I wake up every day on time.

2. I eat regularly, sleep regularly, medicate regularly, and clean myself and my space daily. 3. I make an academic plan for the day and enter it into my schedule. Example: Do 10 math problems from 2-3pm 4. Reflect on the plan. Example: I was only able to complete five problems because I did not understand two of them and felt defeated. So I stopped. 5. Make a new plan. Example: I will do five problems from 2-3pm. If that goes well I, will do five more. I will work near the math lab so I can get help if I need it. Although frustrating, it is important that students are allowed to (respectively) set their own pace. Students should start slowly and then ease into a more rigorous (more classes or more intense — not both) course load. If they are balancing

work, home, social and other personal experiences and goals, they will need to further extend their timeline. In addition, the students will need more help with classes that are not in their realm of special interest because it is likely to be challenging to push through the things they don’t want to do in order to obtain long-term goals. Even after a student understands how to break assignments down, if they are experiencing stress, they still may need assistance to meet the requirements of assignments. As most people have experienced at one time or another, careful, rational thought leaves when balance is not achieved. However, we are able to move forward with support and encouragement. Social and Executive Skills Support The type of supports needed depends on the student’s specific needs and experiences. Students who have Continued on next page

Honor Your Colleagues: Award Nominations Coming Soon! Do you know an individual who deserves to be recognized for exemplary service to our profession?

consider nominating commendable NYSACAC members for the following special recognitions and awards.

Is there an individual that you feel goes above and beyond in promoting issues of access and success?

The President’s Award is given in memory of Barbara Christie Sweeney, 1987 NYSACAC President, who died tragically in 1991. This award recognizes an individual who, over a period of years, has performed outstanding service to NYSACAC, to our profession, and to the community.

Does a new professional come to mind when you hear the words “Rising Star”? Can you think of an individual who works with distinction on behalf of our organization and in support of our profession? If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you will soon have the opportunity to recognize your peers! Each year, NYSACAC’s annual conference presents the opportunity for our organization to recognize the superstars among us. I encourage each of you to

The Human Relations Award is given to an individual or program that champions the issues of access and making postsecondary opportunities available to historically underrepresented students. The Distinguished Service Award (one for College and one for Secondary School) is awarded to individuals who

have given exceptional service to our profession. The Rising Star Award honors individuals and programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college. Preference will be given to those who have worked in the field for no more than five years. They must be new members who are striving to make a difference within the association through their work in committees. Stay tuned… the award nomination process will begin in April 2017! For more information, please contact Awards Chair & Immediate Past President, Kristen Capezza at past.president@ 9

NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

Preparing for College, continued from page 9. received support services at an early age will be more prepared for a college experience. They are willing to accept who they are and adapt themselves to society’s expectations earlier. In addition, students who have received intensive social skills instruction and practice in the environment for which it is to take place, tend to have a more positive and successful experience in college. Students need a good support system in order to succeed.

For students who have never received these types of supports, consider starting in a school that allows students to take one class that is smaller in size and works well with student services. This will allow time for the student to become proficient with social and executive skills, rather than focus solely on academic content. Important




Communicating with Professors – While some struggle to initiate contact, others may contact too frequently. For example, when a teacher tells the student to ask questions if they need clarification, they do not mean that it is okay to ask for more details ten to fifteen times during class. Students should consult with a coach to help them to follow through with speaking to a disability services counselor to assist with teacher communications. Staying Organized – It is important for students to maintain a binder, plan ahead, and be able to break down and track their assignments. They can also do this electronically by syncing their email calendar with their phone calendars. Some colleges offer services to show students how to get and stay organized. Some tutoring and coaching services can help with this too.

Accountability – Many students struggle to follow through with assignments or attending classes (and appointments), which may look like they don’t care. It is important for the student to have a coach to help them figure out why as well as provide support to coach them through to completion. For example, when a student says phrases like, “I hate this”, “I’m done with this”, “I’ll do it later”, “I’ll just skip this one”, “I forgot”, what they are really saying is, “this is hard and I need help breaking it down into small bits.” Tracking – Students need help developing habits to check and track homework online. They can do this with a tutor on a regular basis. They can also use it as a tool to communicate what is going on in their class to parents and coaches. Some online tracking systems, like CANVAS, can be synced with their phone. Utilizing College Support Services These various kinds of specialize in working with on your campus. They and available to all

supports students are free students:

• Learning disability supports such as tutors, untimed and additional time testing, note-takers and academic advising • Counseling services

• Internship or employment services • Medical services • Nutritional services • Peer mentors, tutors and counselors Using college support services is a skill acquired over time. Many students require assistance to understand, obtain, and follow through with using the supports offered by the college, even after they have been instructed by college staff and have had practice using them. This is because changes in a student’s environment may affect how they make decisions. The college experience can be a motivator for self-discovery. For some students it happens right away, while others are not ready until much later. Back-to-school time is exciting because the students get to be out on their own, running their own lives and making their own decisions. But it can also be stressful for some because they are concerned that they may not make the right choices, which could lead to different consequences. It is through these experiences that students learn what to do differently in order to get a better outcome.

ACT Enrollment Management Workshops April 25, 2017 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Stony Brook University, Stony Brook, NY April 26, 2017 - 10 a.m. - 2 p.m. - Le Moyne College, Syracuse, NY Attend and you will learn more about ACT test-taking trends, free ACT reports, ACT postsecondary solutions, and strategic enrollment management services. ACT Enrollment Management Workshops provide you and your staff with user-friendly insights about how ACT data and services can easily be applied to quickly recognize efficiencies in student recruitment, placement, remediation, and retention. 10

Register today by visiting this link for registration.



February 14, 2017 : NYSACAC Legislative Advocacy Day @ Albany, NY


March 5-6, 2017 : NACAC Advocacy Meeting @ Washington, D.C. March 8, 2017 : Syracuse National College Fair @ SRC Arena, Onondaga Community College March 12-13: Rochester National College Fair @ Rochester Riverside Convention Center March 14, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ University of Rochester March 15, 2017 : NACAC Emerging Admissions Professionals @ Buffalo, NY March 15-16, 2017 : Buffalo National College Fair @ Buffalo Niagara Convention Center March 20, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Hofstra University March 21, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Fordham University - Lincoln Center March 22, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Syracuse University March 21, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Fordham University - Lincoln Center


March 26, 2017 : NACAC Emerging Professionals @ New York City, NY March 26, 2017 : New York National College Fair @ Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, NYC March 26-29, 2017 : 2017 NYSACAC Long Island College Tour March 31, 2017 : NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ D’Youville College


April 4, 2017: NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Manhattanville College April 11, 2017: NYSACAC Professional Development Regional Forum @ Siena College


June 6-7, 2017 : NYSACAC 20th Coming Together Conference SUNY Geneseo June 7, 2017: NYSACAC Middle Management Institute SUNY Geneseo June 7-9 : NYSACAC 39th Annual Conference @ SUNY Geneseo

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FREE* three-day overnight college admission program; Prepares students for the college process with interview preparation, essay writing; workshops and activities; Engages students in college classes and experiential activities; and more! Geared towards first generation and underserved high school juniors and seniors Canisius College: Friday July 7, 2017 - Sunday July 9, 2017 College Fair - Saturday July 8, 2017

* Transportation Excluded

SUNY Potsdam: Friday July 21, 2017 - Sunday July 23, 2017 College Fair - Saturday July 22, 2017

Calling all Previous Camp College Mentors! In an effort to collect information as we approach our 20th anniversary, we would like to gather all of the information for anyone who has ever volunteered at Camp College. If you have volunteered as a mentor or brought students as a chaperone in the past, please complete our very short survey at 11 Thank you for your support!

Updates from the Government Relations Committee: Brian Culligan & Daryl Hornick-Becker, Co-chairs

Government Relations Since the Election Much has been discussed about what occurred on election night last November. But the government relations committee is less concerned about what went right for one side and what went wrong for another, and more interested in the real policy implications for higher education that may occur as a result. Donald Trump’s win casts a murky light on how education and higher education may be affected during his administration. Higher education was not a major focus of his campaign or of his party’s platform. He did mention in October that he would like to see student loan repayments capped at 12.5% of the borrower’s income. He also said on the campaign trail that universities should be willing to spend more of their endowments on financial aid and student services, or risk losing their tax-exempt status. We also know that the tone of Trump’s campaign could negatively affect the college landscape. Trump’s campaign stated that his proposed ban on Muslim immigration would indeed apply to international students. And the antiimmigration and anti-undocumented rhetoric of his campaign may lead to a more unwelcome climate for students at some college campuses. A rise in the occurrence of hate crimes and violence has already been reported on campuses. Also impacted could be the future of for-profit colleges in the US. A priority of the Obama administration with regard to higher education was its pursuit of predatory lending practices by for-profit institutions. It is safe to assume that under the Trump administration these practices may end given his previous affiliation with for-profit colleges. In terms of the rest of Trump’s campaign

promises it’s difficult to say which parts may become priorities. We do know that the most concrete decision he has made affecting education as presidentelect has been appointing Betsy Devos as the Secretary of Education. Devos herself has been unclear on her stance toward higher education, even as she prepares to control a bureaucratic agency that lends millions of dollars to college students. We do know that she has been a fierce advocate for school choice, supporting vouchers and charter schools in her home state of Michigan.

the maximum TAP award and expand

In addition to winning the presidency, Republicans maintained control of both houses of Congress, and they are expected to tackle the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in the 2017 legislative session. Items that have gained bipartisan support thus far include streamlining questions on the FAFSA and the introduction of risksharing agreements. NACAC has released their own policy recommendations for the HEA.

remaining cost of tuition for eligible

In New York our State Senate and Assembly maintained their power dynamics, with Democrats controlling the Assembly and Republicans controlling the Senate through a powersharing agreement. Last summer the Assembly once again passed the New York State DREAM Act, which makes state tuition available for undocumented students, and it will be considered in the state Senate this legislative session. The Governor also once again reiterated his support for the DREAM Act in his State of the State address. Not to be outdone, the independent Democrats in the Senate who align with Republicans announced their own higher education initiative to raise

eligibility to include undocumented students. However, eclipsing all these efforts was



announcement that in his budget he would call for free-tuition at CUNY and SUNY for full-time students who earn, or whose families earn, less than $125,000. The new aid program would leverage existing aid programs and cover the students not covered by TAP and Pell grants.

The new initiative would be

phased in over three years, beginning for New Yorkers making up to $100,000 annually in the fall of 2017, increasing to $110,000 in 2018, and reaching $125,000 in 2019. Here at NYSACAC we responded with excitement but also concern. This upcoming year will present many opportunities and challenges for NYSACAC, at all levels of government. The election may have disappointed many of us, but if you want to spend the next four years fighting for what you believe in and making a real difference, now is the time. We hope you will join the Government Relations Committee and NYSACAC in making our voices heard on Legislative Advocacy Day. Now more than ever, our institutions, our schools, our families and most importantly our students need our support. We hope to see you in Albany.

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NYSACAC Newsletter Winter, 2017

The Dangers of Putting All Your Eggs in One Basket: College Admissions By Allison Somers, NYU College Advising Corps

As a college counselor, I try to instill hope in my students. I want them to know that they can succeed in college. Many students from my high school, a performing arts school located in the Bronx, have never considered higher education. They are afraid of the academic rigor and financial burden of attending college. Many students fear the possibility of dropping out or sinking into irrecoverable debt. It is moments when they start to see themselves succeeding at a university for the first time that are the most inspirational to witness. However, at the same time, I have noticed a damaging trend among some students. There is a tendency for many college hopefuls to “put all of their eggs” in the proverbial college basket. There is one school that a student feels is the perfect, and sometimes, only fit. I find this type of thinking to be incredibly

harmful. Students who do not get admitted into their top choice school are defeated. They do not consider that other schools may be an even better match for what they are looking for academically, socially, and personally. They dismiss their “safety” schools, which may be the most financially feasible for their families. They are quick to feel resentment towards a college admissions process that is unfair and discouraging. It is often difficult to help students recover from a college rejection. Often, I tell my students that if they work hard, they can start at any college, including a local community college, and then transfer to a different school when they are ready. This path is indirect, but can be more cost effective in the long run. I also share my own story with my students. Though I graduated from Princeton, which was at the top of my

list, I certainly did not have a linear path. I completed one semester at Princeton and then left for three years due to health reasons. During my time off, I returned home to NYC and studied briefly at Columbia and Hunter College in Manhattan. Attending these two schools, which were never on my radar, allowed me to realize that I could do well in multiple settings. All I needed was to be open-minded and try to make the most of a difficult leave of absence. With college acceptances starting to roll in, it is a very exciting time for our students. My goal is to help students remain open-minded about their options. What is a good fit now may change in the course of the school year. Before Decision Day in May, my ultimate hope for my students to develop a mindset that there is no perfect school and there is no one path they must follow.

Scholarship Committee Updates From Co-Chairs Patrick O’Neill and Carla Shere

Four $1,000 scholarships will be awarded this spring to four deserving students who have overcome barriers, succeeded with limited resources or are under-represented. If you know of any students who will be starting college in the Fall of 2017 and fit the criteria, we urge you to nominate them this spring. The application will be available on the NYSACAC soon and will be emailed to the membership. The deadline for the scholarship is FRIDAY, MAY 5th! We have a robust committee who will be reviewing the applications but we are always looking for additional members. Nearly of the work for this committee happens during the review process in May. If you are interested in serving on this committee, please contact Patrick O’Neill at patrick. or Carla Shere at

Eligibility Criteria

• Be a resident of New York State • Have/Will Be:

• Enroll in a two or four year undergraduate program º Graduated from a New York beginning Fall 2017 at a NYSACAC State public or private member college or university within secondary school; or New York State(the award recipient º Completed a home-schooled will be expected to provide official program in New York proof of matriculation) State; or • Have submitted a scholarship º Obtained a GED

application and essay by May 5, 2017

• Be nominated by a NYSACAC member


Need over Numbers By Danisha Baughan, School Counselor - Academy for Social Action 2017 29.6

NYC Schools Billion

Budget: Dollars…

“23.1 billion goes to funding for principals, teachers, textbooks and supplies. It covers the cost of standardized tests, after-school programs, school buses, heating and cooling for school buildings, safety, and school lunches” (DOE Overview, 2016)

school counselor in a multi-million dollar funded charter school; I didn’t really think much of the national ratio until my current position. I entered the public school system at the high school level not only acting in my hired role as the school counselor but also as the college advisor while juggling the responsibilities of schoolwide programming, and tackling attendance interventions known as planning interview procedures. Programming is usually designated as an entirely separate position due to the intense responsibility, so when I was assigned to tackle this in addition to all of the above; looking at the numbers alone I believed it was all manageable for a school with low enrollment, little did I know I was diving head first into a recipe for self destruction.

Nowhere in that budgetary introduction do we notice the detail of funds designated for the increase of student support pedagogical positions such as school counselors, social workers, and college advisors. Social emotional and postsecondary support departments have the greatest impact on student success and at the same When schools lose students they time the least financial investment then lose funding, which then from the city and state’s funding. affects staffing, and the support staff becomes one of the first areas to be If you thought a day in the life sacrificed. In this case a school ends of guidance is the most rewarding up with one individual assigned to yet intense position in the school take on the very unintentional task building, imagine what a day in the life of becoming the jack-of-all-trades; of guidance, programming, college that individual was me. I came in advising, and wearing many other hats as a first year DOE counselor with is like. This is my story and experience my spiffy business attire and head as a first year one-man army. full of great guidance and college The American School Counselor advisement ideas. After a few weeks Association recommends a school- of “programming for dummies” I counselor-to- student ratio of 1:250. was burnt out by October and had Previously being an elementary almost lost sight of all my wonderful counselor in a well performing, middle student support and college class, resourceful district with a ratio of counseling ideas. I nearly became 1:625 and a sole responsibility of only very discouraged as I fell behind counseling duties, then being a high in academic advisement, college

counseling, and other responsive and preventive responsibilities. School districts often place a great deal of focus and emphasis on student academic success forgetting that in order for the student to be academically successful, there are other personal/social needs that must be addressed. Depending on your school population, academics and post-secondary planning could very much so be the last priority for a student. Benjamin Basile, President of the Middle School Principal’s Association and Principal of Mott Hall Community School, once said in a presentation “ if attendance is an issue and the student has missed half the school year every year for four years, by the time they get to high school we are then tasked to bring that student back up to pace when in actuality the amount of instruction they have missed has left them on a 5th grade reading and writing level.” Ben also said that “educators are responsible for making sure the student succeeds academically when the reality for some students is that their major concern is what they are going to eat for dinner tonight or where they are going to live tomorrow. This shed light on the fact that every school and every student population cannot be treated the same, with the same expectations, and the same requirements for budgetary allocation. There are schools like mine where the need is greater than just academics, and allowing the one most important department to lack in the man power




necessary to address such need to meet those demands. And this is only created a larger gap within the unacceptable. School counseling pipeline to overall student success. should not be an extra or a luxury just for school systems that can Within my school, there was so afford it. School counseling is a much intervention to be provided in necessity to ensure that all our young so many different areas but I often people get the education they need found myself swamped with several to succeed in today’s economy .“ other immediate tasks. There was often reference to our enrollment in a I represented every bit of what way of reminding us that we should be Michelle Obama detailed in her able to tackle our responsibilities like address to the world. I was up against a piece of cake, yet I quickly realized a very tough challenge but I refused to that the bigger concern here is that allow the barriers to knock me down. there really was a very high need over I reminded myself that if I could raise numbers. It just wasn’t enough of me a toddler and grade school kid while to competently address the academic, working and pursuing a third degree social/emotional, and post-secondary all on my own without resorting needs in a way that effectively to insanity, then I could definitely benefitted each individual student. brainstorm mastering this heavy duty Yet, the fact of the matter remained position to the best of my ability…. that no money existed to create a and I did. In the previous years before team so I had to find the best possible I was hired, the guidance department way to be the team. My only concern results reflected the work of not only has ever been whether anyone a school counselor but also a full higher up in the chain of command college advisement CBO program actually and genuinely realizes how with much resources and private tough of a job it is to tackle not only funding. Since this was not the case the varying demands of everyday for me, I leaned in on the support of guidance and college counseling the DOE professional development responsibilities, but also the demands and central office staff, my building of a school counselor wearing leaders, the rest of the cabinet team, many hats due to lack of funding and outside organizations to provide for additional support or resources. as much assistance as possible to help me achieve the same, if not, increased During the ASCA national guidance support results from that of conference on July 1, 2014, Michelle the previous fully staffed department. Obama made the world aware of In the end, calling on all the social/ the challenges school counselors emotional and post-secondary like myself face when she stated “Gods” that existed helped make my that “ASCA recommends no more impossible role(s) a lot more possible. than 250 students per counselor, Despite being this one-man army the national average is one school fighting a very tough battle, I was able counselor for every 471 students. to help increase rates within; student And that is outrageous…one in five progress toward graduation/credit American high schools doesn’t have accumulation, college and career any school counselors at all –- none. readiness, and overall student support And that’s appalling… a lot of people as evidenced in the NYC Schools in this country have no idea about Quality Review. (NYCDOE, 2007) these numbers. They have no idea about all the other challenges you I love being a school counselor face just to do your jobs… So today, and I love even more that I am able we make all kinds of demands on to do it with far less of the luxuries our school counselors, but we often that other schools may have; I am don’t give you the support you need constantly trying to “make a dollar

out of 15 cents.” I just know for a fact that despite the numbers, if more funding were provided to increase the available positions for support staff that have the love and passion for the job as much as I do, then a lot more of student need would be addressed and decreased. I survived being a poster child for the typical NYC statement, ”If you can make it here, you can make it anywhere” yet, in my case this is relative to making it through being a first-year multi-modal counselor in a school with little to no money. I’m not sure if I’m insane and get a thrill out of the organized chaos or if I was just built to do what seems like one of the most impossible tasks, but I somehow succeeded at one of the roughest years of my six-year profession as a school counselor and I surprisingly returned for a second year of this heart racing excitement that the average professional would have fled from long ago. I’m here to give hope to those early mornings with kids-parents-teachersadministrators meeting you at the door with your coat on; long days of spontaneous sessions and crisis interventions; piles of paperwork and deadlines on your desk; numerous requests for transcripts, report cards, recommendations, help with applications, attendance summaries, credits and grades, and whole school data; teachers needing someone to vent to; impromptu meetings and the follow-up meetings to the original meeting; and those late days trying to catch up on all the work you missed while addressing student needs or those late nights you fail to sleep trying to mentally catch up on tomorrow’s responsibilities. We are super heroes and as challenging as the work may get, no matter how few or many the students in seats that exist, there is and will always be a major need over numbers to ensure that the role of developing the whole child may persist! 15

FOLLOW US ON: Make sure to use #NYSACAC at upcoming events! Don’t miss your chance to advertise in our next issue. Submit your advertisement today. Special discounts for multiple ads. Save up to 15%. Our next advertisement submission deadline is May 1, 2017. Share your ideas, research, news briefs, announcements, upcoming events and insights with your fellow NYSACAC members. Get involved and submit an article for the next NYSACAC newsletter. Newsletter Committee: Sara Robinson, Co-Chair Associate Director of Admissions & Advisement University at Buffalo School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences Daniel Shanley, Co-Chair Assistant Dean for Admission Operations Colgate University Jerome Furman, Committee Counselor East Side Community High School Sheryl Kavanagh, Committee School Counselor Grand Island High School

New York State Association for College Admission Counseling

Christine Loo, Committee Director of College Counseling The Stony Brook School John Rearick, Committee Sr. Associate Director of College Counseling Poly Prep Christine Rivas-Laline, Committee School Counselor Plainview Old-Bethpage John F. Kennedy High School


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Winter 2017 Newsletter  
Winter 2017 Newsletter