By Michelle Rogers, President
Saint Louis University
I love the fall. A new school year brings new students, new beginnings and new opportunities. This fall is even more special as I feel like I have a front row seat within IACAC to so many things happening and so many new opportunities. But, where has the time already gone? The IACAC Conference in May seems like it just happened, yet so many great things have transpired for IACAC since that time.
A Busy Summer for IACAC
I have been in the College Admissions profession for 28 years and have gotten used to summer being a time of preparation for the year ahead. Not this year! The summer was really busy for IACAC and many great programs took place. Camp College hosted 40 students at the University of Illinois Springfield, Illinois College, Millikin University and Illinois State University. Motivate Me hosted a Young Men’s Conference and this year added a Young Women’s track. Summer Institute hosted over 40 new college counselors and 21 high schools counselors at DePaul University. Summer Tours visited Ohio and the Northeast with the Bus and Plane tours. Our Executive Board attended a Leadership Development Institute at Loyola University in July as they continued their collaboration and work on their committees. Summer, as you can see was really busy. I am so proud of our IACAC Committees and volunteers for all of the work they do throughout the year. It is so exciting to be a part of this organization.
IACAC Members Active at the NACAC National Conference
Last week over 300 IACAC members attended the NACAC National Conference in Columbus, Ohio. IACAC members were an active part of this conference of over 6,500 people. We have IACAC members on the National Board and on various NACAC committees. Our delegates worked tirelessly to make impactful changes for the students we work with as they submitted two motions to the Assembly and both were approved. The first motion asked the National Board of Directors to provide a comprehensive timeline for the admission cycle from the opening of the application process to May 1st for rising seniors in the U.S. The other motion asked the National Board to review and work with NASFAA on a policy so that colleges and universities do not include the parent plus loan as part of the original financial aid package. Look for more detailed information in the October issue of the Admission Essay. IACAC’s Chief Delegate, Stephanie Szczepanski, will write about the strong work of our delegation. Help me in thanking the delegates for their efforts on behalf of students in Illinois and beyond.
Other great things at NACAC were our nomination and acknowledgment for NACAC’s Rising Star Award. This program recognizes leaders and programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition to college. IACAC’s Sharing the Dream Conference was recognized for their work in educating admission and high school professionals on issues related to undocumented students. Congratulations to Eric Ruiz, Todd Burrell and Aliza Gilbert, along with their committee and volunteers on receiving NACAC’s Rising Star Award. Their work allows us all to be more informed and educated in ways to better serve our students. We thank you and applaud this special recognition. Additionally, Kenya Taylor from The University of Arizona was nominated for her strong leadership with the Mentorship Committee, First Timers Committee and the MANY committees she serves throughout IACAC. We congratulate Kenya on her nomination and thank her for her diligent work with IACAC in so many capacities.
Incredible Change Ahead
As we begin to look ahead at the changes this fall will bring, IACAC has an incredible change ahead. It is with great excitement that I announce future changes for our Annual Conference. Over the past year, the Annual Conference Exploratory Ad Hoc Committee, led by Maryanne Kelly, looked into areas of conference improvement to benefit our members. At the September Executive Board meeting the committee presented its findings and recommendations to the board members. The first change that the Executive Board approved was to the committee structure. The changes made will allow for more leadership development within IACAC and will add volunteer opportunities. This will be implemented as we continue planning the upcoming conferences. The other exciting opportunity is that the conference will be moving outside of the Chicago area every four years. Moving the location will allow increased access to all members in the state of Illinois. Under this new structure, the first annual conference held outside of the Chicago area will take place in 2019. Please join me in thanking the Annual Conference Exploratory Ad Hoc Committee for their work and to the Executive Board for their thoughtful consideration of all of our members throughout the state.
In light of all of the special things happening within the state, I invite you to do two things;
- Renew your membership to IACAC for the upcoming year. We have many things to look forward to this year and we would love for you to be a part of it. Joining IACAC before October 15 will allow you to be listed in the hard copy directory. (All members can be found online throughout the year.)
- Please join us THIS WEEKEND for the NACAC National College Fair on Saturday, October 1, 2016 at McCormick Place from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Be part of the largest fair in Chicago as a participant or volunteer.
Thank you for allowing me many new beginnings with IACAC in the 2016-2017 year. I love working alongside the hard working professionals that look for solutions to help students throughout the state. Please feel free to bring me ideas, concerns and conversations so we can work together to help each other as professionals help students in Illinois.