Thursday, March 16, 2017

PCACAC Member Spotlight on Willie Lee III

Willie Lee III works at Bank of America and with EZ. Project EZ Campus Thrust is Phase 1 of the initiative he is working on with EZ and a host of other organizations to extend the college reach.

Where do you currently work and what is your position?
In my real job, I work in Information Technology Applications Programming at Bank of America in the Global Technology & Operations Division and am truly grateful to PCACAC that I have been afforded membership privileges to help in advancing the mission of such a prestigious organization as this. Over the years, I have observed a genuine passion and concern among the member professionals I have met in this organization who has dedicated themselves to leveling the playing field for college access and success to all students. PCACAC has opened its doors wide to me from the onset and welcomed me in for which I am so truly grateful and honored to be one of its members.

What led you into admissions/college counseling? Share your journey story!
 The thing that led me into admissions/college counseling has been quite a unique and interesting journey. I have always wanted to do something to give back and was intrigued with my discovery, through research, of the proficiency gap and aspiration gap statistics for certain populations of students and felt like there just wasn’t enough being done to seriously address this issue head on. What I have discovered while on this journey is that the reason a large segment of our students have fallen in these gaps are not necessarily because they have an achievement problem but because of the fact that they just aren’t getting the guidance they need to plan for living successful lives after high school. I wanted to do more to drill down into the real root of the problem and started looking for organizations, tools, resources, etc. that could help me with coming up with a viable solution. Eventually I met Mrs. Arlene Ingram, who was the Executive Assistant for PCACAC at the time and a tremendous resource in helping me find my way through the myriad and sundry list of available resources. Mrs. Ingram was also very instrumental in getting me to join PCACAC through the Marion Flagg Scholarship that I was awarded in 2013 and that allowed me to attend my first PCACAC Annual Spring Conference.  And then the following year, I was fortunate to be awarded the Student Support Grant at the 2014 PCACAC Annual Spring Conference. I realized early on that if I was to be a contributor to PCACAC amongst this group of professionals then I would have to lean more on using my strength of exercising good business acumen to address this social problem and help close these gaps. I’ve spent a career in IT developing technology to provide solutions for solving business problems. Through the PCACAC conferences I’ve attended, I’ve found a powerful and effective technology solution that could be used to help provide a solution to solve this social problem at the grass roots level. PCACAC was generous enough to take me in, train me, and still are nurturing me in my continuous growth and development.

What advice would you give to someone looking to pursue leadership (or membership) in PCACAC and/or NACAC?
The advice I would give to someone looking to pursue membership in PCACAC and/or NACAC is to consider membership in either/both of these great organizations if you are seriously looking for professional development and growth. Then make plans to get involved, take advantage of the enormous networking opportunities available, and attend the various conferences, the one-day Drive-Ins, the Summer Institutes, etc. that are loaded with information and resources. Start there and if you’re not careful, you will get so engulfed with all the passion and enthusiasm that you would automatically look for opportunities to serve and become a part of all the excitement.
What's one thing that most people don't know about you?
The one thing that most people don’t know about me is the fact that I do not have any background training or experience in education or counseling. I received my Masters Degree in Business from Regent University and am a professed social entrepreneur. As a social entrepreneur, I look for ways to create value in the marketplace by finding holistic and comprehensive business solutions to help young people maximize their potential and to live happy, productive and successful lives.

What's a current trend or future issue you're passionate about right now? And why?
This problem is SO BIG that we, at EZ, realize we can’t do all this work by ourselves…IT TAKES A VILLAGE! And the work of PCACAC/NCACAC is pivotal in this industry as strategists and members of the village. One of the projects I am working on that is in the early stages of development that I am very passionate and excited about is a character-focused, school-based initiative we will be deploying to bring real transformation on urban campuses called “Never Become Bigger Than The Cause” and Project EZ Campus Thrust has been slated as our first phase of implementation for the 2017-2018 school year. For more information about Project EZ Campus Thrust, go to our website at and check out our Community Strategy formed with “theCAUSE Network”.

PCACAC Conference Highlights!

Dear Colleague,
We hope you are planning to join us for PCACAC's 52nd Annual Conference!  If you have already registered, please read on for some exciting news and opportunities at the conference! If you have not registered, there's important information included here as well.  We cannot wait to see everyone in Williamsburg, April 23-25th for the conference or as early as the Saturday, the 22nd for the pre-conference workshop.

See HIGHLIGHTS below for more information and what interests you.
Look for more highlights in emails in the next few weeks.
Beginning Saturday, April 22nd at 1:30, PCACAC will begin an interactive preconference workshop for the discussion of diversity, equity, and inclusive practices in college admission and counseling. Counselors and college admission officers will come together to engage in conversations that build multicultural literacy and share best practices for advancing our profession, specifically focusing on issues that affect historically underserved and marginalized communities.
If you want to gain greater insight on social identity and learn how to apply this to more effective work with students and colleagues, then join us.  If you want to present yourself as an ally incorporating specific practices that are compassionate and supportive to students, parents, and colleagues, then join us early. We will take away the former objectives from the workshop and more. We would love to work and learn with you.
To register for the pre-conference PCACAC Equity Collaborative workshop, visit or follow this link to login and complete an online registration form (one form for both the pre-conference and conference registration).  Of course, members automatically receive a discount.  If you can attend the pre-conference workshop and the conference, then register for one low price.  Specifically, look for Additional Registration Fees on the form and check the item for the PCACEC Pre-Conference & Conference Package.               

Are you attending the PCACAC Conference in Williamsburg? Interested in playing golf? We are looking to organize a golf outing at a local course. We would start play around 1:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25 and the cost (greens fees and cart) would be $60-80 per person depending on where we end up playing. To book tee times and plan the event, we need to get an idea of numbers. Please e-mail Jake Talmage at if you are interested.

REGISTRATION - Early Bird rates end March 24th, so hurry!
FULL conference registration includes sessions, meals, the conference social, exhibits, admission to the Counselors College Fair (exhibiting is extra), and covers all events from Sunday afternoon through Tuesday at noon, as well as free parking! Conference registration is open through April, but early bird rates end March 24th Please take a few moments to review our Conference resources:
1)     Registration Fees,
3)     Sponsorship opportunitiesand
Access the online registration form with this link.  [P1] PCACAC members automatically receive a discount.  It is easy to JOIN PCACAC as a new member or RENEW an expired membership.  Simply click on one of these links or visit the Membership Information section on our Home page at
Call Kingsmill Resort directly at 800-832-5665 to make your reservations.  Hurry, discount pricing for guestrooms ends April 8, 2017.

Questions?  We are happy to help.
For help with registration or any of the items on this page, contact the Executive Assistant at or call 434-989-7557

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

NACAC Newsflash!

Review of NACAC's Revised Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP)
Early last year, the NACAC Board of Directors appointed a Steering Committee on Admission. The committee was charged with modernizing the SPGP, developing content to include cohorts of students and members not adequately addressed, and ensuring relevance in a changing enrollment landscape.
We need NACAC member input to shape the final direction. Responses will be kept confidential. Learn more at

News You Can Use from NACAC's Admitted Blog
Subscribe to the Admitted blog at (see "Subscribe" button in the left column).

NACAC 2017 National Conference (Boston) Registration to Open March 28
Registration rates and other information is available at

Monday, March 13, 2017

February Case Study Results - Correction Reported Here

The following February case study's multiple choice question results are being delivered once again.  Please consider your answers to the following.  If you participated earlier in this interactive case study, thank you very much.  Also, our winner's last name was misspelled in the previous mail.  Barbara Conner is the Director of College Counseling at Foxcroft School.  Thanks for keeping us sharp, Barbara!
Look for the March case study from PCACAC's AP Committee in your email in the next few weeks.

We have a winner! Not only did Barbara Conner, Director of College Counseling at Foxcroft School, get all the answers correct, but her name was selected in a raffle of those with 100% correct answers. Thank you to everyone who participated. Below, please see the questions, the answers, and reasoning. 
Remember, if you have a question about a situation or SPGP, please contact a member of the PCACAC AP Committee. 

1. Which of the following is NOT a Core Value of NACAC's SPGP:
a. Professionalism
b. Education
c. Collaboration
d. Social Responsibility
e. All are core values of SPGP
Answer: E. According to the NACAC SPGP, there are 6 core values that represent the association's vision and beliefs: Professionalism, Collaboration, Trust, Education, Fairness and Equity, Social Responsibility. 

2. Which of the following is NOT a Member Convention of NACAC's SPGP:
a. Members will make protecting the best interests of all students a primary concern in the admission process
b. Members will provide accurate admission and financial aid information to students, empowering all participants in the process to act responsibly.
c. Members will be ethical and respectful in their counseling, recruiting and enrollment practices.
d. Members will look to provide confusing and inaccurate information to students and families in order to make the admission process as intimidating as possible.
e. Members will support a common set of admission-related definitions and deadlines.
Answer: D. The NACAC SPGP lists 9 Member Conventions. Not only is D not one, but the ideas in this statement would conflict with the association's Core Value of Trust. 

3. NACAC's SPGP does NOT provide an ethical framework for which constituents in the admission process?
a. Admission Officers
b. School Counselors
c. Independent Counselors
d. Students and Families going through the admission process
e. Organizations that work with admission offices
Answer: D. While the SPGP advises members on how to treat and advise students, the NACAC SPGP addresses professionals who are NACAC members. There are over 15,000 members that include: admission officers, school counselors, independent counselors, profit/non-profit organizations that provide products or services to counseling, admission or financial aid professionals or students.

4. You can contact the PCACAC Admissions Practices Committee for which of the following situations?
a. You encounter a practice that seems weird and you wonder if it is ethical
b. You encounter a practice that is clearly a violation
c. You are concerned that the SPGP needs clarification
d. Your office is considering a new practice and would like to explore ethical issues of the practice
e. All the above
Answer: E. The AP Committee is charged with an annual review of SPGP (including recommending appropriate changes), to investigate allegations and educate members about SPGP.

5. If you make an allegation or a complaint, which of the following is true?
a. The member against whom you make an allegation will be told your name
b. Your name, professional affiliation, position and even gender will not be shared
c. Your name will be published on the PCACAC website celebrating your ethical integrity
d. You will receive a Certificate of Integrity to post on your office wall
Answer B: The process is completely confidential. Your information will be kept completely private to the AP Committee. Furthermore, any allegation is kept confidential meaning the AP Committee does not publicize specific cases or allegations.

6. In an admission letter dated February 14, Great U writes to a student, "Congratulations. Because we love your community engagement, we would like to offer you a Service Scholarship for $5,000. Please reply within thirty days to confirm your acceptance of this scholarship." What is the SPGP issue in this situation?
a. The practice of thirty days reply is manipulating the May 1 common reply date
b. Colleges should not be offering scholarship in an admission letter
c. The letter needs to state May 1 explicitly
d. There is no issue-colleges can have any deadline for a scholarship
e. Both A and C
Answer: E. According to SPGP II B 3, "All postsecondary members agree they will permit first-year candidates for fall admission to choose among offers of admission and institutionally-affiliated financial aid and scholarships until May 1, and state this deadline explicitly in their offers of admission, and not establish policies nor engage in practices whose effect is to manipulate commitments prior to May 1." This practice would be viewed as manipulating a commitment prior to May 1.An important note, this year, issues around May 1 have been the most common for the PCACAC AP Committee.

7. MostPopular U is looking at the options they have for the admission process and wants to be creative in the admission options they offer students next year. Which of the following application plans are NOT allowed by the Statement of Principles of Good Practice?
a. MostPopular First Choice Commitment
b. MostPopular Earliest Early Action
c. MostPopular Restrictive Regular Decision
d. MostPopular Last Chance Admission
e. All of the above
Answer: E. According to SPGP, Mandatory Interpretation 1.B.9.a, "The use of multiple admission plans may be confusing or potentially misleading, especially when postsecondary members define them inconsistently or identify them by other names. While members may use other application plans, since the ones known as Regular Decision, Rolling Admission, Early Action, Early Decision, and Restrictive Early Action are in common use, members must identify them by those names and abide by the definitions and conditions below when implementing them.

8. A university has required a housing deposit in order for admitted students to hold a space in on-campus housing prior to the National Candidate Reply Date of May 1. Is this a violation of SPGP?
a. No, housing is not a purview of the admission office
b. No, so long as the housing deposit is refundable
c. Yes, regardless of whether or not the housing deposit is refundable
d. It depends.
Answer: D. According to SPGP II B 5, "Postsecondary members agree they will work with their institutions' senior administrative officers to ensure that housing options are not used to manipulate commitments prior to May 1." But, the interpretations section II B 5 a. further explains, "While it is understood that institutions with limited housing may need to adopt a first-come, first-served policy for assigning on-campus housing, it is recommended that any enrollment or housing deposits they require to secure on-campus housing should be fully refundable if the student cancels admission by May 1. It is at the discretion of each institution whether to refund fees associated with applications/contracts, but deposits should be refunded." Thus, if the college is trying to manipulate May 1, then this is a violation, but if the university has limited housing, this practice is understood.

9. What does SPGP Mandatory Practice I. A. 2 state?
a. All post secondary members agree that they will not use disparaging comparisons of secondary or postsecondary institutions
b. All counseling members agree that they will not use disparaging comparisons of secondary or postsecondary institutions
c. All members agree that they will not use disparaging comparisons of secondary or postsecondary institutions
d. All members agree that they will accurately represent and promote their schools, institutions, organizations, and services
e. None of the above
Answer: C

10. Joanie was crushed when she was put on the wait list at her first choice college. She deposited at her second choice which had offered her a nice financial aid package. On May 2nd, she was thrilled to receive a call from her first choice college. Which scenario is acceptable under the SPGP?
a. The admission officer said there was not much money left in the financial aid budget so he could not tell her what her package would be, but he needed her to respond by the end of the day on May 3rd.
b. The admission officer followed up with a written email acceptance offer, but no award letter. He gave Joanie three days to respond.
c. The admission officer let Joanie know she would receive an email the next day with her acceptance and award letter. She would have a week to respond.
d. All of the above.
Answer: D
Although A and B are not ideal, they are acceptable since these are SGPG Postsecondary-Best Practices, II. B. 1. provide in the notification letter or electronic communication of those applicants offered a place on the wait list a history that describes the number of students offered places on the wait lists, the number accepting places, the number offered admission, and the availability of financial aid and housing; 2. allow students a reasonable amount of time (at least 72 hours or May 1, whichever is later) to respond to an offer of admission from that institution's wait list and gain admission to that institution's incoming class. This offer of admission should be a written or electronic communication to the student. Postsecondary institutions should also strive to fully inform wait list students of their financial aid and housing opportunities, if different from their normal policies. Postsecondary institutions should not require a commitment from a student until the financial aid award and housing options, if any, have been provided.

If you wish to file a complaint, please complete a NACAC Confidential Complaint form. All personal information will be kept confidential, but the information will be forwarded to the appropriate affiliate AP Committee. This committee will follow up on the issue.
Want to review previous case studies?
View all of the Admissions Practices Case Studies on The Anchor here.
Want to submit a case for consideration? Please e-mail the PCACAC AP Committee Chair at

Thursday, March 9, 2017

Government Relations Chair Encounters Former Student on the Hill!

During NACAC's Advocacy Day on the Hill, the Government Relations Committee spent the day advocating for all students on current educational issues. Government Relations Committee Chair, Ginger Miller, was leaving a meeting in Congressman Jamie Raskin’s office with the Government Relations Team and Legislative Director William J. Roberts, Esq. when she heard a young man call her name. Jack Frye Landon, class of 2012, was one of Ginger's former students and counselees. Jack attended Bates College and now works as Scheduler for Representative Raskin.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

PCACAC Represented at the NACAC Advocacy on the Hill Day...

What an interesting day we educators had at the Advocacy training Sunday, March 4 and the NACAC Advocacy Day Monday, March 5 on the Hill in D.C. as we contemplated issues concerning access and equity in higher education. Since it appears that President Trump’s new budget will include significant cuts, we want to protect funds for education, and especially counseling, because research demonstrates that students who receive academic, career, and college counseling are more successful than those who do not. We support full funding for Title IV, Part A with the block grant for all areas of education. In addition, we hope to secure the Bridge Act for DACA students to ensure stability for them and their families. We also support HR-977 to put counselors where they are most needed and in areas where they do not exist. We support international students who increase our cultural awareness and broaden our global viewpoints while simultaneously contributing to our American economy. Thanks to all who attended and contributed to the success of this day.

We would like to thank the following PCACAC members that represented the Government Relations Committee at the NACAC Advocacy Day on the Hill yesterday:

Left to right in front Tara Nicola and Christine Dougan
Left to right Jayne Fonash, Katie McEnroe, Ginger Miller Chair, Robyn Lady, Anthony Ambrogi, Scott Anderson, Kevin Terry, and David Burge  

Meet a Member of PCACAC in College Admissions...

Joe Shields is an Admissions Counselor at Goucher College, located just north of Baltimore, Maryland.

What led you into admissions/college counseling? Share your journey story!
I attended Loyola University Maryland as an undergrad, just down the road from Goucher, and I was very involved on campus. About half way through my time there I realized that the people who had the greatest impact on me weren’t the professors I’d see in the classroom, but the staff members who hired me as a student worker. They clearly cared about me as an individual and went out of their way to build strong community within their offices, and it was obvious they loved what they did for a living. Seeing that kind of work environment is what led me towards higher education and how I ultimately ended up in admissions. Not many work environments have the kind of community or camaraderie that is found on a college campus. 

What do you love most about your job?
I love sitting down with students one-on-one and listening to everything they’re excited to accomplish. Being the first ones that students see on campus, admissions counselors are able to take that excitement and help students begin to connect the dots between their passions and a college education. The goals and passions of the generation entering college today can be incredibly creative.

If not working in admissions/college counseling, what else could you see yourself pursuing? 
After having attended college in Baltimore and then having lived in the city for a couple years, I absolutely love Baltimore. Goucher’s location is actually one of my favorite things to discuss with students because of all the options they have in front of them in Baltimore. I could easily see a career for myself at a non-profit within the city or a local community-based organization. Baltimore is a welcoming city filled with the nicest people you’ll ever meet, and I’d love to support that community.

What advice would you give to someone considering entering the admissions/college counseling profession?
Network. It is amazing how helpful it can be in the admissions or college counseling world to have connections and build relationships with professionals in our field. Networking benefits the students we serve, it can help to guide a career path, and at the end of the day you’ll be more skilled at what you do.