Thursday, December 1, 2016

Nominations open for Marion Flagg Scholarships

Dear Colleague,

What better time than now to consider how you can help others in 2017! The Marion Flagg Scholarship Program gives you the perfect opportunity to provide support to colleagues and friends in the field of college counseling and admissions. 
Named for one of PCACAC's most outstanding members, the Marion Flagg Scholarship is awarded annually to a group of exceptional educational professionals who are not currently members of PCACAC and who have not previously attended a PCACAC conference. This scholarship specifically targets counselors who work with historically underserved students, minority students or students from disadvantaged backgrounds. Each awarded scholarship includes one year of free membership in PCACAC, one 2017 Annual Spring Conference registration, hotel lodging (two nights, double occupancy), and transportation. Scholarship recipients will be asked to confirm their attendance at the conference if selected.  Before submitting a nomination, please ensure the nominee is willing and able to attend the program if selected.
The deadline to 
SUBMIT YOUR NOMINATION is February 6, 2017.
The Inclusion, Access and Success Committee oversees the selection of scholarship recipients. The recipients may be high school counselors, two- or four-year college admission professionals, independent counselors or individuals working in community-based organizations such as KIPP, Upward Bound, the College Success Foundation, AVID, etc. Selected recipients and their nominators will be notified by February 28, 2017.  Award certificates will be presented to recipients at the 2017 Annual Conference.
Thank you for supporting this professional development opportunity for admission professionals like yourself!

Sincerely,
Rachel Cleaver
Marion Flagg Program Chair

QUESTIONS? We're happy to help!
Marion Flagg Scholarship Program Chair: Rachel Cleaver, rcleave2@gmu.edu PCACAC Executive Office: Annie Hilten, Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Blackburn Award Nominations Are Now Open!

Dear Colleague,

The PCACAC Past Presidents Committee invites you to submit your nomination for a deserving candidate for the John A. "Jack" Blackburn Award for Ethics in College Admission.  This award will be presented at PCACAC's 52nd Annual Spring ConferenceApril 23-25, 2017 at The Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA.  Nominations close on February 6, 2017 and will be reviewed by the selection committee after that date.  You will be notified prior to the conference if your nominee is selected.

The Blackburn Award was established by the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC) in 2010 to honor the late Jack Blackburn, long-time Dean of Admission at the University of Virginia. Throughout his career, Jack served as an admirable role model promoting the highest ethical standards, integrity in our profession and equity in access to higher education. This award recognizes a member of our profession who exemplifies the qualities that made Jack Blackburn revered by his peers.

Criteria used for selection are:
  • Commitment to the high ethical standards of college admission through sustained active involvement in the profession;
  • Dedication to promoting equal access to higher education for all students.
Membership in PCACAC is not a criterion for selection but consideration will be given to professionals in the PCACAC region. If you are not currently a member and would like to enjoy the benefits membership has to offer, please visit the Membership Information section on our Home page at www.pcacac.org and click on Join or Renew.

If you would like to sponsor this award at our 52nd Annual Spring Conference, please look for the announcement coming soon regarding the opening of our Conference Sponsorship and Contribution Form.

Thank you for helping us recognize those who make a difference!
Sincerely,

Mike Carter                  
PCACAC Past Presidents Committee

Questions?  We're happy to help...
Please contact Mike Carter, Past Presidents Committee Chair, mcarter@sssas.org, or Annie Hilten, PCACAC Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org434-989-7557.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Call out for sessions for the 52nd Annual PCACAC Conference!


Dear Colleagues:

The deadline to submit a proposal is quickly approaching so submit your session proposal for the 
52nd Annual PCACAC Conference today! 

Share your expertise whether you've been in the profession for two years or twenty years and 
submit a session proposal for PCACAC's conference next April 23-25 in Williamsburg, Va at the
Kingsmill Resort. Proposals can be on any topic of interest to counselors and admission professionals, 
including topics related to those on our list of Suggested Session Topics. 

If you are a public high school counselor and a first time presenter at a PCACAC conference, 
there is a special incentive to submit a proposal.  If your session proposal is selected your hotel 
costs will be reimbursed! Either you or your school will be required to pay for your conference 
registration and travel costs.  As many as six (6) public school counselors will be selected. 
Gather your information now because the deadline is Monday, December 5, 2016.  
 
QUESTIONS? We're happy to help!
Conference page: 
www.pcacac.org/conferences
Conference sessions: 
Robyn Lady, Sessions Chair, ralady@fcps.edu
General Conference: 
Rosemary Martin, Conference Chair, rmarti2@umd.edu
Other Conference Items: Annie Hilten, Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org

Monday, November 21, 2016

Call for Nominations for the 2017 Executive Board

Dear Colleague,

The PCACAC Nominating Committee values your opinion as we identify the following 2017 Executive Board candidates:
  • President-Elect
  • Delegate (One at-large position available)
Please review the duties of each available office in the Call for Nominations and consider either a self-nomination or identify a PCACAC member who is ready to take the next step in PCACAC leadership.  Newly elected officers and delegates will take office July 1, 2017.  If you have already submitted a nomination - THANK YOU!
Nominations require completion of two electronic forms that are combined in one easy process:
  1. Candidate Application - The links provided in this email will take you to a login page before accessing the nomination form.
  2. Institutional Support Form - The Institutional Support Form is the second page of the Candidate Application and is only required at this time for those who are completing a self-nomination.  All candidates will need to submit an Institutional Support Form before the election.
The official candidate nomination deadline is Friday, December 30, 2016.
Thank you for your commitment to PCACAC and we look forward to receiving your nominations!

Sincerely,

Mike Oligmueller
Director of College Counseling
The Potomac School
Past President, Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC)
1301 Potomac School Road
McLean, VA  22101
moligmueller@potomacschool.org

Friday, November 18, 2016

Call out for Session Proposals for the 52nd Annual PCACAC Conference

Dear Colleagues:
This is your weekly reminder to submit your session proposal to present at PCACAC's 52nd Annual Conference in April at the Kingsmill Resort in Williamsburg, VA.  Share your expertise whether you've been in the profession for two years or twenty years.  Proposals can be on any topic of interest to counselors and admission professionals, including topics related to those on our list of Suggested Session Topics.
If you are a public high school counselor and a first time presenter at a PCACAC conference, inquire about the special incentive for you.
The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, December 5, 2016
If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us.  We're happy to help! 
Conference sessions: Robyn Lady, Sessions Chair, ralady@fcps.edu
General Conference: 
Rosemary Martin, Conference Chair, rmarti2@umd.edu
Other Conference Items: Annie Hilten, Executive Assistant, info@pcacac.org

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

November PCACAC Case Study: The Questionable College Essay

As part of the PCACAC AP Committee’s desire to proactively discuss ethics, we will be sending out monthly “case studies.” In these cases, we will offer a situation and discuss whether the issue is in compliance with NACAC’s Statement of Principles of Good Practices (SPGP). This month’s case was submitted by Julia Ross, a member of the PCACAC AP Committee as well as owner and counselor for Professional Tutoring, LLC in VA. If you have a question about a situation or SPGP, please contact a member of the AP Committee.

November Case: Sheila, an independent counselor has worked with a high achieving student (4.1 weighted GPA and 34 ACT), Alexandra, since the end of the student’s junior year.  Alexandra is a busy young woman (potential NCAA I athlete, congressional intern, volunteer, coach) and has very, very high aspirations.  She will not accept anything less and will do whatever it takes for her to meet her goals.

As fall approaches, Alexandra focuses on her many essays.  Because of her intense schedule, Alexandra requests lots of hand-holding to organize and outline her ten plus essays. Sheila supports Alexandra by advising, but realizes that the essays need to be the student’s work and encourages Alexandra to do her best.
Soon Alexandra receives the devastating news that she has been deferred from PERFECT Ivy.  Alexandra is devastated; “no” is not a word in her lexicon.  She meets with Sheila to discuss the way forward.  At the end of the meeting, Alexandra mentions that an English teacher who once worked in the PERFECT Ivy admissions office helped her to put more oomph in her essay.  Sheila asks to read the essay and sees that it bears absolutely NO resemblance to any of Alexandra’s earlier drafts.  In fact, the essay seems to have been written by a flamboyant and dramatic nineteenth century novelist. 
Is there a NACAC SPGP issue here?

Discussion: There are two questions here. First, is an independent counselor addressed by NACAC SPGP? Secondly, what advice does SPGP give us concerning help on an essay/application?
Concerning the first issue: According to the  Introduction to NACAC’s Statement of Principles and Good Practices (SPGP), “Since its founding in 1937, when a select number of college and university professionals and high school counselors came together to create a Code of Ethics within the admission-counseling profession, NACAC has striven to ensure principled conduct among professionals in the recruitment of students and the transition to postsecondary education.” At the time, many of the professionals were admission officers and school-based counselors.
Since then, the landscape has evolved, at times quickly, to include related professionals including independent counselors, consultants, counselors at Community Based Organizations and others.  This is recognized in the SPGP Introduction which continues,  “Member schools, colleges and universities, as well as other institutions, organizations and individuals dedicated to the pursuit of higher education, believe in the dignity, worth and potential of each and every student.”
This fact is relevant because some people might believe those other entities are not beholden to the SPGP. But, if the individual or organization is a member of NACAC, then (s)he/it agrees to meet the ethical guidelines (SPGP) of NACAC. Not doing so would be terms for NACAC sanctions.
As to the second question, can a counselor help on an essay? According to NACAC’s SPGP Best Practice III. A. 6, “Counseling Members will encourage students to be the sole authors of their applications and essays and counsel against inappropriate assistance on the parts of others.” Many students approach counselors, peers, teachers, parents and others to brainstorm, discuss, proofread and provide insight concerning essays. While there is no distinct “line in the sand” that delineates too much help,  those acting ethically work hard to balance advising a student with making sure students maintain their voice and ownership. In addition, it is important to note that this is a Best Practice and not a Mandatory Practice.

Conclusion: A growing number of non-school (college and high school) based professionals are becoming involved in the college admission process. While they may not work at a school, the SPGP does still affect them. In this case, Sheila is working to try to help a student while following the ethical principals stated in the SPGP Best Practices. Unfortunately, there is a chance that the teacher involved with advising this student may not have followed SPGP. Perhaps, the teacher is even unfamiliar with NACAC and/or the SPGP. Even so, there would be no true violation as the practice is not Mandatory.

Moving forward could be politically sensitive, but could also provide an important educational opportunity for the teacher who has chosen to become involved in the process . If Sheila wished to help educate the teacher, there are several possible approaches. For example, she could check to see if the school is a NACAC member and reach out to the a counselor at the school in order to let the counselor know about the issue. Then, the counselor could work to educate the teacher. Or, if she knew the teacher, Sheila could reach out to the teacher directly to provide information about NACAC, SPGP and the issues. Another option would be to contact the local AP Committee for them to reach out to the school to provide education materials (such as a copy of the SPGP). If it came though the AP Committee, the student, independent counselor and possibly even teacher name would be kept confidential.

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 jtalmage@stpaulsschool.org


Monday, November 14, 2016

PCACAC 2017 Executive Board Candidates Call Out


Dear Colleague,

The PCACAC Nominating Committee values your opinion as we identify the following 2017 Executive Board candidates:
  • President-Elect
  • Delegate (One at-large position available)
Please review the duties of each available office in the Call for Nominations and consider either a self-nomination or identify a PCACAC member who is ready to take the next step in PCACAC leadership.  Newly elected officers and delegates will take office July 1, 2017.  If you have already submitted a nomination - THANK YOU!
Nominations require completion of two electronic forms that are combined in one easy process:
  1. Candidate Application - The links provided in this email will take you to a login page before accessing the nomination form.
  2. Institutional Support Form - The Institutional Support Form is the second page of the Candidate Application and is only required at this time for those who are completing a self-nomination.  All candidates will need to submit an Institutional Support Form before the election.
The official candidate nomination deadline is Friday, December 30, 2016.
Thank you for your commitment to PCACAC and we look forward to receiving your nominations!

Sincerely,
Mike Oligmueller
Director of College Counseling
The Potomac School
Past President, Potomac & Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling (PCACAC)
1301 Potomac School Road
McLean, VA  22101
moligmueller@potomacschool.org