Thursday, September 18, 2014

Indianapolis NACAC Day 1

People. This is seriously exciting because NACAC is in my hometown of Indianapolis! When the site for 2014 NACAC was announced four years ago, I was thrilled. And now that the conference is here, my excitement continues. 

This morning, I volunteered directing people to registration in order to get back in touch with my Hoosier hospitality roots. It was my first time volunteering at a NACAC conference and it was really fun! For lunch, a big thank you to the University of California system for hosting a delicious lunch that was also an opportunity to hear from each of the nine campuses. Some key takeaways, especially for out of state students who might not be as familiar with UC requirements, are:
  • 10th and 11th grade are where the GPA calculation comes from, so performance in courses is especially important for those years (though 9th grade is still evaluated and factors in as part of the holistic review)
  • AP courses get a boost in the GPA calculation
  • A-G requirements should be zero issue for ElRo students because of our curriculum- yay for not having to worry about this!
  • Admission is not significantly different for in state and out of state students. 
  • It is worth investigating each campus because they have different admission profiles. UCLA and Berkeley are highly competitive, but the other campuses have a lot to offer and can have more generous admission stats. 
The conference officially kicked off with the opening session, including a keynote address from Geoffrey Canada. My favorite quote from his remarks "we need to tell kids that just because you fail doesn't mean you are a failure." Here here!

The session I attended today was called Negotiating the Robust and at Times Daunting Array of Options Within Major Universities. The reason I picked this session is that the four presenting colleges were: University of Michigan, SUNY Binghamton, University of Maryland, and New York University. Talk about popular schools for ElRo students! The panel essentially emphasized things that I already encourage students to think about, mainly considering the multiple pathways that might lead to the same outcome of a degree from a top university. It also highlighted how students should research the exact method of application review for each school, specifically asking how college selection within a University may or may not impact an admission decision. Every school is unique, never assume that procedures are the same (or that they are the same as they were a few years ago when a sibling applied). 

To close out the day, I have to send a big thank you out to Manhattanville College for the dinner and tour they hosted at Lucas Oil Stadium. I can now check 'standing on an NFL field' off my bucket list. It was also nice to be able to combine my hometown team with a New York college - collision of worlds! My final stop was the CACHET reception, an perennial NACAC staple of a consortium of colleges that offer STEM and Engineering degrees. With our school's newest courses being in the STEM realm, I suspect more and more ElRo students will be looking at this grouping of colleges. 

Tomorrow is a majorly long day (I'm looking at you public Virginia colleges with your 6:30 am breakfast) so it is bed time for me. Can't wait for day two!