NACAC and International ACAC: How we work together!

NACAC and International ACAC: How we work together

Did you know...

International ACAC is an affiliate of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). NACAC has guided the evolution of college admission counseling into a recognized profession since its founding in 1937, and over the years has issued charters to affiliates—23 currently—that share a common mission to serve and support the needs of the admission counseling professionals and the students they serve. NACAC and its affiliates work together to broaden geographic representation through partnership programs, activities, and operations.

As Ronn Beck, director of international recruitment and admission at Salve Regina University (CT), recounts:

The relationship between NACAC and International ACAC is somewhat familial. After all, International ACAC’s predecessor, Overseas ACAC, was born at the NACAC conference in 1992. Those early organizers were primarily school counselors who led the association for most of its first twelve years. At the time, only a few admissions folk were traveling and actively recruiting international students.

Like their US counterparts, these overseas school counselors were drawn to what NACAC offered—networking, access to more universities, professional practice—but they also saw a need to educate their fellow NACAC members about foreign credentials, grading and curricula, national exams, Third Culture Kids, and other things many US institution knew little about.

NACAC commends International ACAC on its efforts over the past 25 years to facilitate global interaction among counselors and institutions in support of secondary students transitioning to higher education in other countries.

Did you know…

NACAC and International ACAC share a common goal of defining and promoting the highest ethical practices and professional standards. As an Affiliate of NACAC, International ACAC commits to abide by and enforce the Statement of Principles of Good Practice: NACAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (SPGP:CEPP).

Each NACAC affiliate elects delegates to serve in the NACAC Assembly. The Assembly functions as a governing body for the national association that initiates, advises, and provides consent on association and professional issues, including changes to the SPGP: CEPP. As the number of elected delegates is based on proportional representation according to the number of NACAC voting members from a particular affiliate, membership in both International ACAC and NACAC is important.

John Evans, upper school counselor at the International School Prague, shares his perspective on the benefit of being part of a national organization:

Many counselors across the US and the world operate in what typically feels like “outposts”—single-person offices where they are the sole representative of what college counseling is or should be. NACAC has provided me with an invaluable framework of principles, support, and colleagues that have helped me represent my profession locally with knowledge and confidence that directly benefits my students.

When advocating with our school’s leadership and educating students and families, it is important to place what I do within the larger context. It is so critical that our work does not happen in a vacuum, but is tied to a much larger, and well-established professional community based on the highest ethical standards.

The latest SPGP: CEPP that was approved by the 2017 Assembly represents a commitment from NACAC to have a more internationally relevant code of ethics. Examples of this can be seen in requirements for how a student who applies to universities in multiple countries handles deposits, and exceptions for institutions outside of the United States with regard to May 1.

Did you know…

NACAC and International ACAC have been committed to serving the needs of professionals who support internationally mobile students for several decades.

Ronn Beck recalls:

NACAC lent its support to overseas school counselors early on and the first meetings of OACAC were held during NACAC annual conferences. From 1995-2001, NACAC offered international pre-conference institutes for both high school and admissions counselors and in 2013, held its conference outside the US (Toronto). More recently, International ACAC members have served on NACAC’s board of directors and several committees that explored commission-based agencies, an international university fair in Vancouver, and the revival of the international pre-conference institute.

NACAC also convened the Overseas Ad Hoc Committee from 2001-2004, following years of steady growth in international student enrollment in the US. Though assembled prior to Sept. 11, this group of practitioners was prepared to look at issues around non-immigrant student visas, the implementation of SEVIS, and the ethical recruitment of international students at this critical juncture for US higher education. This committee also recommended numerous steps for NACAC to take to ensure international issues had a prominent place on the national stage through committee appointments, website presence, and pertinent national conference sessions.

NACAC’s department of international initiatives will continue its efforts to ensuring that NACAC’s programs, services, research, and advocacy are inclusive of a global perspective, and to develop programs and resources that fill a need for its members. Examples include:

  • Developing resources for high school counselors in the US who are working with international students.
  • Working with the diplomatic community and international university members to educate counselors about other countries’ education systems and admission how-to’s through NACAC’s Guide to International University Admission.
  • Contributing international articles in each Journal to ensure all NACAC members are aware of international challenges and opportunities. See the spring and summer issues which feature International ACAC members’ perspectives.
  • Setting international policy priorities for building our federal advocacy agenda for Capitol Hill.
  • Creating the Global Hub at the national conference with dedicated content for professionals engaged in international mobility.
  • Creating best practice guidance for institutions that work with commission-based agents, and educational materials for students to raise awareness of the advisors, including agents, that can help guide them through the college admission process in another country.

Did you know…

NACAC’s International Initiatives Committee (IIC), which became an official standing committee in 2016, advises NACAC’s board of directors on strategic international directions. Erick Hyde, University Connection Counseling Specialist at University of Pennsylvania’s English Language Programs and incoming chair of the IIC, shares:

The members of the IIC represent students and institutions around the world, and have a direct line to NACAC’s leadership to voice ideas, raise concerns, and troubleshoot issues of international education. Sitting at the committee table the past few years I have been amazed by the experience and passion of the group and impressed with the committee’s ability to inspire action by NACAC. I think it’s important for International ACAC members to know that we, the global education community, have the ear of NACAC and, as the most significant organization in the admission field that is not to be underestimated.

As globalization continues to influence and shape education, and as a national association whose members at both the secondary and tertiary levels are impacted by trends in international student mobility, NACAC is committed to engaging thoughtfully in future initiatives that will continue to build on NACAC’s and its affiliates’ historic strengths:

  • Facilitating connections between professionals and between institutions and prospective students.
  • Providing educational resources on the process of college admission counseling.
  • Maintaining ethical standards and professional practices in the transition to higher education.

Please feel free to contact Lindsay Addington or Erick Hyde to share your ideas or learn more.

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