We hope you’re enjoying the summer months with time to recharge and prepare for another campaign season. Our team has been finalizing state and site coordinator resources to enhance your campaigns, launching a national registration for host sites, and presenting at national conferences to encourage others to join the application campaign.
We have a few upcoming events to take note of in these final weeks of preparation. Please help us spread the word to ensure we reach more high schools and others committed to helping more students navigate the path to college.
Up first on Tuesday, August 13 at 1:00 p.m., EDT, we are hosting “Why Join? An Introduction to the American College Application Campaign” webinar to introduce the campaign, what it means to be a host site, and why schools should consider hosting a campaign event. This webinar is intended for school counselors, college advisers, and K12 administrators.
Next, on Tuesday, August 27 at 1:00 p.m., EDT, we are hosting an “Implementing #WhyApply Social Media Strategies into Your College Application Campaign” webinar that will introduce the #WhyApply social media campaign, how to get involved, and review available resources.
Rolling into September, we will host a “How to Implement a College Application Event” webinar on September 10 at 1:00 p.m., EDT. This webinar will dive into the logistics of serving as a host site and feature two counselors with experience hosting application completion events.
Finally, we will officially kick off the college application season with our annual #WhyApply (to college) Day on Friday, September 20. The purpose of #WhyApply Day is to kick-off the college application season by sharing supportive and motivating messages on social media about the importance of applying to college. All day long we encourage everyone – every ACAC state, every campaign partner, every host site – to head to their favorite social media channels and tell us why it’s important to apply to college. Be sure to use the hashtag #WhyApply. As part of the day’s celebration, we will host a #WhyApply Twitter chat at 2:00 p.m., EDT to discuss how college access professionals can encourage high school students to apply to college and how to break down the application process.
We will be actively sharing and highlighting the work taking place in all 50 states and the District of Columbia on ACAC’s social media channels through the entire college application season. Be sure to follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to celebrate the students this season.
Enjoy the rest of your summer and we look forward to a successful college application campaign season with you this fall!
Louisiana state coordinators Kayla Gros and Brittani Williams share their #WhyApply reason during the annual State Coordinator Convening in May. All state coordinator #WhyApply photos will be shared on ACAC’s social media channels during #WhyApply Day.
State Profile: Pennsylvania
Libraries Join Application Campaign
This fall, Pennsylvania is taking a new approach. Approximately 20 libraries across Pennsylvania – from rural state game land areas to the city of Pittsburgh – will host college application completion events.
Why libraries? Because libraries already play an important role connecting community members to knowledge and opportunity. And community members who are traditionally underserved such as the migrant population, low-income families, those who speak English as a second language and first-generation college-going students come to the library for help.
“We already have folks coming into the library asking for help applying to college,” said Susan Banks, director, Bureau of Library Development for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. “Our libraries are thrilled to get training and insight in the college application process to better serve the community.”
Many of the libraries have already expressed their gratitude for the available resources online for host sites and excitement to strengthen relationships with higher education institutions. Often when an individual arrives at the library asking for help on the college application process, it is individuals looking to transfer colleges or adults looking to apply to college for the first time.
In addition to meeting the needs of the libraries, this partnership will help the State of Pennsylvania reach its goal to have 60 percent of the population ages 25-64 hold a postsecondary degree or industry recognized credential by the year 2025.
“When we looked closer at our goal, we realized the graduating class of 2020 is the last year of high school graduates that can help us reach 60 percent by 2025,” said Mike Dotts, Pennsylvania application campaign state coordinator and higher education associate for the Pennsylvania Department of Education. “We brainstormed how to reach more individuals outside the traditional high school setting and recognized libraries as key partners.”
ACAC is working with Pennsylvania to determine what the events look like and how to track data. We will look at which audiences to expect versus who actually participate. The good news is that libraries are used to being flexible and engaging in free form activities. The libraries are willing to give it a try, measure the impact, and adjust for improvement.
While this is considered a pilot year for Pennsylvania, other ACAC state campaigns are encouraged to consider asking libraries about participation this year or in the future. Start the conversation to determine interest and watch for ACAC and Pennsylvania to share our lessons learned.
Additionally, potential host sites can learn more about ACAC, what it means to be a host site, and why schools and community-based organizations like libraries should consider hosting a campaign event, during our “Why Join?” webinar on August 13.
Partner Profile: myOptions™
Free College Planning Program
Author: Bryan Contreras, Vice President, K12 & Education Partnerships, myOptions
Welcome back to another awesome year of serving students! We know the start of a new school year can be very busy, but we hope you will add one more quick “to do” to your list…participate in a free college planning program at myOptions™! If you have not heard about us, we are a nonprofit education organization that offers the nation’s largest free college and career planning program. About 6 million students connect with myOptions annually to leverage free assistance and valuable resources through our voluntary platforms such as myCollegeOptions® and myScholarshipOptions.
Through a mobile app and website, students have the opportunity to take fun preference quizzes that help identify what they’re looking for in a college and career. Students can also create their preference profiles to identify the features they are looking for (and looking to avoid) in a college, and they will receive a list of schools and scholarships that align with their preferences. Additionally, students have access to over 400 free lessons covering topics from how many times to take a college entrance exam to how to complete the FAFSA, and what topics to avoid in college admissions essays.
Students are not the only ones who benefit from myOptions! Educators and mentors receive reports which capture details on each connected student’s postsecondary plans to help you better understand their career ambitions and place you in a better position to support them in achieving their postsecondary goals. Our educator platform and resources help educators support students in exploring their career or college matches and navigating the entire college planning process. We are building tools such as interactive dashboards that will help educators monitor student progress in their college application process, a robust reporting system that will help districts interested in the postsecondary plans of their students, and a platform that will offer critical information on making postsecondary options affordable for students.
If you would like to learn more about myOptions and are ready to get started, check out www.myoptions.org/educators. We are happy to set up an introduction call with a “demo” if you email us at [email protected].