How do we ensure our most vulnerable students pursue college and understand college is still possible? The COVID-19 pandemic has caused many students to question their plans for life after high school. This webinar will discuss how K-12, higher education, and business community leaders can work together to provide a unified voice that education beyond high school is for everyone and college is still a priority.

Join education and business experts as we examine:
  • the risks for underserved populations and our country’s economic prosperity if we don’t keep students, especially students from underserved populations, on the path to college
  • the role school counselors play in amplifying this message
  • the role colleges and universities play to be a solution to the problem
  • how workforce can address and support the need to continue making strides in increasing postsecondary attainment rates.
Brian Coleman, 2019 National School Counselor of the Year and counseling department chair at Jones College Prep; Angel Pérez, CEO, NACAC; and Nicole Smith, research professor and chief economist, Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, join Doug Hughes, president, Navigation, ACT, in this moderated discussion.

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Date: August 4, 2020
Time: 4:00 p.m. ET / 1:00 p.m. PT
Duration: 60 minutes


Brian ColemanMr. Brian Coleman was the 2019 National School Counselor of the Year and the first African-American winner of this prestigious honor. He was also a 2019 Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Upstander Award recipient for his commitment to LGBTQA+ youth advocacy. Coleman has spent the last year traveling the country as the cartwheeling "Unicorn Counselor" speaking on issues ranging from comprehensive sexual health education and counseling program design to counselor identity and engagement strategies within the school community. He is in his sixth year with Jones College Prep where he has served as Counseling Department Chair for three years. At Jones, Mr. Coleman has overseen counseling programming for seniors and freshmen, sophomore sexual health education, JCP’s student mentorship program, and the school’s LGBTQA+ student organization JonesPride. In the last year, he has also participated in DePaul University’s “Here We Do” and McDonald’s “Black and Positively Golden” promotional campaigns. He has also contributed to pieces for CNBC, Forbes, Teen Vogue, and NPR among others. Coleman is a proud graduate of Northwestern University as well as DePaul University where he was named the College of Education’s 2019 Alumni of the Year (and, recently, became an Adjunct Professor!) He enjoys all things unicorn, most things theatrical, and a good amount of professional wrestling!

 Angel B.
 PerezDr. Angel B. Pérez is CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). In this role, he represents nearly 14,000 admission and counseling professionals worldwide committed to postsecondary access and success. He is the primary voice of the association to government, media, and global partners. Pérez is recognized as a national thought leader and is a sought-after speaker on issues of educational equity, access, and success in American education.  

Prior to his arrival at NACAC, he served for 22 years as a leader in higher education where his work was described as transformative. He most recently served as vice president for enrollment and student success at Trinity College (CT), where he also taught in the educational studies department.  

Pérez is passionate about public policy as a platform for change. During his tenure in higher ed, the governor of Connecticut appointed him to the New England Board of Higher Education, and he was chosen by the Gates Foundation to serve on Forward50, a group of leaders presenting higher ed solutions to Congress. In 2019, a Forbes article named him the greatest influencer in college admission. Dr. Pérez’s work has been featured in many media outlets including The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR, and CBS Evening News.

Nicole SmithNicole Smith is a Research Professor and Chief Economist at the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce where she leads the Center's econometric and methodological work. One of her primary functions at the Center is developing a framework for restructuring long-term occupational and educational projections. This framework forms the underlying methodology for Help Wanted, Recovery and The Future of Work, three reports in an ongoing series that projects education demand for occupations in the U.S. economy. She is also part of a team of economists working on a project to map, forecast and monitor human capital development and career pathways. Her current research investigates the role of education and socioeconomic factors in intergenerational education mobility by race and class.

Dough HughesDoug Hughes currently serves as President, Navigation for ACT.

After driving tanks in the US Army for 3 years, Doug Hughes became a first-generation college student at the University of West Georgia, where he received a BBA in business information systems. The mission has always been his guiding principle, whether it’s in the Army, at the University of West Georgia, or in his career. Given the profound impact that education had on his life, Doug dedicated his career to providing equity and access to all students as they work towards college and career success. After two decades of building innovative technologies for education, he became the CEO of ACT | NRCCUA in 2020.

Previously, Doug served as CEO of Surgarai, Inc., a medical technology startup, and as chief product officer at Knewton, an adaptive learning company recently acquired by Wiley. Prior to that, Doug spent 17 years at McGraw-Hill Education, where he served in various senior leadership roles including chief sales officer, director of digital partnerships, and executive brand manager.