Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Nuggets of News from NACAC

Lots of Housing Options Still Available in Seattle!

Lots of housing options are still available in Seattle. Linking housing to registration this year has been wildly popular with attendees and has enabled NACAC to ensure housing options for individuals who register later in the process.

There are plenty of rooms in the 12 properties in the NACAC block including many within a one- to two-block walk of the convention center. There is no headquarters or main hotel. All NACAC events will take place in the Washington State Convention and Trade Center.

Remember, you must be a registered attendee of the conference before you can book housing. View the list of hotels and options.

Travel Plans for Seattle

As you make your travel arrangements to Seattle, remember some of the following events as you schedule your days:

Register Now for Preconference Events

Interested in taking your professional education one step further? Check out the preconference seminars and workshops being offered in conjunction with the National Conference. These three-hour seminars and one- or two-day workshops offer in-depth, hands-on learning opportunities on some of the hottest professional topics affecting you and your students. Space is limited, so register today to enhance your learning experience.

Education Session Descriptions Now Online

Interested in knowing more about the educational sessions at the conference? All session descriptions and speaker information is online. The schedule of educational sessions during the conference will be available online in July.

Exhibit at the National Conference—ONLY Eight Booths Left

Still thinking about exhibiting at the National Conference? Act quickly as only eight booths remain in the Exhibit Hall. The 2008 Exhibitor Prospectus and the current floor plan are online.

To maximize your exposure during the conference, take advantage of one of the many advertising opportunities that NACAC is offering. Check out the exhibitor advertising packages that include ad space and attendee mailing lists. You should also consider holding an information session during one of our exhibitor presentation times; this will provide you the ability to present in-depth product and service demonstrations. For more information, contact

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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

NACAC Notables

Did you know?

Voting members will be asked to approve a plan for reincorporation of NACAC and new Bylaws at the General Membership meeting at the 2008 National Conference in Seattle. Review and comment on these items now.

The second edition of Fundamentals of College Admission Counseling is now available. Loaded with best practices from experts in the field, the second edition of Fundamentals has been updated and includes three new chapters. Get your copy today! Fundamentals will also be sold at the NACAC bookstore in Seattle.

Coming to the National Conference early or staying late? Consider participating in a college tour. College tours offer counselors excellent opportunities to experience campus atmosphere; meet with admission officers, faculty and deans; and learn more about the admission requirements at schools located near or in the host city of Seattle.

The Counselors’ College Fair (CCF) provides an opportunity for national conference attendees to share information, network with colleagues and meet representatives from more than 500 colleges and universities from around the world. This table-top exhibit helps strengthen relationships between secondary and postsecondary representatives.

Be sure to join us (NOTE: Registration for the CCF is separate from registrations for the national conference; however, all booth personnel must be registered as national conference attendees in order to participate.)

What happens at the CCF? Admission officers exhibit their marketing materials, such as applications, college guidebooks, institutional profiles, and viewbooks to college and high school advisors who, in turn, assist them in promoting their institutions and programs to parents and students when they return to the respective communities. Business is conducted as counselors crisscross the busy exhibit area, gathering information from admission professionals on their respective institutions.

Have you registered yet for the conference and the CCF? If not, do it now :)

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Monday, April 21, 2008

Your NACAC Colleagues on TV: Strategies for College Applicants Featured on the TODAY Show

In case you missed it. . .

NACAC coordinator of the S/R Presidents’ Council and Member Terry Knaus, Senior Associate Director for Recruitment at Indiana University Bloomington and Martha Merrill, Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid at Connecticut College talk about strategies for college applicants on the TODAY Show.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Seattle: Famous Notables

From the classic comedic styles of Carol Channing, to the speed of Gail Devers, the ingenuity of Bill Gates, and the musical styles of Sir Mix-a-Lot, Seattle has been home to numerous Famous Notables.

In September, you will have the opportunity to spot some more familiar faces –the faces of your college admission colleagues. After you have caught-up on the days’ news, tempt your palate by taking a food tour that is sure to get your taste buds-a-salivating.

Savor Seattle offers guided walking tours of some of Seattle’s tastiest neighborhoods.” This two-hour tour at the low-low cost of $40 is definitely worth it, especially if you are a picky eater like me. From gourmet cheesecake to Russian piroshkies, the tour will include, as we say in the south, everything from the rooter to the tooter! However, I would encourage you to buy your tickets in advance to be sure to get a spot.

After your palate has been satiated, take a load off and experience just why Quincy Jones, legendary composer and musician, moved to Seattle—the jazz! I can see you now sipping on some great Scotch as you are entranced by the melodic tones of the piano, the sax, and other melodious instruments at the Triple Door or Jazz Alley. There is nothing more soothing than the blue notes, call-and-response, and polyrhythm of the American musical classic that gained wide acclaim during the Harlem Renaissance.

If you haven’t registered for the conference or you are still contemplating on going, hopefully after reading this blog, you are opening a new browser to complete your registration. We want you to be another Famous Notable in a city of many.

Until next time,
Brian K. Smith

Brian K. Smith is the Senior Associate Director of College Counseling at the Baylor School in Chattanooga, TN. He's never lived in Seattle, but he's visited on several occasions while traveling in college admissions. This year's conference will mark Brian's 10th time as an attendee.

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Wednesday, April 09, 2008

You’re Never TOO Busy or TOO Cool to Volunteer

As you read about how great NACAC's 64th National Conference in Seattle (WA) will be and discover all of the amazing things to do in and around the city, PLEASE don’t forget that NACAC is an organization that relies heavily on volunteers within the organization to pull off a successful conference! Now is the perfect time to “step up” and give a little of your time. Trust me, it feels great!

I guess I first realized how crucial conference volunteers were when I was thrust (that’s kinda what it felt like) into the position of LAC Co-Chair for NACAC Austin. Granted, Christine Bowman and I had the best LAC we could have asked for, but we quickly learned that each of the six subcommittees would require between 15-40 volunteers each!

After we recovered from the initial heart attack, we remembered that NACAC is filled with members who are willing to give their time and energy for a good cause. I can’t tell you how thrilled we were to see so many people come out of the woodwork to do a little registering of people, greet incoming guests at the airport, guide people to sessions or even do some conference bag-stuffing (MUCH needed).

And don’t worry, it’s not like you’re signing up for a second full-time job or required to be “behind the scenes” for the entire conference. We’re talking an hour here or two hours there. Simple—yet effective.

If I could expand upon this idea, I might suggest the following strategy to ensure a phenomenal conference experience:

Listen to captivating keynote speakers Randy Snow or B.D. Wong…then volunteer…

Check out the Exhibit Hall to see who is exhibiting…then volunteer…

Work in some fishing or sea kayaking…then volunteer…

Attend the ever-important Counselor College Fair…then volunteer…

Network with colleagues while tasting some Washington wine…then volunteer (well, maybe not after this one)…

Don’t arrive late or fly home early! You won’t want to miss the memorable Welcome Reception or Saturday night social… and then of course, volunteer…

If you follow this type of conference strategy, you are sure to feel much better about yourself when the conference is over. So, if you think you’re too busy or cool to volunteer, think again!

Sights on Seattle,
Justin Doty
Trinity University (TX)
LAC Austin Co-Chair
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Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Notable Notes from NACAC

2008 Seattle National College Fair/Pacific Northwest Fairs

Why say goodbye to Seattle’s remarkable restaurants, beautiful scenery and quality coffee after the 2008 NACAC National Conference?

Stay in town and join 360 of your colleagues and 20,000 students at the Seattle National College Fair on September 28 and 29, or meet with students pursuing the fine arts at our Performing and Visual Arts College Fair on September 30.

For the most exposure, turn your Seattle stay into a Pacific Northwest tour by attending all six NACAC fairs:

Sunday, September 28
Monday, September 29
Washington State Convention & Trade Center

* * * * * *

Seattle (PVA)

Tuesday, September 30
Fisher Pavilion at Seattle Center

* * * * * *


Wednesday, October 1
Spokane Convention Center

* * * * * *
Portland (PVA)

Thursday, October 2
Portland State University

* * * * * *

Friday, October 3
Saturday, October 4
Oregon Convention Center

* * * * * *

Tuesday, October 7
Boise Centre on the Grove

* * * * * *
Registration for the Seattle National College Fair or the other Pacific Northwest fairs will be available on April 30. Visit for more information.

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Why go to the NACAC National Conference? Who Should go to the National Conference?

Register Early. Register online!Each year when it comes time to register for the National Conference, I find myself in some sort of frantic spring state and the thought of missing school to go to a conference feels overwhelming.

And then, like taking medicine, I sign myself up, go the conference…and inevitably feel much better!

Like so many of us, I wear many different hats at my school and sometimes giving up three/four days to skip out of town for the NACAC conference doesn’t always seem like the best use of my time. Until I’m there – visiting with colleagues in the hallways of the convention center, joining in a lunchtime discussion with someone I met in a session. And then it's over and I’m on my way back to my school full of new ideas, energized by thought-provoking conversations that I’ve had with my colleagues from both sides of the admissions desk.

I’ve attended conferences alone, and in some lucky years I’ve been able to bring a colleague or two with me. While the latter is certainly preferable because then you can truly “divide and conquer” when it comes to the many, many sessions and also talk about your experiences back in the office, I’ve also gotten a great deal out of attending by myself. (NOTE: I’m a complete introvert when it comes to conferences like this!!)

I guess the bottom line is what we tell our students so often: you have to start by showing up. Even if it’s just to soak up the great ideas from others in the room. Sooner or later you might find yourself participating, but remember that we were all first-timers at one time so letting your presence be your participation (especially at first) is completely acceptable!

Some things I think might be helpful to know:
1. Stay tuned for opportunities to tour local colleges. This might mean that you build in a few extra days on either end of your trip to Seattle…it will be well worth it! You can justify it by thinking of what another plane ticket to Seattle would cost!

2. Plan to attend your local ACAC meeting (look at the conference schedule - - for more details). For years I felt overwhelmed at the thought of attending or joining one more group (while at the conference or even just during the school year).

But the members of your local ACAC are your neighbors and their experiences and familiarity with your student population, local colleges/universities, etc…is invaluable to you. (Note: I am not the model of participation in my local ACAC but I’m continuing to try because I know from firsthand experience that it’s really important!)

3. If you cannot bring a colleague from your school with you and you miss sessions that you then hear from other conference attendees were great, check out the opportunities to purchase recordings.

4. Oh, and when you’re in Seattle, try not to get overwhelmed by the number of people or number of sessions…eventually, you’ll start to recognize faces and will be able to discern which sessions are best for you. But be patient at first…wear comfortable shoes…and be ready to sleep well at night!

See you in Seattle!

Elizabeth Guice
Director of College Counseling
St. Andrew’s Episcopal School (Austin, Texas)
Member of the Local Arrangements Committee – Austin 2007

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