Monday Sessions

8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

Update on Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard
Get an insider's perspective on the SFFA v. Harvard case from presenters who were in the courtroom for much of the trial and who worked with four student witnesses who testified in support of affirmative action. Hear an update on the status of what most assuredly will be an appeal, along with background on little-known factors in the trial, and a more in-depth discussion of race-conscious admission and what you should know (and perhaps do) about it.
Jay Rosner, The Princeton Review Foundation
Michaele Turnage Young, NAACP Legal Defense Fund

10 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Removing Barriers to College Access for All Students
The higher education admission landscape has never been more complex. Creating new pathways for underrepresented and adult student populations to access college opportunity has become critical for the survival of higher education institutions. However, reaching these audiences requires lowering both the logistical and systemic barriers in applying to college. Learn how The Common Application and Reach Higher, a college access and success initiative started by former First Lady Michelle Obama, are helping to increase college access and transfer admission for first-generation and low-income students, as well as veterans and other post-traditional adult learners, by streamlining the application process, supporting those who support students with comprehensive counseling tools, connecting students to financial aid and scholarship resources, and more.Suzi Nam, Lenfest Scholars Foundation (PA)
Stephanie Niedoba, The Common Application (VA)
Stephanie Owens, Reach Higher, The Common Application (VA)
Ashley Pallie, Pomona College (CA)
Suzi Nam, Lenfest Scholars Foundation (PA)

Partnerships Over Pipelines: Building a Collaborative Model for College Success and Completion
Many colleges and universities often see diversity and inclusion admission practices through pipeline glasses, thus facing blind spots when seeking out prospective high-achieving, first-generation, low-income students of color to recruit and enroll. Many community-based, college-readiness organizations (CBOs) involved with these same students encounter difficulties identifying higher education institutions that will authentically embrace and provide a wider passage in supporting the numerous and comprehensive needs of these students. The combined approach of St. Olaf College (MN) and Boys Hope Girls Hope International encompasses student-level goals and organizational-level objectives designed to share data, level the playing field, nurture a sense of belonging, and navigate campus bureaucracy and customs with the capstone goal of college completion.
LaShone M. Gibson, Boys Hope Girls Hope International
Bruce King, St. Olaf College (MN)

What About the Middle Class? Not All Students of Color are Poor
Explore the changing socioeconomic status of people of color in the US. Learn effective strategies for recruiting students of color using data to help understand who makes up America's middle class; explore the preferred language when discussing race and socioeconomic class; and discuss best practices for recruiting middle class students of color.
Curtis Ferguson II, DePauw University (IN)
Katrina Tijerina, Denison University (OH)

New Perspectives: The View from the Other Side of the Desk
Success in the world of higher education revolves around partnerships that span across multiple realms. Colleges and universities, high schools, and community-based organizations (CBOs) frequently collaborate to ensure the success of students during the college application process and beyond. Since we are all working toward a common goal, switching to the other side of the desk is a common occurrence in our profession. Hear from two professionals about their path to switching to the high school and CBO side after starting their careers in college admission.
Natalie Garza, St. John's School (TX)
Tahirah Jordan Crawford, People's Preparatory Charter School (NJ)

Advancing in the College Admission Profession
For those working with underrepresented populations, the quest to advance in the profession can be daunting. How do we balance our desire to serve underrepresented populations with our desire to advance our careers? When is the right time to leave your institution or how do you advance within your institution? Hear from seasoned admission professionals about how they advanced in the profession and get tips on how to build a successful admission career.
Cyrus Nichols, University of Oregon
Trey Moore, University of Oklahoma

11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.

Wonder Women of Color
Women of color (WOC) face a distinctive set of challenges in the workplace, whether it be in college admission offices, high schools, or community-based organizations. Connect with WOC colleagues through asset-based conversations that focus on the benefits of being a woman of color in education. Gain insight and tips on how to navigate job searches, graduate school, work/life balance, and professional development opportunities as a WOC and leave this year's GWI with new mentors, colleagues, and friends.
Steph Gonzalez, Williams College (MA)
Suzi Nam, The Lenfest Scholars Foundation (PA)

Educated in a Small Town: Approaches to Recruiting and Supporting Rural Students
Nearly 20 percent of the US lives in a rural area, and 50 percent of operating school districts are located in rural America. However, rural students have less access to advanced coursework in their high schools and attend college at a lower rate than their urban and suburban peers, despite boasting higher graduation rates. We all have a responsibility to understand, engage with, and support rural students. Hear from two institutions that prioritize recruiting and supporting rural students and share your own stories.
Andrew Moe, Swarthmore College (PA)
Rhiannon Pabich, Northeastern University (MA)

Generation Z is Officially Here: Recruiting the Most Diverse and Inclusive Generation Yet
Meet Generation Z, born between the mid-1990s and the early 2000s. This is the most diverse, multicultural, and inclusive generation yet, with half of the population belonging to a minority group. Admission professionals know that Generation Z is headed to college in dramatic numbers, which means innovation will be essential in reaching this population. So how exactly do admission professionals shift their recruitment strategies from millennials to this entirely new generation? Learn how to better understand the needs and challenges of our new audience—beyond knowing that Gen Z is tech savvy and heavily wired through social media. Create an intentional approach to recruiting the most diverse generation in US history.
Guadalupe Sanchez, Radford University (VA)

Challenging Your Lens: Diversity Training for Admission Readers
Admission readers are tasked with the important responsibility of evaluating applicants cognizant of a student's context. To do the job well, admission readers need to constantly examine their unconscious bias and their understanding of applicants' cultural, social, economic, and national experiences. Explore strategies and models to train admission readers to better understand the context and complexities of diverse applicants.
Olufemi Ogundele, University of California, Berkeley
Ashley Pallie, Pomona College (CA)
Calvin Wise III, Johns Hopkins University (MD)

Pedagogy of Dialogue: How to Create a Trust Bond Through Deliberate Verbal Communication
What do a young, hip, African-American man with dreads and an old straight (but not narrow), white woman who wears cameos, have in common? What do they have to offer each other as allies and friends? Do they have what each other needs to create a healthy world? Explore how boundaries are crossed and how each party grows to understand what each doesn't know. What can young, college-bound people of color, heading off to college, learn about whom to trust, how to trust, and why they must trust? What skills are required to make the transition from a high school student to an independent college student? How do you identify allies for support? What are the indicators of authentic support and authentic communication?
Bryan Nance, The Ohio State University
Kathy McMahon-Klosterman, Miami University (OH)

1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

Here to Stay: Working Together to Serve Undocumented Students
Fewer than half of undocumented young adults ages 18-24 with a high school degree have attended any college and less than 10 percent will enroll in college immediately upon graduation from high school. How do we share the dream of higher education with these students? How do we direct undocumented students on the path to a college degree and beyond? Join a veteran college admission counseling professional and a young activist to understand who they are, the struggle they face, and the higher education opportunities available to them. Engage in this candid, challenging, and hopeful discussion to learn more about identifying these students, employing best practices for serving them, connecting with networks of support, and how to navigate the current legislative landscape and national dialogue.
Ann Marano, Irma Lerma Rangel Young Women's Leadership School (TX)
Emma Chalott Barron, North Texas Dream Team

Creating a Culture of Autonomy, Confidence, and College Access Through Strategic School District Partnerships
Restoring trust, community buy-in, and college access created a challenge for a public institution after its successful efforts to increase its national recognition and competitiveness overlooked some demographic groups and communities. The institution took on this challenge head-on through an initiative that utilizes rising high school seniors as peer mentors to increase college access while restoring trust within the public high school system and community. Learn more about how this peer-to-peer coaching program model has increased students' sense of agency in their navigation of postsecondary pathways, restored trust within the local community, and redefined undergraduate admission recruitment strategies for Generation Z.
DéRecco Lynch, University of Cincinnati (OH)
Delonte J. LeFlore, University of Cincinnati (OH)
Carver Ealy, The Ohio State University 

Institutional Forces at Play: What Undermines College Access?
Do the elite, highly-educated, and affluent have a leg up in the admission process compared to their lower-income peers? Examine the institutional goals that tend to erode college access: recruited athletics, legacy admission, prospective and current donors, and Early Decision programs. How do these college priorities compress space and push out high-achieving, low-income first-generation students? Can anything be done? Engage in a lively conversation about institutional practices, solutions, and organizational change.
Andrew Moe, Swarthmore College (PA)
Kaila Brown, Vanderbilt University (TN)
Nicole Molina, University of Southern California

Engaged: Bringing Current Students into the World of Diversity Recruitment
BoilerTracks and S.M.A.R.T. are student organizations that assist Purdue University-West Lafayette (IN) and Penn State University in recruiting students from diverse backgrounds. They play a pivotal role in the admission recruitment process as they allow prospective students of color to see students who look like them at open houses, high school visits, and shadowing events. Join the discussion about recruiting, training, mobilizing, and activating current diverse students to help recruit prospective students, and tackle nitty gritty topics like budgeting, campus collaborations, and sharing resources.
Ja'Niah Downing, Purdue University (IN)
Tony Moore, The Pennsylvania State University

3 p.m. – 4 p.m.

Network and learn more about NACAC's 31 Special Interest Groups (SIGs) at our SIG Fair. SIGs include: Public School Counselors, Women's Colleges, Student Athletes, LGBTQ/Allies and many more. Join NACAC staff and SIG leaders in an information session to explore how to become more involved in one or more SIGs, or how to start a group of your own. NACAC SIGs continue to expand by offering diverse and inclusive interest areas that help develop and broaden the association's membership base.
Yanecia Green, Associate Director of Membership and Affiliate Relations, NACAC (VA)

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