Arlington, VA (March 24, 2021) – The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) today announced that in the past year its membership has grown by 65 percent, despite the pandemic, and now totals more than 23,000 admissions and counseling professionals representing more than 3,600 postsecondary institutions, high schools, and related nonprofit institutions across the globe. With this dramatic membership growth, NACAC is now one of the largest membership associations in higher education.
“Our members are exceedingly dedicated professionals, who strive to do the best by students and families as they evaluate their postsecondary options,” said NACAC CEO Angel B. Pérez. “During the pandemic, the admission profession has undergone seismic shifts, and our members are seeking community and solutions to new challenges that improve their ability to serve the students and institutions to whom they have dedicated their careers. NACAC is their professional home, and that home just got a lot bigger."
The association changed its membership structure shortly before Pérez took office as CEO last summer. The new structure gives member institutions the opportunity to extend the benefits of NACAC membership to their entire counseling and admission teams. Members represent every level of admission professional in higher education, from vice presidents of enrollment management to new recruitment staff; as well as high school counselors focused on college advancement and representatives of 23 state, regional, and international affiliate organizations.
Since its founding in 1937, NACAC has defined and promoted ethical practices for admission counseling and offers extensive training, educational, and networking programs for members, students, and institutions. The association also advocates for such important goals as increasing diversity and social justice on campuses and for education-related legislation and policy at both the national and state levels.
During the pandemic, NACAC has been offering its educational programs virtually, as well as college fairs for students and families, a popular podcast focused on providing an insider’s view of the admission process, professional development for members, and other resources that have drawn as many as 18,000 attendees at a time. Recent initiatives include:
- The creation of a national commission—made possible by a grant from Lumina Foundation—to develop specific proposals for reimagining financial aid and college admission systems and ultimately eliminating racial inequity in postsecondary educational access.
- The initiation of the Antiracist Education Institute, a new program created specifically to help counseling and admission professionals develop practices that eliminate bias in advising and considering students for college admission.
- In partnership with the Character Collaborative, the launch of Character Assessment in Admission: An Introduction, the first course in a series designed to provide guidance on the value of character attributes in colleges and schools.
- Pérez’s commentaries about how college admission and higher education are changing in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, USA Today, Forbes, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and Inside Higher Ed.
- As part of NACAC’s reinventing itself under Pérez’s leadership, the appointment of NACAC’s first chief education and policy officer, David A. Hawkins; first chief experience officer, Shantel Goodman-Luckett; and first director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, Dr. Crystal E. Newby.
The National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), founded in 1937, is an organization of more than 23,000 professionals from around the world dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing postsecondary education.
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