2018 Agenda

Gallup logo

College Access Marketing in an Era of Changing Workforce Needs and Higher Education Skepticism
Speaker - Brandon Busteed, Gallup

Wednesday, April 18 -  4:00 p.m.

This session will address recent changes in public perception of the value of postsecondary education as well as how advances in technology are driving making education beyond high school a necessity. With growing concerns about the “return on investment” of a college degree, questions about the work readiness of college graduates, and major demographic shifts in the U.S., how should the college access and completion community adjust its strategies and messages?  Mr. Busteed will provide a thorough overview of Gallup research on these topics and stimulate attendees to think and act differently as a result.


Informed Action: Using Market Research and Data to Drive Success in College Access Campaigns
Speaker - Renee Daly, Simpson Scarborough

Thursday, April 19 – 8:45 a.m.

Renee Daly from Simpson Scarborough will lead a “how to” session on how to conduct qualitative and quantitative market research of a target audience as part of a college access campaign. This session will show why conducting market research is important, how market research data is used make informed decisions, and how to collect market research data, including how to run a focus group on a limited budget.


Know Your Audience: Strategies and Best Practices for Engaging Gen Z on Social Media
Speakers - Rachel Weatherly and Rebecca Vander Linde, American University

Thursday, April 19 – 9:45 a.m.

Learn from American University’s social media mavens about how to engage high school and college students on social media in your college access and success efforts, including which platforms to use and what content works best where. Rookies and seasoned users alike will take home ideas and how-tos you can use immediately to boost your engagement with Gen Z.

Civic Nation logo

Better Make Room and Reach Higher Update
Panel Speaker - Don Yu, Civic Nation

Thursday, April 19 – 11:00 a.m.

Mark your calendars! Reach Higher is celebrating the 5th National College Signing Day in May! We have a new how-to toolkit and are thrilled to invite Go Alliance partners to join us again to host celebrations of support for all of your students who commit to continue their education after high school. Through Reach Higher and Better Make Room, more than 1,500 events in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and several U.S. territories recognized students last year. We hope that even more partners will join our movement to shine a spotlight on graduating students in 2018.

Steps 2 College logo

Steps2College: Professional Resources to Support Students through the College-Going Process
Panel Speaker - Melissa Caperton, American College Application Campaign

Thursday, April 19 – 11:00 a.m.

Representatives from the American College Application Campaign, the Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success, and ACT will share how they are aligning efforts to support and celebrate seniors year-round. Attendees will learn about the resources available, effective practices of implementing the four campaigns, and opportunities to engage with Steps2College partners and their national efforts.


Program Evolution: Growth and Change in College Access Events Across Grade Levels
Speakers - Mary Nelle Hall and Courtney Rogers, Tennessee Higher Education Commission

Thursday, April 19 – 1:30 p.m.

In Spring 2017, the College Access and Success Division took on a new approach to recruit and support schools interested in implementing college access events across grade levels. Through a three-pronged approach, the team increased the registrations for Path to College by over 100% in just one year. In this session, representatives from the Tennessee Higher Education Commission (THEC) will share their strategies and continued improvement plans in each of the following areas:


Requiring the FAFSA: Louisiana’s Plan to Provide All Students with a Pathway to Prosperity
Speaker - Ken Bradford, Louisiana Department of Education

Thursday, April 19 – 2:45 p.m.

A high school diploma is no longer enough to earn graduates a living wage in today’s economy. Some form of postsecondary education or training is essential. A major barrier to accessing postsecondary education and training is financial resources. Most Louisiana high school graduates are eligible for some form of state or federal financial aid – either merit-based or need-based. State and Federal Financial Aid can be accessed by submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA). Financial Aid can remove the barriers to accessing four-year universities, two-year community colleges, and technical training programs. This form is used to determine the amount of money a family is expected to contribute to the price of attending a postsecondary institution. The results of the FAFSA are used in determining student grants, work study, and loan amount.


Padres Promoviendo Preparacion: Engaging Spanish-Speaking Parents through College Knowledge and Support
Speaker - Laura Gonzalez, University of North Carolina Greensboro

Thursday, April 19 – 3:45 p.m.

Padres Promoviendo Preparacion (PPP) was a three-year Spanish-language outreach program in Forsyth County, NC (funded by the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust from 2014-2017).Our goals were to increase college knowledge and college-going self-efficacy among Latino immigrant parents, with the belief that more confident and informed parents could be better advocates for their college-bound children.The intervention was created by university faculty (Dr. Laura Gonzalez and Dr. José Villalba) in partnership with Latino-serving entities in the community (churches, non-profits, and schools).The partnering sites first hosted the 8-week program for their Spanish-speaking parents (with a PPP facilitator), then observed the program in order to learn to lead it, and finally facilitated the sessions collaboratively with us or independently.In the first two years of the outreach program, 113 Latino immigrant parents started the groups, and 86 parents finished all sessions.The parents were primarily low-income earners who had been in the United States between 10-20 years and rated their own English fluency as low.


Breakout A: Three Things You Can Do to Build a College-Going Community
Speaker - Michelle Sarumova, Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education

Friday, April 20 – 8:30 a.m.

The Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE) is seeking support to build a 3point “student momentum chain” from high school into college, with a goal of building a self-sustaining college-going community for each participating high school or district.1 The ACPE College and Career Goal Arizona (C²GA) Campaigns aim to accomplish this by bringing Title 1 high schools, postsecondary institutions, and their communities together to support low-income high school students and their families in applying and gaining financing for their chosen postsecondary education opportunities. Partners include postsecondary institutions across the state, the Helios Knowing and Going Initiative, the Arizona Association of Financial Aid Administrators, and the Arizona School Counselors Association.


Breakout B: Implementing Support Strategies for At-Risk Students: Lessons Learned from North Carolina’s Multiple Measures Study
Speakers - Susan Barbitta, North Carolina Community College System Office and Sue Clery, Coffey Consulting

Friday, April 20 – 8:30 a.m.

Research has shown that high school grade point average (HS GPA) is a better predictor of postsecondary student success than traditional placement tests.In 2014, North Carolina adopted a Multiple Measures for Placement policy that uses the student’s HS GPA as the primary means for placement.Although many colleges and states consider HS GPA in making placement decisions, North Carolina is one of the premier states currently relying solely on HS GPA.Upon implementing this Multiple Measures for Placement policy, and using HS GPA as the primary means for placement, the North Carolina colleges saw an increase in the share of their first-time students entering college-ready—increasing from 21 percent to 53 percent of students at a sample of the colleges. Although vetted by a range of stakeholders, there was concern that students with HS GPAs near the waiver cut-off may struggle to succeed in college-level coursework.

ACT logo

Let’s talk about Equity in Education and Career: It’s Everyone’s Business!
Speaker - Juan Garcia, ACT

Friday, April 20 – 9:30 a.m.

In this session we will review the findings of the newly released 2017 report and discuss the changes from the 2016 report Condition of College and Career Readiness among minority U.S. high school graduates who took The ACT test, which shows slow but steady improvement, particularly in the key areas of math and science. This has occurred as the number of test-takers continues to dramatically increase.

College Board logo

Guiding Students Along the Opportunity Pathway: Interventions and Incentives
Speakers - Jessica Howell and Melanie Story, College Board

Friday, April 20 – 10:10 a.m.

Founded on the principle of expanding opportunities for students, the College Board has been a leader of putting research into practice to support students.Through rigorous evaluation and continuous improvement, the College Board leverages data and evidence to drive actions that best serve students in reaching their goals.