2018 Annual Meeting Presentations

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 addressed 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 provided a thorough overview of Gallup research on these topics that have implcations for how we develop college access campaign messages.


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 led 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 outlined 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.

In this session, American University’s social media mavens showed how to engage high school and college students on social media in college access and success efforts, including which platforms to use, what content works best where, and how to boost engagement with Gen Z.

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.

The American College Application Campaign, the Center for Postsecondary Readiness and Success, NCAN, Civic Nation, and ACT are aligning efforts as part of a new collboration known as Steps to College to support and celebrate seniors year-round. The goal of the partnership is to support college-going students on the path to success, elevate individual campaigns, and set an example of collaboration for other national, state, and local partners.

Steps2College focuses on four key milestones in the journey to college:


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) shared 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.


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.

In this session, Michelle Sarumva outlined how the Arizona Commission for Postsecondary Education (ACPE) is working to build a 3-point “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.


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 – 9:00 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.

ACT logo

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

Friday, April 20 – 9:45 a.m.

In this session Juan Garcia reviewed findings from the newly released 2017 Condition of College and Career Readiness report and discussed the changes from the 2016 report. Among minority U.S. high school graduates who took the ACT test, there was 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 – 10:30 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.