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Confessions of an Out-Of-State Texas Rep

Many of the TACAC members reside in Texas as regional representatives; I do not. I am proud (especially as a native Texan) to have the entire state of Texas as one of my territories, though there are a few quirks that come with not living in or close to your own admissions backyard.

Map Apps are Bae
Even though I spent 18 years of my life living in the Dallas area, I’ve been residing in New York City for my entire adult life, and man, Texas has changed since I left. There are new highways and freeways (how did we ever live without the LBJ TEXpress?!), In-N-Out has infected the Lone Star State, and new secondary schools are opening everywhere!

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Introducing our new TACAC Executive Assistant!

You may have heard that we have a new Executive Assistant at TACAC. We wanted to take a minute to introduce Mosadi Porter and let the membership get to know her. 

Mosadi is no stranger to higher education having worked for Sam Houston State University, Ohio University, and Texas A&M University and Lone Star College. She has worked within Student Activities, Multicultural Services, Retention, Honors & Scholarships, Financial Aid and Admissions. 

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NACAC Kickoff!

In the admissions world, it’s all about who you know—some may be a future boss, a friend, a mentor, or even the future president elect of TACAC. But this week, some of our very own TACAC members are headed to the NACAC Conference in Boston to meet so many of our colleagues across the nation and discuss some important issues facing our field. So, who’s going to NACAC? Let’s find out!

First time attender April Marroqiun, Regional Admissions Counselor for Lamar University says that “I am looking forward to the opportunity to learn new information and resources that will allow me to be a better admissions counselor for my institution, my admissions team, and most importantly: the students that I serve.” Marroquin, who covers Southeast Houston and Central Texas for Lamar, was awarded the Imagine Grant, which has allowed for her to attend the conference this year, but that she will definitely be busy! “Tony Sarda, Assistant Director of Recruitment at Lamar University, and I have planned to cover as much territory as humanly possible during the conference. Considering drastic changes being made in the current White House administration, I am personally hoping to learn more about working with undocumented students. I also hope to bring back a renewed energy and motivation to hit the ground running for another successful year—that, and a LOT of business cards.”

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Getting Involved with TACAC 101

As an organization dedicated to the development of professionals in the fields of college and admission counseling, TACAC runs a variety or programs to encourage the growth of its members. Some programs are only available to members and others are open to all interested parties. Information about the programs, including how to register, is available on each program's page:

 Members of TACAC love what they do and try out their best to get involved by volunteering on the multiple committees that keep us up and running. We hope you will explore a few of them and consider volunteering for either a committee or a program. We are happy to help you find something that meets your career interests and serves your personal growth needs:

  •  Admissions Practices Educates members on NACAC Statement of Principles of Good Practice and monitors compliance.
  •  Advancement Develop partnerships with companies and organizations to sponsor TACAC's programs and events.  Works with Conference Planning's Exhibitor subcommittee.
  •  College Fairs Responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of college fairs at both the national and regional levels.  National College Fairs are held in conjunction with NACAC in Austin, DFW and Houston.  Regional Fairs are created by TACAC and are planned for San Antonio, El Paso, and the Rio Grande Valley.
  • Communications/Marketing Keeps the membership informed about local and national concerns. Produces the TACAC newsletter and is responsible for all conference promotional materials, publications and social media.  Manages the image and branding of the association.
  •  Conference Planning Develops, coordinates, and implements the annual spring conference. The conference planning committee includes several subcommittees.
  •  Government Relations Monitors and advocates for state and federal legislation relating to counseling and college admission.  Administers a biennial Austin lobbying day.
  •  Inclusion, Access and Success Assesses concerns and needs of underrepresented admission counselors, secondary counselors, and students. Develops program, such as Fellows, to meet those needs and build relations. Also supports Camp College and Motivate Me, the young men of color conference.
  •  Membership Recruits new members for TACAC and NACAC and works to sustain annual membership among current members.
  •  Professional Development Communicates with the membership regarding professional development topics and programs at local, state, and national levels. Hosts Drive-In Workshops.  Prepares programs for the annual conference.
 

TACAC's Statement on Trump Administration's Decision to End DACA

Today, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Trump Administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.  TACAC supports the NACAC response:  https://www.nacacnet.org/news--publications/newsroom/nacac-statement-on-termination-of-daca-program/

The Administration decided to wait 6 months before completely ending the program to allow Congress to pass legislation addressing DACA recipients and other undocumented individuals.  TACAC encourages members to submit the action alert NACAC has created urging Congress to pass legislation to protect DACA students as soon as possible.  The alert can be found here:  http://cqrcengage.com/nacac/app/write-a-letter?4&engagementId=379893.

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Support Those In Need - #tacactuesday

 We are so moved by the love and support show towards all those affected by Hurricane Harvey. We know many people are still in great danger, while others are safely evacuated with little to no belongings. While we may feel helpless, today we ask you to help in a financial way. We have an anonymous donor, who has agreed to match up to $500 of donation made to the Harvey Relieve/Anne Naman Fund by midnight tonight! Any amount will help, and all funds donated to Harvey Relief Fund –http://www.tacac.org/contribute-to-the-tacac-anne-naman-fund

 If you are not able to give at this time, the funds collected until the end of September will all be donated to the high schools and colleges that have been affected. We want to join together as a community to support those who may have lost part, if not everything.

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New to TACAC? What You Need to Know

On behalf of TACAC, I would like to officially welcome all of our new and returning members! While many have been a part of TACAC for a while now, we still want to share some very important information every member should know. With that said, it is only right to start with TACAC’s Vision Statement –

 TACAC develops professionals committed to providing the highest quality counseling to ensure students' access to and persistence through post-secondary education.

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New Year, New Blog

Welcome back to the TACAC blog and thanks for taking the time to stop by. We have some great posts that will be coming your way this year.

This year we invite YOU to be a part of the blog! I know what you’re thinking, you don’t have time to write a blog post in between everything else on your to-do list. But being a part of the blog couldn’t be easier!

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Welcome to a New Year!

Welcome to a new year, TACAC members! 2016-2017 was a fantastic year with so many events, workshops, and the ultimate gathering at Super Conference!

 As we’re all gearing up for a new admissions cycle with student/parent meetings, school visits, and recommendation writing, it’s great to take a pause in your day and remember the fantastic lessons learned and relationships formed over the last year. 

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Meet the new President-Elect

The next President-Elect of TACAC is Mickey Saloma, Assistant Dean of Recruitment, Retention, and Alumni Relations at the Lyle School of Engineering of Southern Methodist University. Mickey has been an active member of TACAC for many years and he is looking forward to this new role. He hopes to hear from members, either at the conference or via email, about their hopes for TACAC in the years to come. In the meantime, meet Mickey here on the blog.

Why did you want to serve as TACAC's President:

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New Executive Board Members

In addition to our annual conference, April is also the month when new committee chairs and delegates join the TACAC Executive Board. We are pleased to introduce you to the new members of the executive board.

Mackenzie Burns, Communications Committee Chair

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Meet RMACAC!

Having met SACAC earlier this week, we'd like to also introduce you to the Rocky Mountain Association for College Admission Counseling. We're excited to welcome our RMACAC colleagues to San Antonio for the Super Conference this month!

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Meet SACAC!

In preparation for the TACAC-SACAC-RMACAC Super Conference this month, we want to introduce you to the Southern Association for College Admission Counseling. We're looking forward to welcoming our SACAC colleagues to San Antonio!

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The Camp College Experience

With the student and mentor application deadlines fast approaching (EXTENDED TO APRIL 15!!), Camp College 2017 will be here soon. An initiative of the Inclusion, Access and Success committee, Camp College is a college preparation program targeted to prepare a diverse group of students from across the state of Texas for college. By working directly with students and developing the professional experiences of the program’s mentors, Camp College speaks directly to the mission of TACAC.

Held on college campuses throughout Texas, Camp College is a 3-day residential program that welcomes approximately 120 students for college application readiness education. The program's 40 mentors will guide students through the program. Last year’s Camp College was graciously hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington and 2017’s event will take place June 5-7 at Southern Methodist University.

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NACAC Seeks Feedback on SPGP Revisions

By Todd Rinehart, Chair of the Steering Committee on Admission Practices

The NACAC Board of Directors last year appointed a Steering Committee on Admission Practices to examine the association’s Statement of Principles of Good Practice (SPGP). The committee was charged with modernizing the principles of the SPGP, developing content to include cohorts of students and members not adequately addressed in the current document, and ensuring the SPGP is relevant in a changing enrollment landscape.  

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State and National News Articles: March 2017

As an organization committed to developing college admission counseling professionals, TACAC is pleased to share recent state and national news articles that may help you grow as a professional.

Texas News

Texas Lawmakers Search for Ways to Avoid Wasted College Credits (The Texas Tribune)
State lawmakers consider ways to ensure courses taken at community colleges will transfer to four-year universities.

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Spring College Fairs

Do you hear the sound of barcodes scanning and luggage wheels hitting the parking lot pavement? It’s time for the Spring college fairs! High school juniors and their families will be navigating large exhibition halls around Texas in the coming months, and we’ve got tips for both you and your students to maximize the college fair experience! Whether you’re a seasoned counselor or a fresh-faced recruiter, read on for our best practices.

DO bring enough fair materials. Thousands of students will be attending each of the NACAC and TACAC fairs, and a lot of them may utilize the “grab-n-go” method. Plan accordingly. Table pop-up? Banner? Business cards? Check, check, and triple check before you hit park at the fair’s location.

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National School Counseling Week

As we complete National School Counseling Week, I want to say thank you for being advocates, working long hours, helping students through their post-secondary decisions, and most importantly, for being in this profession. You play a critical role assisting students, families, and even each other, realize their full potential. TACAC recognizes and appreciates the contributions you make. In this special week, we celebrate and recognize you as professionals who further our mission of serving others.
Most Appreciative,
Ismael Rodriguez, Jr
President, Texas Association for College Admission Counseling (TACAC) 

Program Info: Fellows

The TACAC Fellows program is one of the best ways to get involved with TACAC, and offers unparalleled access to the annual conference.  The Fellows Program is sponsored by the Inclusion, Access, and Success committee, and is designed to enable professionals who work with students from under-represented populations and who work in settings adversely affected by budget cuts of limitations to take advantage of all that TACAC and its members have to offer.

As a 2016 Annual Conference Fellow who was in the middle of my first year of college counseling at a Title I school in Dallas, I could not have imagined the opportunities the Fellows Program would afford me.  Because of my participation, I was able to attend the conference, something I may not have been able to do had it not been for the grant I received, which would have kept me from being able to attend the information sessions on SB5, Prior-Prior Year financial aid information, the Coalition App, and Letters of Recommendation, each of which directly impacted the way I work with my students every day.  As a new counselor, every session I attended provided valuable context to my work and helped me to become a better adviser to my scholars and peer to every other counselor and admissions representative with whom I interact.  I was also awarded a complementary one year TACAC membership, and was given accommodations at the 2016 conference. However, the biggest benefits I received from the Fellows program were the connections I made and the people I met, many of whom I now consider friends and mentors.

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Report from Winter Executive Board Meeting

Twenty members of the TACAC Executive Board met in San Antonio January 27-28 for the quarterly executive meeting. These meetings allow the committee chairs, president's council, and delegates time to plan for the direction of the organization, share feedback and ideas about ongoing or upcoming initiatives, and work to realize the goals of TACAC.

The focus of the winter meeting was strategy planning and fiduciary planning. In the course of our strategy planning conversation, we quickly realized that we needed a more comprehensive view of TACAC's programs throughout the year in conjunction with NACAC programs and larger admission timeline calendar.  Calendar-based planning and alignment of programs will continue down to sub-committees and other TACAC events over the next several months.

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