WACAC is a professional organization with 2,000 members comprised of high school counselors, college admissions professionals (both four-and two-year institutions), community-based organizations, students and educational professionals, as well as independent educational consultants (IECs). As 21% of our membership are IECs, we feel it is important to fully support them both as professionals in our organization and in the larger college admissions landscape.
We are aware that there is discussion in Sacramento exploring some form of oversight of IECs in the state of California. We believe that the IECs who are members of WACAC are doing their work with integrity. As such, we would support a measure that would help bolster the integrity of IEC professionals within the state and would require that they are members of one or more of these following organizations:
- Western Association of College Admission Counseling (WACAC)
- National Association of Admission Counseling (NACAC)
- Independent Educational Consultants Association (IECA)
- Higher Education Consultants Association (HECA)
- American School Counselor Association (ASCA)
- The California Association of School Counselors (CASC)
Furthermore, though details remain scarce at this time, one significant one has been shared: “A stakeholder group will determine regulations for the industry within a year of registry’s enactment.” With this in mind, WACAC will take deliberate steps to ensure that WACAC and member IECs are fully recognized as a “stakeholder group” and are part of any and all conversations if this legislation moves forward.
From National Scandal to Teachable Moments
On March 12, aberrations of good parenting and the college admission process came to light through the Department of Justice indictments of an operation with California roots and national reach. It touched a nerve for all WACAC members regardless of the affluence of the families with whom they work or the selectivity of the institutions for whom they work.
We should take comfort that no indicted individuals were members of our association and no admission offices were complicit in the bribery. Many see this as a teachable moment in our profession on a number of related issues. Debates have arisen on topics such as the unintended consequences of snowplow parenting, grade and testing inequities based on economic resources, and the obsession with brand names over best matches. Thanks to all of you who have helped to interpret relevant issues and guide discussions on these topics in your communities throughout California and Nevada.
This is an excellent time, in the waning glare of a national scandal, to re-emphasize to ourselves, the families with whom we work, and our school administrators the importance of ethics in our profession and the admission process as taught by NACAC’s Code of Ethical & Professional Practices (CEPP). WACAC is the answer to a fairer, more transparent process. If we espouse our shared ethics and values strongly enough, long enough, and often enough, then we can hopefully avoid future illegal or unethical system manipulations by those involved with the college admission process.
CSU Maritime Academy Director of Admission
WACAC Board Member Named Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education.
Catalina Cifuentes, WACAC’s Inter-Association Committee Chair, has been named as the Deputy Superintendent of the Performance, Planning, and Technology Branch of the California Department of Education. Catalina assumed responsibility for the Inter-Association Committee, which develops relationships with like-minded organizations last year.
In her new position, Catalina will oversee programs promoting innovation and improved student achievement, including statewide student assessment, school and district interventions, state and federal accountability, and the collection and reporting of educational data.
At last year’s NACAC Conference in Salt Lake City, Catalina was awarded the Inclusion, Access, and Success Award, honoring her work making post-secondary opportunities available to historically underrepresented students. Catalina most recently served as the Executive Director of College and Career Readiness at the Riverside County Office of Education, a State Team Member of Michele Obama’s Reach Higher Initiative, and as the Vice Chair of the California Student Aid Commission. Congratulations!
Welcome to WACAC
Welcome to the Western Association for College Admission Counseling.
Welcome to WACAC
The Western Association for College Admission Counseling supports and advances the work of counseling and enrollment professionals from California and Nevada as they help all students realize their full potential, with emphasis on freshman and transfer transitions to higher education and attention to access and equity for all students.
Founded in 1967, we celebrate 50 years as a non-profit organization supporting college admission counseling.
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Recent job openings
Associate Program Manager for Post-Secondary Access and Success
Financial Aid Counselor
Associate Director for Admissions Marketing and Communications
Director of Undergraduate Admissions