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By Angie Goss

Happy November Nevada!

Last month I had the amazing opportunity to attend the NACAC conference in San Diego, CA. It was truly epic! There were over 7,000 attendees from across the country and around the globe. I had never experienced anything like it and was truly humbled by the experience.

The keynote speaker, Sal Khan, was as affable and witty in person as he is in his videos. If you aren’t familiar with the Khan Academy website, I’d encourage you to check it out at www.khanacademy.org.  It’s a free tutoring resource (primarily for math and science now but quickly expanding) for all ages. Sal Khan is working to make a global impact educationally. What most impresses me about him is that he is smart, well educated, innovative, and humble. He has a respect for educators that I appreciate, in a time when innovators sometimes choose to offend and debase us as a profession. He sees our value and, as he looks at developing tools and programs to assist all learners to succeed, he’s looking to provide us with tools as well.

Another emphasis of this year’s NACAC conference was FLOTUS Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher” initiative. Please check it out at: www.whitehouse.gov/reach-higher. As you all know, Michelle Obama is a strong advocate for counselors. She recognizes the importance of post-secondary education and is encouraging all students to graduate from high school and move on to some sort of training or educational program. It’s all about making those connections while the students are still in high school. Giving them a path to higher education is essential.

I always come back from conferences energized and full of innovative ideas. Then, the day to day challenges of the job seep back in, but I don’t want to lose that desire I have to enhance my school’s college planning process. And that’s what it’s truly all about isn’t? We don’t need to trash our programs and start from scratch. We can tweak our processes and add steps in an attempt to reach more students and strengthen their pathway to higher education.

Additionally, we can rally as a profession to advocate at the state level for legislative support of college and career readiness programs and higher education initiatives. What are your concerns? What innovative programs or initiatives are you implementing in your school? I’d like hear from you.

Please, share this blog with your co-workers and help me get the word out about WACAC. Feel free to e-mail me at wacacnevada@wacac.org with questions, concerns, suggestions, etc.  Thank you!