The rhythm of the school year calendar is one of the elements of college admissions counseling that I most enjoy. Each season brings a different set of priorities to my office and the start of each new school year brings the anticipation of new possibilities. During the WACAC Board retreat this summer, we had the opportunity to reflect on how we might shape new possibilities for our association as part of a strategic planning process that will direct our efforts for the next four to five years. We are a volunteer run, not-for-profit organization and it is important that we carefully use our resources, especially the time donated by our many volunteers, to maximize our service to our members. Over three days, lively and thoughtful discussions ensued from WACAC’s talented board members, who come from high schools, public and private, colleges and universities, public and private, independent consulting firms and community colleges and from California and Nevada. From these varied perspectives, a consensus was reached on three areas of focus that will shape our efforts in the coming year.
Strengthen WACAC internally with procedures to facilitate developing new leadership and attention to fiscal sustainability.
Develop membership with attention to sectors currently underrepresented and with attention to providing value for all members.
Advance WACAC’s presence and visibility as a leader and source of knowledge for all who support students in the transition to college.
I used the extra time over the Labor Day weekend to finish reading Sonia Sotomayor’s memoir, My Beloved World. I gained many helpful insights about the challenges faced by the first generation students I counsel. I was also struck by her comment about professional conduct in the practice of law and how it also applies to our work. She notes, beyond the minimum required by the law, there are “other rules, not formally encoded, which set the higher bar that defines what’s ethical behavior, consistent with respect for the dignity of others and fairness in one’s dealings with them.” Our association represents members who work in many different settings and thus can have different priorities. We are at our best when we engage in respectful dialogue, sharing our different needs and then finding solutions that benefit the professional growth of all who work to support students in the transition to and within post-secondary education. I look forward to our dialogue over the coming year and welcome your comments as to how our association serves you well and how it can do so better in order to all each better serve our students.
By Peggy Hock