Rapid Response Plan
After observing several recent natural and human-made “disasters,” WACAC leadership identified the need to codify a rapid response plan into organizational policy.
While no one wants to plan for wildfires or admission scandals, having protocols in place provides guidance to WACAC leadership with decision making and determining what actually requires a “response” from the organization. To that end, the 2019-2020 Executive Committee drafted the following rapid response plan, following many of the same protocols put in place by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).
In some situations, WACAC may choose to support affected organizations or communities through the Berman-Chalmers Fund.
WACAC Response to Wildfires in California
La Crescenta, Calif. (October 29, 2019) — Wildfires in Northern and Southern California have prompted evacuations, school closures and power outages for upwards of 2 million residents. WACAC is closely monitoring the fires given the potential impact on students, counselors
- A clear statement from college and university admissions offices extending November 1 Early Action and Early Decision deadlines for all impacted students, counselors
- An email to students, counselors
andteachers from the Common Application and the Coalition Application; clear language on the login pages to remind students of the tools they have available within each system to provide extra assistance.
We have also reached out to The College Board about the upcoming November 2 SAT in the event that fires and power outages continue.
The WACAC Executive Committee will continue to monitor conditions throughout the state and communicate with membership and additional stakeholders as necessary. If WACAC determines that college counseling or access event(s) are needed for affected communities, we will use email and social media to reach out to our members for assistance. In the meantime, please note the WACAC Rapid Response Plan for information on how we approach a crisis, as well as all information related to this current situation.
California Wildfires Update
It’s been a tough few days in California as high winds, power outages, poor air quality, and of course, wildfires have run rampant throughout the region. WACAC leadership have been monitoring the situation and can offer the following updates in advance of November 1 deadlines:
- Affiliate Presidents around the country are contacting their college and university members, both to raise awareness of the situation in California and encourage extra consideration for applicants in affected areas. Higher ed institutions are encouraged to make statements regarding any November deadline extensions on institutional websites, social media, the NACAC Exchange, and other vehicles through which they communicate with families and schools.
- The Common App will be emailing members in the next 24-48 hours to acknowledge the steps they’ve already taken to support students and remind them of the tools they have available within the Common App system to provide extra assistance. They’ll also share their FAQ site through social media channels, and email all applicants, counselors, and transfer recommenders in impacted counties (casting a very wide net) to express support and connect them with the information in the FAQ.
- WACAC leadership is reaching out to The College Board in advance of this weekend’s scheduled testing to encourage strong communication around test site changes and/or cancellations in impacted areas.
- The WACAC Executive Committee will continue to monitor conditions throughout the state and communicate with the membership as necessary. If WACAC determines that college counseling or access event(s) are needed for affected communities, we will use email and social media to reach out to our members for assistance. In the meantime, please note the new WACAC Rapid Response Plan online for information on how we approach a crisis, as well as all information related to this current situation. Please be in touch with any of the Presidents should questions arise.
Lauren Cook, WACAC President
Marc McGee, WACAC Past-President
Phil Moreno, WACAC President-Elect