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Rapid Response

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.

California Wildfires Update - 10.27.20

Today as new wildfires burn in Southern California, we once again urge colleges and universities to be flexible with their upcoming deadlines, especially with November 1st just around the corner. Our students and their families continue to be impacted by these deadly fires, including the Silverado and Blue Ridge fires that have forced the evacuation of more than 100,000 people and closed both the Irvine and Tustin Unified School Districts. In addition, as of this writing, more than 175,000 people are without power due to the unsafe weather conditions

We urge colleges to be proactive and list on their website their flexibility and if possible, message students and counselors affected to let them know. To our members impacted, we wish for your health and wellbeing and to let us know how we can support you.

California Wildfires Update - 9.29.20

As we learn more about the devastation and loss of life caused by wildfires that continue to rage in California, WACAC once again urges colleges and universities to be flexible when considering application deadlines, requests for high school transcripts, teacher recommendations, and other information from students and colleagues who may be affected by the ongoing fires, especially as we approach application deadlines in October and November.

As of this writing, state agencies are tracking 22 active fires in the State of California. The Glass fire in Napa and Sonoma counties has forced the evacuation of more than 70,000 residents and grown to more than 42,560 acres. In Southern California, the Bobcat fire in Los Angeles county has burned more than 112,000 acres and is now 62% contained. And in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, the El Dorado fire is 92% contained but continues to burn as a Red Flag warning is issued due to rising temperatures across the state.

WACAC Leadership has been in touch with Affiliate Presidents around the country to raise awareness of the situation in California and to encourage their college and university members to give extra consideration for applicants in affected areas

The Common App maintains an FAQ for students impacted by natural disasters and community disruptions and urges those affected to email them for support at recovery@commonapp.net.

The WACAC Executive Committee, in accordance with the WACAC Rapid Response Plan, 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.

Stay safe and be in touch with how we can support you!

Phil Moreno, President
Breanne Boyle, President-Elect
Lauren Cook, Immediate Past-President
wacacadmin@wacac.org

Wildfires in Western United States - 9.11.20

As we head into the weekend and wildfires continue to burn throughout the west, WACAC joins @NACAC and @PNACAC in urging colleges and universities to be flexible with students and families impacted and unable to meet deadlines to complete their applications. http://bit.ly/WWRRWildfires.

Our hearts go out to everyone impacted by these devastating fires and wish for your health and safety – please be in touch with how we can support you.

SHARE NACAC FB Post: https://www.facebook.com/nacacnet.org/posts/10157289760702750

Wildfires in Northern California - 8.26.20

As of this writing, more than 1.4 million acres have burned from 625 active fires throughout California. The fires’ impact is felt daily by residents prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice, poor air quality across the Bay Area, and mounting loss of life. WACAC leadership continues to monitor conditions throughout the state and communicate with membership and additional stakeholders as necessary. If WACAC determines that any actions are warranted for affected communities, we will use email and social media to reach out to our members for assistance. In the meantime, please refer to the WACAC plan for information on how we approach a crisis and for updates.

WACAC Stands for Equity and Justice - 6.1.20

Like many of you, we have felt a wide range of emotions as the nation has learned more about the murders of George Floyd, Ahmaud Arbery, and Breonna Taylor. We feel compelled to write to you now that fear, anger, and frustration are manifesting across the country in Minneapolis, Atlanta, Nashville, and here in California.

WACAC members come from every racial and ethnic background, all tiers of the socio-economic spectrum, represent the entire range of gender and sexual identities, and span in age from recent college graduates to retirees. While we cannot expect to agree on every aspect of this emotionally charged issue, we can agree that black lives matter.

As educators and admission professionals, we must continue to learn about this issue with every resource available to us. And we understand that a statement cannot resonate without action. Each of us will decide our own course of action, and we encourage you to do something today to further the cause of equality and justice.

READ

LISTEN (Podcasts to subscribe to)

WATCH

DONATE

FOLLOW

We also encourage you to reach out to your fellow WACAC members from backgrounds, experiences, and places different than your own. Watch out for each other, support one another, and practice your own self-care. And let us know if there are ways we can support you and your students during this difficult time.

In Solidarity,

Phil Moreno (he/him/his), President
Breanne Boyle (she/her/hers), President-Elect
Lauren Cook (she/her/hers), Past-President
wacacpresident@wacac.org

COVID-19 Update 4.22.20

Dear WACAC Members,

A lot has transpired in the past month related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With changes impacting our students and their post-secondary plans, many of us, who have become experts in our field, are suddenly without answers – and in fact, left with many questions of our own. It is in that vein that we write to provide more resources with some answers to those questions. While not comprehensive and subject to change, we hope they do provide some useful advice.

Be Well,
WACAC Executive Board

  • Secondary Schools College Admission Services Update
    • This crowd sourced tool provides secondary schools professionals an opportunity to report on the current admission-related services at their schools and organizations under these unprecedented circumstances.
  • Riverside County Office of Education FREE School Counselor On-the-Go webinar series:
    • This online series is being offered free of charge and includes sessions that are updated weekly and speakers from the University of California Office of the President and other stakeholders.
    • Events occur from 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. Pacific Time and recordings are available by the end of the day.
  • ABC7Listens: Impact on College Admissions Program (aired Tuesday, April 21st)
    • ABC7 San Francisco Anchor Kristen Sze discussed the pandemic’s impact on UC and College Admissions with University of California Director of Undergraduate Admissions Han Mi Yoon-Wu and WACAC President Lauren Cook.
  • NACAC FREE Webinar: Online Instruction 101: Practical Tips to Deliver Your Lesson Plans Online
    • Tuesday, May 6 at 11 a.m. Pacific Time
    • One-hour webinar and interactive session to learn how counseling and admission professionals can make the most of online sessions. Ben Neely, Revolution Prep’s chief academic officer, will share insights and information about this mode of teaching and learning.
WACAC Conference Cancellation Update - 3.30.20

Long Beach, CA – We are finally in a position to announce that the 2020 WACAC Annual Conference that was to be held at the Long Beach Convention Center May 27th – 29th has been cancelled. This includes the Student College Fair that was to take place on May 26th.

After weeks of communication with the Long Beach Convention Center, the WACAC Board, Conference Committee, and in consultation with an attorney, we believe it is not possible to hold the conference and ensure the health and safety of our members. This decision is particularly hard knowing that this is traditionally the event that our colleagues come to for networking, fellowship, and professional development. However, we believe that given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, this decision is in the best interest for the well-being of our members.

We realize you may have questions and we have put together a list of FAQs for your reference.

On Behalf of the Conference Committee,

Phil Moreno, President-Elect

Keith Sanpei, Conference Committee Chairperson

wacacconference@wacac.org

 

COVID-19 Update 4.1.20

Dear WACAC Members,

Western is committed to supporting admissions, school/independent counseling, and organizational professionals serving students throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As you likely know, Governor Newsom has extended the shelter-in-place order through May 1, with the possibility of continuation past that date. Please note the following resources available for you and your students during this time.

NACAC Tools: NACAC has established the following tools to help colleges and secondary schools provide information to each other about their policies for the remainder of this school year. Please have someone at your school complete the appropriate form:

  • Colleges:
    • Complete the College Admission Status Update by using this form
    • See data provided by secondary schools here
  • Secondary Schools:
    • Complete College Admission Services Update by using this form
    • See data provided by colleges here

ResourcesListed below are some resources that may assist you as you work with students and colleagues during these unprecedented circumstances:

  • ASCA Pop-Up Webinar Series
    • In an effort to make virtual professional development offerings more accessible, live ASCA webinars are free to both members and nonmembers through May 15, 2020
  • This article is full of tips and tools for virtual discussion, community, and events (with quick descriptions of each tool to help you choose which might fit your needs)
  • Use this self-care strategies list to help you find balance, be aware of your needs, and make connections – take care of yourself so that you can best help students!

Thank you for your leadership and support of students during this challenging time. Wishing you good health and resilience for the days ahead!

Warmly,

Lauren Cook, WACAC President

Coronavirus Update from WACAC President Lauren Cook 3.17.20

Please take a moment to read the latest update from WACAC President, Lauren Cook on the coronavirus and its impact on the organization and WACAC’s upcoming events.

College Fairs through May 2 Cancelled 3.17.20

We are all experiencing very hectic and confusing times in response to COVID-19, with many colleges restricting travel and school districts unable to participate in large events. WACAC cares about the safety of our membership and the students that we serve, which is why we have come to the difficult decision to cancel Spring 2020 WACAC College Fairs running from mid-April to May 2.
 
Refunds: All member institutions that registered for any WACAC College Fair between mid-April and May 2 will receive a full refund, either by credit card or check (depending on how the reservation was made). We will be processing refunds in the coming days, so there is no need to put in a formal request. We appreciate your patience as we work through this large administrative task.
 
Future Fairs: WACAC is hoping to reschedule our college fairs for the late summer/early fall, as we want the Class of 2021 to have exposure to all available educational opportunities. We feel that there is still ample time to engage this class for the next application cycle.
 
If you have any questions or feedback regarding the refund process or the scheduling of future fairs, do not hesitate to send your questions to wacaccollegefairs@wacac.org.
 
Best,
Herbie Walker
WACAC College Fair Committee Chair

Orange County SLC at Chapman University Cancelled 3.12.20

In light of mounting precautions that are being taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Share Learn Connect at Chapman University on March 24th has been cancelled. Chapman University has moved to online instruction for the next 8 weeks and is cancelling all meetings with over 100 people. While we are disappointed to cancel this event, we feel confident that this is the cautious and responsible decision.

With this cancellation, we will be working diligently to refund your registration fee in the coming weeks. We ask for patience as we work through that process.

Thank you so much for your understanding during this challenging time. Please keep us on the books for next year as we look ahead to Share Learn Connect opportunities in 2021, and reach out to wacacpd@wacac.org should you have additional questions.

Warmly,

The WACAC Professional Development Team

Bay Area SLC at Santa Clara University Cancelled 3.11.20

In light of mounting precautions that are being taken in response to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Share Learn Connect at Santa Clara University on March 27th has been cancelled. Santa Clara University has moved to online instruction through mid-April and is cancelling all meetings with over 150 people. While we are disappointed to cancel this event, we feel confident that this is the cautious and responsible decision.

With this cancellation, we will be working diligently to refund your registration fee in the coming weeks. We ask for patience as we work through that process.

Thank you so much for your understanding during this challenging time. Please keep us on the books for next year as we look ahead to Share Learn Connect opportunities in 2021, and reach out to wacacpd@wacac.org should you have additional questions.

Warmly,

The WACAC Professional Development Team

Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Update 3.10.20

Colleagues, as you are no doubt aware, organizations and institutions across the country are dealing with the impact of the Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). The full impact of this virus is unknown, changes daily, and is exacerbated by a 24-hour news cycle and lack of trust in both the media and government institutions. Up to this point you have heard directly from the Conference and Professional Development Committees that they are dealing with the situation on a case-by-case basis, and will inform members when decisions are made about each event.

We write now to assure you WACAC Leadership has been in constant communication with the WACAC Executive Committee and Committee Chairs, our College partners, event/site location coordinators, and most recently our insurance company. As you know, the spring is our time to connect as members through professional development opportunities like Share, Learn, Connect, the Annual Conference, and with students at our Spring College Fairs. It also happens to be the time when WACAC, as an organization, generates the most revenue.

As we move forward in these uncertain times, we must first and foremost consider the health and safety of our members. We also are weighing, like our colleagues at institutions across California and Nevada, the fiscal impact this will have on the health of our organization. For each upcoming event that we consider canceling, we will also carefully examine refund policies on a case-by-case basis and inform attendees and members accordingly.

Our commitment to members and students is at the core of our decision making. We appreciate your support and commitment to our mission and values as we consider the gravity of this situation in the coming days and weeks.

Sincerely,

Lauren Cook, President
Phil Moreno, President-Elect
Marc McGee, Immediate Past-President

Annual Conference Update 3.6.20

The start of the 2020 WACAC Annual Conference in Long Beach is weeks away, but we want to provide an update as concerns grow across the country concerning Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). WACAC leaders have been monitoring the situation and have been in contact with the Long Beach Convention Center.

We have been informed that preventative measures have been put into place with the installation of hand sanitizer stations, additional housekeeping on handrails, flat surfaces and in bathrooms. In addition, there have not been any cases of COVID-19 reported in Long Beach. WACAC leadership and the Conference Committee continue to monitor the situation with regular updates  which are also available from the Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services.

The health and safety of our membership is the priority. In the unlikely event that our Conference needs to be cancelled, we will provide details about a revised refund policy. WACAC and the City of Long Beach remain confident that by mid-May we will be in a position to hold our Annual Conference.

Details about registration rates, lodging and more is available on the WACAC website and Conference Facebook page. If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Conference Committee by email: wacacconference@wacac.org.

Sincerely,

The WACAC Conference Committee

Response 10.29.2019

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 and teachers with the upcoming November 1 deadline and is asking for the following from our partners:

  • A clear statement from college and university admissions offices extending November 1 Early Action and Early Decision deadlines for all impacted students, counselors and teachers.
  • An email to students, counselors and teachers 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. 

Response 10.28.2019

California Wildfires Update

WACAC Family,

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.

Stay Safe,

Lauren Cook, WACAC President
Marc McGee, WACAC Past-President
Phil Moreno, WACAC President-Elect