PACAC Pacer Fall 2014 : Page 1

The Pacer Fall 2014 | Issue 155 My PACAC Story What’s Inside In Retrospect . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 1 Leadership & Committee . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2 A Letter From the President . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Alternative Admissions Programs . . . . . . . . . . . 4 Register for Fall College Fairs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 My PACAC Story: Ed Wright . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Conference Wrap Up . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Summer Institute . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Parent Engagement . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Parent Perspective . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11 R .each Y .our F .ull P .otential . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 12 Book Review . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 In Retrospect: PACAC Summer Institute Michelle O’Donnell, Mount St. Mary’s University In the summer of 2007 when I was first hired as a new Admissions Counselor right out of college, Michelle O’Donnell one of the first things my supervisor went over with me was an event called the PACAC Summer Institute. I had no idea what “PACAC” meant, and I was a little nervous about going to my first professional conference just a couple weeks after starting the job. I made the road trip to Bucknell University that summer with two other new counselors from my office, clueless about the professional growth and opportunities ahead that would help me develop an admissions career. Throughout the program, I learned so much and was so impressed with our leaders that I knew being a PACAC Summer Institute faculty member was something I wanted to do someday. So, last summer, I was thrilled to be invited to join the Summer Institute team for the 2014 program and return to one of the best professional experiences of my career. This year’s PACAC Summer Institute brought back a lot of memories of my first years in this profession, and it also made me realize that we are truly lifelong learners in admissions and college counseling. No matter if you’ve been in this field for 30 days or 30 years, common themes and lessons follow you along your professional path. Now that I have been home from the 2014 PACAC Summer Institute for a few weeks, I am reminded of four things I learned as an SI attendee many years ago that continue to be just as important now… PACAC Calendar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Pacer Postings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 15 1) You will always learn something new. Being a presenter and leader at this year’s Summer Institute made me, by default, a teacher. But I have to say that I learned just as many new things at this year’s Summer Institute as I did during my first SI experience in 2007. My perspective has changed; I have more experiences to share; and I was expected to be the mentor at this year’s SI, but Continued on page 9 www.PACAC.org Fall 2014 | Issue 155 1

In Retrospect

PACAC Summer Institute Michelle O’Donnell, Mount St. Mary’s University

In the summer of 2007 when I was first hired as a new Admissions Counselor right out of college, one of the first things my supervisor went over with me was an event called the PACAC Summer Institute. I had no idea what “PACAC” meant, and I was a little nervous about going to my first professional conference just a couple weeks after starting the job. I made the road trip to Bucknell University that summer with two other new counselors from my office, clueless about the professional growth and opportunities ahead that would help me develop an admissions career.

Throughout the program, I learned so much and was so impressed with our leaders that I knew being a PACAC Summer Institute faculty member was something I wanted to do someday. So, last summer, I was thrilled to be invited to join the Summer Institute team for the 2014 program and return to one of the best professional experiences of my career.

This year’s PACAC Summer Institute brought back a lot of memories of my first years in this profession, and it also made me realize that we are truly lifelong learners in admissions and college counseling. No matter if you’ve been in this field for 30 days or 30 years, common themes and lessons follow you along your professional path. Now that I have been home from the 2014 PACAC Summer Institute for a few weeks, I am reminded of four things I learned as an SI attendee many years ago that continue to be just as important now…

1) You will always learn something new.

Being a presenter and leader at this year’s Summer Institute made me, by default, a teacher. But I have to say that I learned just as many new things at this year’s Summer Institute as I did during my first SI experience in 2007. My perspective has changed; I have more experiences to share; and I was expected to be the mentor at this year’s SI, but I was just as engaged and inquisitive as this year’s attendees. Hearing about best practices or new procedures at other schools and universities always gives me ideas and motivation for how I can improve the work that I do.

2) Finding your niche is important.

On which side of the desk do you feel like you “belong”? What school is the best fit for you? Are you considering a professional move? How will you get involved professionally? There are so many paths we can each take in the admissions field and within PACAC. I have found that career development discussions are an important part of the Summer Institute, both formally with scheduled sessions and informally over meals or one-on-one conversations.

3) PACAC is a family.

As a new admissions counselor in 2007, I was quite nervous about attending my first professional conference. I eased into Institute, making new friends and connecting with those who would share my travel territory. The faculty were so welcoming and supportive. They took time to answer any questions, to have good conversations about the topics we attendees wanted to discuss, and to make a consistent effort to stay in touch even months after Summer Institute. I have already seen those same practices continue with our amazing 2014 group. I have found my PACAC colleagues to be very caring —we even took time to celebrate two of the faculty members’ birthdays this year during the Institute. When you get involved with PACAC, your professional connections go beyond just having a stack of business cards to take back to the office. Fellow colleagues become close friends, advisees, and mentors.

4) “The connections don’t stop at 2:30!”

One of the faculty members said this to the entire group as we wrapped up this year’s Institute on the last afternoon we were together, and I believe it’s a good way to summarize the program. I’ve received emails, phone calls, and messages from both faculty members and SI attendees since the Institute ended just a few weeks ago. Connections I made in my first couple of years in the job have followed me through my career, and I made new connections at this year’s Summer Institute that will also stay with me.

As I reflect back on both of my PACAC Summer Institute experiences, I am more and more excited about the future of our field. I have noticed that so many of the Institute attendees are eager to learn, ask questions, and share stories from their offices to support one another. On a similar note, the faculty team are so passionate about admissions that they volunteer time out of their busy academic year schedules and summer plans to enthusiastically mentor new hires. Whether you attend as a new hire, experienced professional, or faculty member, the PACAC Summer Institute is a valuable experience for both admissions and college counseling professionals.

Save the Date

PACAC will host a networking event on October 23, 2014 for college admission and school counselors in the suburbs of Philadelphia. More information will be made available as the date approaches.

Read the full article at http://digital.graphcompubs.com/article/In+Retrospect/1810296/225230/article.html.

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