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K-State Today

April 17, 2015



Admissions staff, college counselors advance best practices

By Amy Perry

High school counselors and admissions professionals gathered for the annual conference of the Great Plains Association for College Admissions Counseling, or GPACAC, on April 12-14 in Kansas City, Missouri.

In a session highlighting the developmental tasks that define the second decade of life and the critical assets adolescents possess, Molly McGaughey, senior associate director, and Michaela Rahe, a colleague from the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, presented "Teenagers are awesome!" using the theories and practices of positive youth development.

The presentation linked the importance of the work of high school counselors, admissions officers and the missions of secondary and higher education to the successful transition from teen years to adulthood. Other topics covered included the psychological process of choosing an occupation, as well as parent involvement and investment in higher education.

Great Plains Association for College Admissions Counseling is the regional branch of the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, or NACAC. The national association has 14,000 members and is dedicated to serving students as they make choices about pursuing secondary education. In addition to professional development and advocacy, the national association and its affiliate organizations plan many successful college fairs to connect students and universities. This week's regional conference included professionals from Kansas, Nebraska and Oklahoma. In alternating years, a joint session includes the Missouri organization and its affiliated professionals.