KYACAC President

Joel Ford

School Counselor (A-K), Conner High School

Dear Colleagues,

My name is Joel D. Ford, and I am the current President for the Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling (KYACAC), which is one of 23 affiliates around the world for the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC).  We are the premier organization that unites high school counselors with college admissions counselors and other professionals to promote college access and success for students.  I wanted to send a note of invitation to you to become engaged in and involved with our state and national organizations.  There are many organizations which you can join, but I truly feel that being a member of KYACAC and NACAC will impact the job you perform with students every day.

Key upcoming engagement opportunities include:

  • ·       The 2017 NACAC National Conference in Boston, Massachusetts in September
  • ·       College Counseling Information Exchange (CCIE), located at Spalding University in Louisville on September 8
  • ·       The 2018 KYACAC State Conference, to be held in Bowling Green in March

Did you know that members of KYACAC can receive grants to pay for their attendance at professional development events like NACAC, CCIE, and the State Conference?  Furthermore, we provide EILA credit for those who attend.  KYACAC sets aside $5000 in money each year to support counselors who wish to attend conferences but face funding challenges – really, and there’s no catch.  In fact, we hope that it’s reason enough to inspire your involvement in the organization and your efforts to provide support to students with whom you work.  You simply need to be a member to take advantage of these funds.  NACAC also offers additional grant opportunities – in fact, I received a NACAC Imagine Grant last year that is paying for my attendance at the NACAC Conference in Columbus.

The arguments I often hear, arguments that I have made myself, of why someone can’t attend events, especially on the high school side – “I can’t afford to be out of the office for that long,” “my school won’t pay for it,” “I’ll be busy with work at school,” and so on – are no reasons to skip professional enrichment opportunities.  The information and relationships I develop at conferences and through involvement in KYACAC and NACAC has a DAILY and DIRECT impact on the college admissions work I do with students.  I have never been to any professional development in 19 years of education that I feel has more of an immediate and direct impact on my job.

I am a relative introvert by nature, and I probably would not be as involved in this organization without the gentle coaxing of fellow counselors.  Thankfully, I went on an invitation, and I’ve gone every year since to as many opportunities as possible.  Let me tell you just a few benefits that I have received by being a member of both KYACAC and NACAC:

  1. Our organization became part of the Ky3C organization (Kentucky College and Career Connection), which is looking to unite various state groups under a common goal and with common standards for students – to promote college access and success.  Our organization is becoming a leading voice in that effort.
  2. As an organization, we are able to lobby both at the state and national levels for causes surrounding college counseling.
  3. As a member of NACAC, I have the ability to find accurate information quickly about a given subject within college counseling, I can access resources often at a discounted or free rate, and I have access to a mailing group of members from around the world that can answer any questions I have regarding college counseling.
  4. The relationships I have with my college representatives allows me to speak on behalf of my students with them in a more direct manner, it allows me to find out information about colleges much more quickly, and it adds legitimacy to what I tell students as I counsel them because I have access to the most current information as well as direct contact with admissions staff. 
  5. The PD opportunities, whether it is at State Conference, our fall College-Counselor Information Exchange (CCIE) in Louisville, or our New Counselor and Admissions Professional Workshops, as well as the National Conference each fall, allow me to gain knowledge to keep current on college admissions issues and trends.

Other benefits to being a member of KYACAC include access to fellow members, where you can ask questions of and find information from other counselors and admissions offices, access to the KYACAC College Fair Calendar, periodic newsletters, and more.  Most importantly, this organization gives a VOICE to the work we do each day with our students.

I am sure there are many more, but hopefully you get a small idea of the benefits of being involved in these organizations.  Let me be the one to provide a gentle nudge – go to or for details.  We would love to see you at any of our events!  If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me or any of the Executive Board members or Committee chairs.

Best wishes, and I hope to see you in KYACAC!  Be a part of something great!!

Joel D. Ford

School Counselor (A-K), Conner High School

President, Kentucky Association for College Admission Counseling

Affiliate Presidents Council Member, National Association for College Admission Counseling

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