2016 marks the fifth and final White House convening of the Obama administration to examine and explore the intersections of “cultural competence,” counseling, and college and career readiness of under-served youth. ACA members Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Dean, School of Education at American University, and Vivian Lee, EdD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, will lead the event this weekend: Oct. 28-Oct. 30.
ACA will be represented at this year’s convening at American University in Washington, D.C. by ACA President Catherine B. Roland, ACA's Senior Director of the Center for Counseling Practice, Policy, and Research Lynn Linde, and ACA CEO Rich Yep.
The White House convening intends to “initiate and deepen conversations on how best to promote equitable college and career readiness (CCR) outcomes of students who historically are underrepresented on college campuses, in the workforce, and in STEM fields.”
The goals of the White House convening are to build upon past convening knowledge and to determine a path forward for addressing the unique needs of historically under-served students; facilitate a dialogue around equity and cultural differences to drive successful CCR outcomes; develop an action plan for districts, states and the business community; and to determine policy implications when focused on the CCR needs of under-served youth.
This convening further reinforces the Reach Higher initiative, which is First Lady Michelle Obama’s effort to inspire young people to take control of their futures by completing education past high school, whether at a community college, through a professional training program, or a four-year college or university. The First Lady is working to rally the country around President Obama’s "North Star" goal; that by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.
We may be well on our way to accomplishing the President's “North Star” goal. Just last week President Obama spoke at Benjamin Banneker Academic High School in Washington, D.C. to announce that America’s high school graduation rate has reached a record high of 83.2 percent. This increase reflects the important progress school counselors across the country are making to better prepare students for college and careers after graduation.
A good school counselor, with the help of parents and community, has always been the cornerstone of student success. School counselors across the country are already helping with the Administration's goals by fostering a comprehensive approach to prepare all students for college success and beyond (especially students from underrepresented populations); fostering rigorous academic preparation; encouraging early college planning; and guiding students and parents through the college admission and financial aid process. School counselors are creating a solid foundation for college and career readiness for all students.
If you would like to learn more about the White House convening, click here. For more information about the increase in graduation rates and to explore resources available to students, click here. Read more about the event here.