Message from the President
Chris Doyle, NYSACAC President

Happy New Year! We’re only a few weeks into 2023 and the momentum generated by board members, committees, and members across the state continues. Our President-Elect is busy planning the annual conference along with our host, St. Bonaventure University, and the steering committee. Our immediate Past-President is focused on the upcoming elections, awards, and managing the nominating committee. The Vice Presidents, co-chairs, and committees continue producing programming and resources that benefit the full complement of our members.
In December, I presided over our inaugural mid-year retreat bringing co-chairs, Delegates, VPs, the Secretary, Presidents, and our Executive Assistant together at Marist College. We spent our time connecting in person and laying the foundation for 2023 and beyond. Following the retreat, I presided over the last Executive Board meeting of 2022. Among the many important decisions made by the board, was the decision to promote our Executive Assistant, Kathleen McArthur, to Executive Director. We’re thrilled for Kathleen and look forward to working with her in this new capacity for many years to come. Congratulations, Kathleen!

Winter Institute kicked off the year at Cornell University on January 6th and at St. Francis College on January 20th. Both locations had terrific attendance with eager new professionals expanding their knowledge and networking with peers.

Legislative Advocacy Day will take place in Albany on February 14th – yes, Valentine’s Day – and will allow us to advocate for positive change with elected officials. For those unable to attend in-person, you can participate virtually on February 16th. Make your voice heard and register to represent our profession by visiting the NYSACAC website. Don’t let lack of experience deter you from coming out. Our co-chairs will make sure you’re prepared.

Over the course of the last 6 weeks I established three ad-hoc committees to focus on improving board operations and efficiency, assessing the timing of the annual conference to ensure maximum member participation, and to explore hosting an inclusion conference in the fall. I’ll have more to share about the work of the ad-hoc committees as they continue their work and present their reports later this spring.

The board and I continue to work hard on your behalf. We hope you will take advantage of as many NYSACAC webinars, events, initiatives, and conversations as your schedule allows.

Good luck with the spring, and I hope to see you in Albany or at another spring event! 

Plans for '23 NYSACAC Annual Conference Underway
Heidi Green, NYSACAC President-Elect

A steering committee of 75 strong is working hard to prepare a memorable state conference at St. Bonaventure University in Olean, NY, during the first full week of June. The conference website is open for pre-registration! Sign up now so you will receive updates and be the first to know when registration opens. Pre-register here: 2023 NYSACAC Annual Conference

The professional development opportunities begin with the 26th annual Coming Together Conference, kicking off on the morning of Tuesday, June 6th. The goal of CTC is to create a safe space where professionals from colleges, high schools, and community-based organizations (CBOs) engage in critical conversations to propel our practice of equity, access, and success in secondary and post-secondary education. From a newcomers get-together, to educational sessions, and a conference social, to networking opportunities and a keynote speaker, CTC is bound to inspire, challenge, and offer the best professional development available in the area of diversity, equity, and access. Block the dates now to be sure you can join us in the spring.

The 46th Annual Conference kicks off on Wednesday afternoon, June 7th, inspired by the theme, “The Intersection of Heart & Mind.” We’ll kick off with our welcome and awards ceremony, educational sessions,and  our first meal together, all followed by a night on the town. Explore the nearly 50 shops and restaurants in Ellicottville, a nearby resort town, or socialize at the historical Four-Mile Brewing Company. Thursday will be chock full of educational sessions, a keynote speaker, our FUN-raisers, and the hugely popular annual conference social! And be sure to stick around Friday morning for a conference-wide MEGA-session–imperative for you to be able to do your job in the months and years ahead.

A few things to note! 

  • Conference program proposals will open up in late January. Talk with some friends and consider sharing your expertise on an interesting topic!

  •  Pre-register on the conference website so we can easily communicate updates.

  • College Tours will tentatively be available on Tuesday morning for CTC participants (only) and Wednesday morning for Annual Conference attendees. Watch your email for additional information.

  •  Our annual golf outing will take place on the beautiful SBU 9-hole course. Put a foursome together or meet some new friends when you tee off. New golfers will receive a lesson from the experts in swinging, chipping and putting…

  • The Bocce tournament returns in a BIG way! Dave Mammano, founder of NYSACAC bocce, returns with pre-pandemic bocce and honors the late, great Dennis DePerro, long time NYSACAC member and former President of St. Bonaventure University.

 Check the conference website regularly for updates! But first, mark your calendar, for the Coming Together Conference on June 6th and 7th, and for the Annual Conference June 7th through 9th. We’ll see you then!!



Join the Camp College 2023 committee!
Nicola Fennel, Camp College Co-Director, Seeds of Fortune

To sign up for the Camp College committee, please complete this survey. For your convenience, you can check out the  Camp College Sub Committee descriptions. The committee is responsible for finalizing annual training and curriculum materials, planning the weekend activities, recruiting students, counselors and admission officers to participate, and of course, attending at least one of the two Camps serving as a chaperon/mentor. 

NYSACAC Camp College is a FREE three-day overnight college admission program that prepares students for the college process. Camp College is geared towards first generation and underserved high school juniors and seniors. 

During the weekend, students and chaperons/mentors live in the campus residence halls, participate in mentor groups led by a combination of college admissions professionals, high school counselors, and community based counselors. Mentor groups follow a curriculum of workshops including but not limited to “Finding your College Fit,” “Financial Aid,” “Interview Prep,” and mock college classes (led by real live college professors). In addition, mentor groups attend social events such as the legendary Staller Ball and Milton Games. Essentially, students get a preview of what college life is like (with supervision)! 

For the past 3 years NYSACAC Camp College has been virtual. This year, Camp College 2023 is hoping to return in person. Summer 2023 dates and locations are TBD. Student and chaperon/mentor applications will become available this Spring!

For more information on Camp College, please visit the website or contact [email protected]. To sign up for the committee, please complete this survey. For your convenience, you can check out the Camp College Sub Committee descriptions

Looking forward to collaborating with you all!

Delegate Changes
Marie Nocella (she/her), Immediate Past President and Chief Delegate

Greetings, NYSACAC!

I would like to update you on the recent Delegate changes and our plans to move forward.

As you may have seen, the fall NACAC Special Member Vote to amend NACAC’s bylaws to remove the Assembly and Delegates has passed. As such, effective on December 5, 2022, all mention of Delegates has been removed from NACAC’s bylaws and all decisions regarding the role of delegates moving forward is up to the Affiliate.

I have met many times with our Delegates and discussed the best ways to move forward so that this elected group of people can continue to serve our members and provide outreach to future members, as well as grow professionally in leadership roles. In our December meeting we decided to move forward with a group of representatives covering six regions of the state who will have responsibilities related to regional outreach, bringing forth issues of the members, support for programming, and disseminating helpful information throughout the state.  

In June, at our General Membership Meeting at the conference, we will be voting to update our bylaws with these changes from NACAC, as well as to modify our bylaws to reflect how we will move forward within NYSACAC.

Thank you to all of the Delegates for your thoughtful consideration and patience as we have navigated big changes this far! I look forward to continuing our work this year and electing new Delegates this spring.

What’s A College Degree Worth? New York Tech Provides a Unique ROI Tool to Answer the Question
Karen Vahey, New York Institute of Technology

As many high school seniors are submitting their college applications and awaiting their offers of admission and financial aid this spring, New York Institute of Technology has become the first university in the nation to provide a highly personalized and visual “return on investment” (ROI) calculator on its website. This tool, called  Return on College, or ROC, is designed to help prospective and current students fully understand the financial costs and potential long-term payoff of various undergraduate degrees, complete with related career pathways.

“New York Tech is proud to be the first higher education institution in the nation to implement this robust ROI tool. Our prospective and current students along with their families will benefit from the transparency into the cost of and return on a New York Tech degree that this tool provides,” said Karen Vahey, Ed.D., dean of admissions and financial aid, who spearheaded this initiative at New York Tech.  

Partnering with Vantage Point Consulting, which designed and developed ROC through a U.S. Department of Education Small Business Innovation Research grant, New York Tech volunteered to serve as a beta site in 2021 to provide input into the tool design before unveiling it in late 2022. Vahey and Jeffrey Carpenter, co-founder and executive vice president at Vantage Point, collaborated as classmates in the University of Pennsylvania doctoral program, from which they each received their Ed.D. in 2020. 

“I was conducting my doctoral research on the changing public perceptions of college value when the Department of Education released its grant application for developing a tool to help families and students better understand the full cost and the return on investment of their college degree. My company, Vantage Point, was thrilled to win the $1.1 million grant to fund our early research, design, and development of ROC. Dean Vahey and New York Tech leaned forward as the first university to help provide input into the ROC design and to make it available to their current and prospective students. We look forward to learning from ROC users and continuing to improve ROC based on their feedback this year and then making ROC more broadly available next year,” said Carpenter.

New York Tech supported the initial design and rollout of ROC and provided design input throughout its development. Basically, for each of the dozens of undergraduate degree programs offered at New York Tech (and listed on, a prospective student can link directly into the ROC tool and see a visual representation of the net price of a degree, the careers that align with it, the change in salary potential relative to any current degree level and/or career, and the anticipated student loan costs relative to the potential for improved earning power.

ROC combines multiple trusted data sources—including the U.S. Census Bureau, Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, and Department of Education—as well as additional labor market insights and data to help students and families better understand the return on their investment for a degree from New York Tech.

Vahey expects that use of this new, innovative tool will gain significant traction late this winter and into the spring as prospective students and their families receive their financial aid offers. “Bottom line, ROC helps to break down complex data points such as college outcomes and costs, opportunity cost and expected future wages by degree program, as well as the cost of student loans, to paint a clear picture of anticipated costs and earning potential by degree program,” she said.

Watch a video to learn how the ROC tool works.

Winter Institute 2023 – a success!
Lisa Searle, NYSACAC Vice President for Professional Development

On Friday, January 6 and Friday, January 20, 2023 new professionals from around the state gathered with seasoned mentors to engage in meaningful conversations that focused on topics relevant to the early years in the field of college admissions counseling. Participants discussed new trends in the changing admission landscape; Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion in college admission counseling; EOP, HEOP, and access; tips and tricks for recruitment planning; and climbing the ropes through professional growth. 

The Winter Institute committee extends its deepest thanks to the hosts for the program. With the support of Cornell University and St. Francis College, we were able to have two productive and energizing days. A special thanks to the presenters and mentors who shared their industry insights, expertise, and perspective with program participants and to the Winter Institute co-chairs, Sheryl Kavanagh and Robert Oliva for planning the day–the event was a success because of all who participated!


Marie Nocella (she/her), Immediate Past President and Chair of the Nominating Committee

Your colleagues are amazing. They work hard for students and are outstanding contributors to our profession. Many of them are also tireless volunteers for NYSACAC. It’s time to recognize them this June!

Please nominate your colleagues for our awards: 

  • The President's Award is given to an individual who, over the years, has performed outstanding service to NYSACAC, our profession, and the community.

  • The Distinguished Service Award is awarded to individuals who have given exceptional service to our profession. Three awards are given in this category: College, High School, and Community Based Organization.

  • The Inclusion, Access, and Success Award is given to an individual or program that champions access issues, making post-secondary opportunities available to historically underrepresented students.

  • The Rising Star Award honors individuals or programs that exemplify excellence and dedication to serving the needs of students in the transition from high school to college. Preference will be given to those who have worked in the field for no more than five years or to new programs. They must be new members who are striving to make a difference within the association through their work on committees.

The Nominating Committee looks forward to reading your submissions.

Upcoming Events: Great ways to connect this spring!
Lisa Searle, NYSACAC Vice President for Professional Development

It is undoubtedly a very busy time of year for everyone on all sides of the desk – and for me, one of the best ways to re-energize and refocus is to connect with colleagues to find the joy and purpose in our shared work of supporting students. There are many ways for you to engage with colleagues from around the state over the coming months, and I hope you’ll take advantage of them!

Virtual “Ketchup” series with NYSACAC – view and register here!

Professional Development Forum: College Access Counseling Series: supporting students with learning differences | Friday, March 10

Student Leaders in Admissions Forum Virtual Conference: Best practices: inclusion training for students | Friday, March 3

New Sponsorship Opportunities with NYSACAC
Lauren Sangimino, NYSACAC Vice President for Finance

NYSACAC is happy to offer new sponsorship opportunities throughout the year. This will not only provide sponsors with an opportunity to inform our members of your services, but also provide networking and educational opportunities to a wide audience of secondary, independent, and post-secondary counselors, students, and board members through some of our programs and committees.

Camp College 
Government Relations
NYSACAC Executive Board Meeting
NYSACAC Retreat 
Summer Institute
Winter Institute 

Please visit for a list of opportunities, and to fill out a request form.

If you have additional questions, please email the Vice President for Finance, Lauren Sangimino, at [email protected].