Top 4 Things We Learned about the Future of College Admissions at NACAC 2017

YouVisit Virtual Reality at NACAC 2017 Education Conference

Every year since 2012, YouVisit has attended the annual NACAC conference to promote our virtual campus tour product, check out the latest innovations in the education and college admissions space, meet current clients, and eat good food (see below). This year, more than 7,000 education professionals were in attendance to dive into new ideas and best practices for admissions and recruitment–plus a whole lot of networking fun. This post features our top 4 favorite things we learned at NACAC this year.

1. Be a Champion

The recently appointed NACAC President, David Burge, presented the organization’s new vision statement based on a central theme: Champion. Burge asked, what does it mean to be a champion? What does it mean to be a champion for our field and for our students? In every broad stoke and detail, from figuring out financial aid to helping submit an application, professionals were encouraged to move forward for and with their students as champions.

2. Diversity

Diversity, in both the student and professional sides of the education industry, is crucial to its future success. Keynote speaker Shaun R. Harper spoke frankly about racism, reminding attendees that racism isn’t just “tiki torch-carrying white nationalists,” but that it also exists in high schools and in college admissions offices. Recognizing issues within the profession is the first step in fixing the problem, and providing a better opportunity for all students to have a chance for a higher education.

3. Technology

Tech will continue to impact recruitment. From Snapchat to Facebook, social media and virtual reality were top of mind on how to reach an increasingly tech-savvy generation. YouVisit‘s own Bill Wilson–along with admissions leaders from Augusta University, Indiana University Bloomington, Gonzaga University, and Northern Arizona University–shared their insights on how virtual campus tours allow every student the opportunity to explore campuses while simultaneously expanding the institution’s outreach.

With a such a win-win setup, what else could you ask for? Maps. Better maps. Google integrated maps. You asked, and we delivered. Our new and improved mapping system will make your virtual campus tour more engaging and more accurate, since Google Maps integration means your campus map will be updated automatically as your campus grows.

At our booth, our team also had the opportunity to survey high school guidance counselors on how high school students engage with virtual campus tours. As a thank you, survey applicants were entered into our raffle to win a “scholastic pack” of 30 cardboard headsets for the classroom, providing students the chance to virtually tour any of our client campuses, for free and in VR. Congratulations to Tierionna Pinkston, academic dean of CICS ChicagoQuest, who is the winner of our raffle!

4. Food

No conference is complete without a thorough sampling of the local fare. The YouVisit team indulged in the freshest oysters, tastiest lobster rolls (big shout out to Neptune’s warm, buttered version), and post-conference Harpoon beer.

Did we mention the trade show tater tot bar on day two?

Every year the YouVisit team is reminded of what a close-knit and passionate group the NACAC family is. In her welcome speech, Nancy T. Beane (former NACAC president) implored attendees to continue embracing and sharing best practices with each other, particularly after a difficult and divisive year. We loved connecting with current clients, exploring what’s new in the admissions landscape, and making new connections. See you next year in Salt Lake City!

Did you miss us at NACAC this year? Don’t fret, check us out and get in touch! We’d love to hear from you.

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