Government Relations Committee

Take a look below to see how you can get involved, but first meet our Government Relations Committee (GRC)...

Chair: Ginger Miller, Landon School (MD)

Co-Chair: Jayne Fonash, LCPS Academy of Science (VA)

Committee Members:

 
Kyle Allwine, University of Mary Washington (VA)
Lisa Berglund, University of Maryland- College Park (MD)
Becky Claster, Claster Education (DC)
Caroline Faris, Independent Counselor (VA)
Anna Follensbee, Gilman School (MD)
Beth Fuson, Pathways College Advising (MD)
         Everett Marshall, United States Naval Academy (USNA)
         Katie McEnroe, Holton-Arms Academy (MD)
Joe Monte, Retired (MD)   
Christina Morris, J.D., Marks Education (MD)
Michael Nixon, University of Maryland- College Park (MD)
Nick Orban, University of Maryland- College Park (MD)                                                                       
Costas Solomou, George Washington University (DC)
Kevin Terry, Rock Ridge High School (VA)
Emily Thigpen, Sidwell Friends School (DC)

 

The Government Relations Committee identifies areas of governmental policy that affect student and educational interests and formulate and recommend educational policy positions. Acting as a liaison with the NACAC Government Relations Committee, the members of the Committee coordinate efforts to keep PCACAC members informed of current issues in college admission counseling and educational policy at the state and national levels.  The Committee also serves as a resource for legislators on issues concerning the transition from high school to college, college access for students educational policies for college admission.

Upcoming Events

 

Next Event: Washington DC on the Hill-NACAC’s Winter Leadership and Advocacy Meeting March 5-6, 2017

Sunday - Training begins 8:00 A.M. at the Westin Georgetown Hotel

Monday - Visits on Capitol Hill

Washington, D. C.

Registration for this event is required. Please use this link or visit the NACAC website and click on Advocacy and Ethics.

 

PCACAC Conference Kingsmill Resort – Williamsburg, VA

Saturday, April 22- Tuesday, April 25

Registration is required for this event. Please use this link or visit the PCACAC website.

Government Relations Committee Meeting Sunday, April 23 1:00 P.M.-2:00 P.M. Fairfax Room   

 

For access to several actions you can take to support our profession, your students, and their families, please see FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS below. Please be sure to make your voice heard on these issues. 

Contact Ginger Miller with questions at Ginger_Miller@Landon.net.

 

2017 College Access Agenda for States

Issues of particular importance included discussing the importance of lowering the counselor-to-student ratio because of the demands of the job. PCACAC supports the American School Counselor Association (ASCA) goal of adjusting the ratio for every counselor to 250 students. High school counselors have the responsibility and certification to address both mental health and school counseling (academic, career, personal) issues. Counselors are involved in helping students form realistic college lists. Counselors are involved in the complicated process of helping students apply to college as well as post-secondary planning for students who want career and technical education options. Additionally, access to continued professional development is critical for counselors. High school counselors also work in concert with college admissions counselors to help students find the best matches. We support the idea that college admissions officers should be free to decide in state/ out of state policies so that complex job of choosing students does not become even more complicated.

PCACAC GRC positions on specific House and Senate bills:

Supports:

  • Supporting House Bill 1857, sponsored by Delegate A. Lopez. This bill makes changes to in-state eligibility requirements, specifically stating that any student under DACA protection will maintain eligibility, even if the program ends.
  • Supporting House Bill 2344, sponsored by K. Kory. This bill is similar to HB 1857.

PCACAC opposes House Bills that appear to be anti-DACA/immigrant and seem to make colleges and universities de facto immigration enforcement officers. Specifically, House Bills 2001 and 2004, both sponsored by C. Poindexter, require that all higher education institutions strictly comply with immigration enforcement and that these higher education institutions report the number of full-time enrolled undergraduate students who are not American citizens, disclosing the amount of financial aid these students receive.

Students gave their personal information to colleges out of trust. We do not support using Homeland Security data for anything other than its original intended purpose. Even though many college presidents are trying to establish sanctuary campuses, they will not have laws for protection.

The PCACAC GRC strongly encourages members to become self-advocates by obtaining information about their rights and responsibilities and by contacting their legislators through letters, phone calls, and e-mails.

GRC in the Field 

GRC Richmond January 30 2017

PCACAC-on-the-Hill – GRC Virginia Advocacy Day, Richmond

Throughout the morning on Monday, January 30, 2017, PCACAC's GRC comprised of high school counselors and college admission counselors held a series of thirty-minute meetings with several Virginia senators, delegates, and legislative aides in the offices of Senator Saslaw, Delegate Pogge, Senator Howell, Senator Newman, Delegate Greason, Delegate Lopez, and Senator Landes.

Our primary purpose was for PCACAC members to connect with members of the Virginia legislature to discuss issues concerning access, preparation, and funding for post-high school education. Acting as the voice for students who have none, we thank those who joined us to speak on behalf of students across the Commonwealth to ensure equal access to post-secondary options and success.

PCACAC-on-the-Hill – GRC Virginia Advocacy Day, Richmond

On Monday, February 8, 2016, 

PCACAC's GRC hosted a breakfast meet-and-greet in the GAB (General Assembly Building) in Richmond.  Del. Alfonso Lopez (D-49th) was acting in the role of legislative sponsor for this event. Our primary purpose was for PCACAC members to connect with members of the Virginia legislature to discuss issues concerning access, preparation and funding for post-high school education. Acting as the voice for students who have none, we thank those who joined us to speak on behalf of students across the Commonwealth to ensure equal access to post-secondary options and success.

PCACAC-on-the-Hill – GRC Delaware Advocacy Day, Dover

In partnership with the Delaware School Counselor Association, PCACAC-on-the-Hill Dover was held on Tuesday, June 16, 2015. Acting as the voice for students who have none, PCACAC representatives spoke on behalf of students across Delaware to ensure equal access and success to post-secondary options. Members who attended had the opportunity to meet with Delaware lawmakers and their staffers to advocate for the rights of students in the college admission process. The meeting was set up in a delegation room in the Delaware Legislative Hall Building, where legislators and their staffers engaged with members of PCACAC to discuss strategies to best ensure that high schoolers have the resources they need to make informed decisions about their collegiate choice. Lunch was provided to legislators and their staffers and current high schoolers who are going through the admissions process or college students who had a positive college counseling experience were invited to attend.

PCACAC-on-the-Hill – GRC Maryland Advocacy Day, Annapolis

Acting as the voice for students who have none, on March 18, 2015 the GRC spoke on behalf of students across Maryland to ensure equal access and success to post-secondary options. Participants met directly with Maryland lawmakers and their staffers to advocate for the rights of students in the college admission process. The event was held in a delegation room and legislators and their staffers had the opportunity to engage with members of PCACAC to discuss strategies to best ensure that high schoolers have the resources they need to make informed decisions about their collegiate choice.  Lunch was provided, courtesy of PCACAC, to legislators and their staffers. Current high schoolers who are going through the admissions process or college students who had a positive college counseling experience were invited to attend.


2013 NACAC Government Relations Award

The Government Relations Award is presented to a NACAC member who has made outstanding efforts in support of policy initiatives that promote equal access to higher education, encourage student achievement, promote counselor excellence, and further the government relations priorities of NACAC members.

2013 recipient Jayne Fonash has been a dedicated member of the Potomac and Chesapeake Association for College Admission Counseling and NACAC’s Government Relations Committees. Following her PCACAC presidential cycle, Fonash assumed the chairpersonship of her affiliate’s Government Relations Committee and immediately increased its membership. She coordinated the committee members’ participation in Advocacy Day events in Maryland and Virginia during the 2013 legislative sessions and spearheaded PCACAC’s efforts to pass the Virginia Dream Act, even testifying before the House Education Subcommittee. On the national level, Fonash has played a key role in helping prepare members for the annual Day on the Hill, held each March.
Fonash also saw the need for a Town Hall style meeting to provide a forum for legislators and college admissions professionals to share information and strategies to support increased access to higher education for students. An Imagine Grant was awarded to fund this endeavor and plans are moving forward to hold the first PCACAC Town Hall meeting in early October 2013. Thanks to Fonash’s leadership, dedication, knowledge of public policy, and vision to coordinate new initiatives, PCACAC members are more involved with public policy and legislative initiatives than ever before.  


For Fast and Easy Access To Your Federal and State Legislative Contacts, Use the Links Below:

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NACAC Legislative Action Center

Delaware Legislative Action Center

Maryland Legislative Action Center

Virginia Legislative Action Center

West Virginia Legislative Action Center


 FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • I want to get involved and support the efforts of the Government Relations Committee, but I don’t have time to attend meetings or travel for legislative visits. What can I do?
The easiest thing you can do is to use the links on this page! From here, you can search for current state and national legislation that will affect you and your students and make use of pre-written letters to sign and email to your current legislators.

 

  • How do I find information about issues in education and access?
NACAC’s Government Relations link will bring you to a list of the latest developments in legislation of interest to the National Membership. At the State Legislation Portals you can search more in-depth on issues in your state as well as topical issues. Also, NACAC’s Policy Recommendations page outlines many current policies and links to research and insights on current trends/issues.

 

  • Can I really make a difference?
Your voice needs to be heard by legislators at all levels of the government! You are on the front line in dealing with the policies and laws and the only way to change the ones that are not working and to develop better policies is to communicate your opinion. The links on this page will make it easy for you to do it. Bookmark the sites and make a habit of checking up on what is happening in your state and at the federal level.