Join us for 36 breakout sessions and all-conference sessions featuring


Dr. Edward Burger is President and CEO of the St. David's Foundation, and President   Emeritus of Southwestern University as well as Professor Emeritus of Mathematics and a leader on thinking, innovation, and creativity. Previously he was the Francis Christopher Oakley Third Century Professor of Mathematics at Williams College. He has delivered over 700 addresses worldwide at venues including Berkeley, Harvard, Princeton, and Johns Hopkins as well as at  the Smithsonian Institution, Microsoft Corporation, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, the U.S. Department of the Interior, the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the New York Public Library, and the National Academy of Sciences. He is the author of over 70 research articles, books, and video series (starring in over 4,000 on-line videos), including the book The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking, published by Princeton University Press and translated into over a dozen languages worldwide. His latest book, Making Up Your Mind: Thinking Effectively Through Creative Puzzle-Solving, also published by Princeton University Press, was on several  of Amazon's Hot New Releases lists.

Dr. Edward Burger

President and CEO, St. David's Foundation

In this keynote address, Dr. Burger will offer us practices of thinking that we and our students can use to solve the many vexing puzzles of our lives. We create ourselves by creating a meaningful education that will persist long after we are handed our last diploma.  As we guide students to find the right space for their undergraduate journeys, we can invite them to define for themselves what a high-impact education means, and challenge them to be open to change: to evolutionary intellectual and personal growth. And, as role-models and mentors, we should acknowledge that we remain works-in-progress and be open to such growth within ourselves.  Dr. Burger will suggest some practical and mindful tools we can apply to continue to evolve and joyfully flourish.



NACAC Standards, Ethics, 


What the Heck is Going On?

Claire Nold-Glaser, Moderator; PNACAC Past President; Past HECA President

Jayne Fonash, NACAC President, IEC

Todd Rinehart, NACAC President-Elect; Vice Chancellor of Enrollment, University of Denver

Stefanie Niles, NACAC Past President; Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, Ohio Wesleyan University

Francine Block, Chair, HECA Standards and Ethics; HECA Board

Jayne’s work has always been with children and their families. The first twenty years in public and private mental health practice prepared her to assist high school students and families in facing a multitude of real-world challenges.  During twenty-four years as a public high school counselor and Director of Counseling Services, she served in leadership positions in a nationally recognized STEM magnet program and two comprehensive high schools. In 2019 she began her practice as an Independent Educational Consultant in Potomac Falls, VA.

Dr. Fonash received a BA in English from Immaculata University, an MA in counseling from Villanova University, and an Ed.D. in Administration and Supervision from the Curry School of the University of Virginia. 


   Jayne Fonash

   President, NACAC

Todd Rinehart is the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment at the University of Denver (CO). In his 23rd year at Denver, Rinehart has helped elevate the University’s undergraduate reputation with unprecedented growth in enrollment, academic quality, and diversity. Rinehart previously worked at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette (LA) and Bowling Green State University (OH). BGSU is also where Rinehart earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education.

Rinehart is a noted speaker at local, regional, and national conferences, covering key issues related to enrollment management, college admission, and ethical practices. He currently serves as the President-Elect for NACAC, and will serve on that board through 2022. In 2017, Rinehart completed a two-year term as chair of NACAC’s Steering Committee on Admission Practices, a committee that wrote a new code of ethics for admissions professionals, aligning emerging practices with the values and principles of the association. Prior to that, Rinehart chaired the national Admission Practices Committee, where his team monitored and enforced compliance with NACAC’s Code of Ethics.

Todd Rinehart

President-Elect, NACAC

Vice Chancellor for Enrollment, University of Denver

Stefanie currently oversees the offices of admission, financial aid, and university communications in her role as Vice President for Enrollment and Communications at Ohio Wesleyan University. During her 23-year enrollment career, Stefanie has served in leadership positions at Dickinson College, Hollins University, Bryn Athyn College, and DePauw University.

She is the immediate past-president of the 15,000-member National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), the leading national organization for college admission professionals. In 2017, Stefanie was the recipient of a Fulbright grant to examine the system of higher education in France. She has completed the Harvard Institute for Educational Management and the Educational Leadership Academy co-sponsored by the CIC and the AASCU.

Stefanie holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in education from Indiana University, and a Doctor of Education in Higher Education Management from the University of Pennsylvania.

Stefanie Niles

Past President, NACAC

Vice President for Enrollment & Communication, Ohio Wesleyan University

In light of the recent changes to NACAC's Code of Ethics and Professional Practice (CEPP) and the Department of Justice's investigation, this panel of experts will provide information about the latest news from NACAC: what do the CEPP changes mean for colleges and how do they affect IECs? Attendees will have the chance at the beginning of the session to submit questions for the Q & A part of this session. There will be a subsequent breakout session with members of HECA’s Standards and Ethics committee to address any additional questions that may arise after hearing this panel.

Breakout Sessions

2020 Vision of 2023: Executing a Vivid Strategic Plan

It’s 2023. Do you know what your business looks like? The answer should be yes! This session guides you in creating an effective three-year strategic plan and a roadmap for success. We’ll discuss how to execute the plan by setting goals and creating action items to make your workdays productive. Brooke Daly, IEC and Certified Executive Coach, will guide you in leaning out into the future to develop an effective and achievable three-year strategic plan.

ACT Section Retesting: What We know at this Point

New options for the ACT test are coming in September 2020. These options are designed to give students more choices, a better experience, and greater certainty that their test scores reflect their overall academic achievement and potential. The new options include faster results with online testing, section retesting, and superscoring. However, these changes raise a number of questions. Will test centers have the capabilities to administer an online ACT? Will colleges accept section retesting scores? Please join us for a lively discussion about these new options.

Advising Asian-American students through the maze of misconceptions, model minority myths, and stereotypes

Asian-American students are often loosely clubbed into a single group and sometimes considered a privileged minority with fewer challenges. Educators and advisors who work closely with these populations beg to differ. We will present background on historical data and statistics, and offer insights on how to work with the first generation Asian-American students effectively. Why is it important to move beyond stereotypes or generalizations, and how to remain sensitive to the needs of individual students is the essence of our presentation. Lastly, as credible professionals, can we discuss ideas to collaborate in a way that we represent all our clients with equal enthusiasm? Can we share insights with each other so that we remain sensitive to the unique needs and life experiences of our students?

Advising Future Engineers: What should IECs know about paths to Professional Licensure?

What does “engineering licensure” have to do with a student’s college search or major selection? What is ABET, and why are some engineering programs not ABET-accredited (and does this matter)? Can a student study engineering in one state - or country - and practice professionally in another? As with other professions, engineering has standards for accreditation and specific pathways to licensure. Yet choices are not always clear during the college application process. Join a PE (Professional Engineer) for this interactive discussion, and take away resources and student-friendly handouts to use in your practice.

All the World’s a Stage but It’s an Odyssey to Get There

Helping your performing arts student navigate the college search and arts application process requires lots of advance planning. Choosing a specific direction within their artistic field of interest, investigating the myriad programs available across the country and internationally, deciding which programs suit them best and negotiating complex artistic review processes are just the beginning. Students, families and counselors must prepare for earlier application deadlines, prescreen video auditions, travel arrangements and additional application supplements. Join us for an in-depth look at the audition and portfolio review processes (including actual prescreen videos) for students interested in music, theater, dance, film, writing, design, production, and more.

Big City Britain or Bronte Country? Counselor Advising on UK Student Experience

This session provides an overview of UK universities and the international student journey, including comparison of different campus options focused on “best fit” for geography and size, as well as support available across British campuses, from pre-departure and arrival services, to resources for registered students. Our contrasting campuses in London and Yorkshire serve as case studies of a large metropolis versus smaller city experience in the UK. Our session will also review aspects of student life similar across most British universities, and how they compare and contrast with American campuses, including accommodation options, clubs and societies, athletics, internship and job placements, academic advising and visa support services.

Build a Mile High Business

Take  your practice to Rocky Mountain highs! Marketing strategies, effective case management, business development advice, and even technologies to help scale your practice from three very different business models, experience levels, and expertise. Elevate your business featuring advice from HECA’s Webinar Chair, Dale Price, who runs a 100% virtual based office; HECA President, Cheri Barad, with advice for a multi-office practice; and HECA’s Volunteer Coordinator, Ellen Kuppersmith who shares advice for working in a competitive market place (Los Angeles). Together we’ll pave a way right through the Rockies!

Coffee Talk with 2 Queer Consultants: Making Your Practice Inclusive For All

In this “Coffee Talk” workshop, participants will explore notions and best practices of “inclusivity,” focusing on ways you and your business can become more inclusive to all. Participants will learn how marketing strategies, materials, forms, documents, and in-person visits can cohesively tell a story of inclusivity. Join us as we discuss the unique challenges facing today's LGBTQIA clients and how we can work with them to create a more inclusive tomorrow.

Demystifying the Transition from High School to College for Students and Parents

The transition from high school to college mystifies many students and their parents. In this workshop, presenters will provide information that IECs can implement in discussions with clients and their families. Attendees will be provided with worksheets and discussion prompts including, but not limited to: common first-year pitfalls; defining the roles of parents, students and the college itself; academic differences between high school and college; resilience after set-backs for the student; learning to embrace the college "you;" adulting skills needed for college success.

Don't Reinvent the Wheel: Wisdom from the Pros!

Learn how to develop a successful practice from those who have done it! Veteran consultants have lots of recommendations, suggestions, perspectives, and advice to share with consultants who are newer to the field. We will discuss marketing, rapport building, pricing, helping students deal with stress, delivery models, campus visits, and much more. You will take away practical information that can be immediately applied to your business.

Equity & Access - Where Are We? Where Should We Be?

HECA is expanding efforts to support members in their pro bono and volunteer work. This session will summarize the Board of Directors’ work under the leadership of Pauline Godfrey, then consider ways that members can contribute locally and nationally to furthering equity and access for underserved students aspiring to post-secondary education. The database of volunteer opportunities currently available to members will be explained, and other ways to contribute will be discussed.

Felons, Cheaters and Varsity Blues: Working With the Hardest Cases

How do you help a student who has the right academic credentials, but has a problem on his or her record that requires further explanation? Colleges can be forgiving when the student owns the problem and explains the recovery fully and persuasively. Even students expelled for alleged sexual misconduct can continue their education with the right guidance. After this session, participants will be better able to assist freshman and transfer applicants who need to use a supplemental essay to explain problems like expulsion or a criminal record.

Finding Work/Life Balance: Fact or Fiction?

How do we find the balance between building a practice and our personal lives? A survey of over 300 educational professionals provided data on current business and lifestyle practices of the IEC profession. What were the survey findings? What is fact and what is fiction in terms of finding work/life balance? We will share recommended strategies and resources we have used successfully to help with work/life balance. Walk away with resources to use in your pursuit of mental sanity and balance in your busy life.

From Doctrine to Dialogue: Understanding the Spectrum of Faith-based Institutions and Advising Students on Fit

Advising students about their fit with religious-based institutions can be a confusing process. In this session we will talk about some of the challenges in advising students, the benefits they may gain in attending a faith-based institution, as well as provide time for discussion. Participants will come away with a better idea of what questions to ask and where to look in determining fit with a religiously-affiliated institution, as well as a simple framework for understanding and explaining faith-based fit for their clients.

From Good to Great: Better Essays in Less Time, with Less Stress

What if instead of tip sheets, templates and exercises cobbled together from various sources, your essay process harnessed your strengths as a decision-maker, adviser and college expert? What if you knew how to handle almost any situation, and could easily supervise essay contractors or staff? In this fast-paced, hands-on session we’ll explore a variety of ways to update and streamline your process, whether you are brand new, a seasoned expert or the head of a multi-IEC business.

HECA Government Relations? What’s That?

As the higher education landscape continues to change through Varsity Blues, NACAC’s Code of Ethics and Professional Practices (CEPP) revision, pending national legislation surrounding worker misclassification, and proposed budget cuts to education, HECA has formed a government relations committee, known as HGRC. What does this mean for you as a HECA member and what should you be aware of and why? Come learn about this latest committee and their initiatives. Learn how this group is working to raise the profile of HECA members nationally and how you can be involved.

How to Succeed in Business without a Business Major

"I want to go into business." What does that cover? How do you get there? Is a business major the only way to go? We don't think it's the only path and we think liberal arts education will give students the skills - hard and soft skills - they need to be successful business leaders, entrepreneurs, employers, employees, consultants, and all the other roles there are in today's economy...and tomorrow's.

Inside the World of College Athletic Recruiting

Take your knowledge of college athletic recruiting to the next level. Karen Fong Donoghue, who specializes in sports-specific college advising, is joining forces with Jon Haskins, former NCAA Recruiting Coordinator at Stanford, Duke, Vanderbilt, and University of Florida. Participants will get an inside look into how DI college coaches approach the athletic recruiting process and how you can apply this to your IEC practice.

Is It Time to Slow Down, Shut Down, or Try Something Different?

As IECs, we work with students in transition every year, but what happens when we are ready for a transition ourselves? Whether you need to create space for a family obligation like parental leave or caring for an elder parent, want to plan for a restorative sabbatical or wonder if it is time to use your talents in new ways, this session invites participants to consider the possibilities of what might come next for them professionally.

Mental Health Challenges in Autistic College Students

Most autistic college students suffer from one or more mental disorders, such as depression, generalized anxiety disorder or OCD; many of them experience suicidality as well. These conditions greatly increase the challenge of successfully navigating college.  What interventions and strategies can best prepare and support these students? A panel of experts from gap year and college support programs will lead an interactive discussion on best practices.

Navigating College Transition for Students with Mental Health Needs

Nearly 40% of current college students are identified as anxious and depressed (ACHA). If you notice something quirky or concerning about any student you’re working with but don’t have clinical expertise, this is an ideal presentation for you. If a student has pre-existing mental health issues prior to graduating high school, we need to view their need for support like we would accommodations from an IEP. This presentation will explore on-campus mental health resources, provide a timeline for off-campus resource connections, and discuss how to collaborate with other professionals to support your client before and during their college transition.

“Put Your Pencils Down.”

With online testing on the horizon, students may soon put their pencils down for good. Many new testing options are becoming available to students: online section retesting for the ACT, school-wide SAT testing, SAT and ACT summer test dates… Meanwhile, colleges are announcing changes to their test policies. What does the future of standardized testing hold and how should we advise students to take advantage of these opportunities? Applerouth President and Founder Jed Applerouth, PhD will share his insights into the ever-changing college testing landscape.

Ranking the Rankings

It seems that every university has a claim to some version of a "top 10" in something, but how reliable are different ranking systems, and what sources can counselors consistently rely on for valid data? This session will review different ranking systems and provide sources for data and further research.

Scholarships for All! How the Discounting System Can Work for Your Clients

With the cost of college becoming more egregious every day, it makes sense to know how to help the students you work with get the discounts they deserve. What is a scholarship or grant? A discount. This session will teach counselors about the tuition discounting system and offer solutions you can use to help your clients achieve college funding success.

Selecting the Right College. Why Students of Color Need Communities of Care

A recent “First-Year College Experience” survey found that students of color are overwhelmed, hopeless, and struggle with feeling academically or emotionally unprepared. They feel isolated and disconnected. They give up. They drop out. They don’t seek help compared to their white counterparts. This workshop will provide awareness and tools to help counselors deal with stresses or issues related to a student’s culture, ethnicity or race. Bridge the color gap, build trust as you assist students in finding the best-fit colleges with lasting resources including peer groups and communities of care. College acceptance and college retention are equally important.

Selective Arts Colleges: Admissions Tips and Advice from Insiders

Navigating the admission process for visual and performing arts students can be challenging and overwhelming. While college counselors can’t be expected to double as art instructors, they can help their students get organized and better understand how to tackle the art school admissions process. Join Cornish College of the Arts’ Sharron Starling, Otis College of Art and Design’s Sheri Chillingworth, Otterbein University’s Jennifer Markovich, Webster University’s Andrew Laue, and NACAC Performing Arts Special Interest Group (SIG) co-leader and panel moderator Barbara Rapaport for a round table discussion and behind-the-scenes look at how auditions and portfolio reviews are evaluated.

Staying Organized as an IEC: Practicing What We Preach

If you feel a twinge of hypocrisy when you preach to your students about the perils of procrastination and the need for organization, you're not alone. Whether working with two students or 200, IECs quickly learn how important it is to stay ahead of their students and families and establish systems and strategies to optimize their practices. Join us to exchange ideas and best practices for getting things done efficiently and creating (or enhancing) a well-oiled machine so you can better serve students and families while living a life with more time for yourself.

Supplemental Essays: Everything BUT the Personal Statement

What happens after your students finish writing their personal statements? Is there still room for reflection? The answer is an unequivocal YES. In this session, we’ll talk about everything from “Why College X?” prompts to community, activity and creative essays. We’ll dig deep into how to manage the workload (yours and theirs!), how to help students reuse content, and how to develop meaningful pre-brainstorm assignments that make the most of everyone’s time.

The Canadian Advantage - Global Transferability, Immersive Experiential Education, and Career Preparation

Graduate outcomes, employability, and transferability of credentials are key considerations for today's students as they explore international university options. How do Canadian university degrees translate for students intending on returning to their home country or other international destinations after graduation? Learn how a Canadian post-secondary degree, extensive experiential education opportunities, and immigration policies act as a foundation for a wide spectrum of work opportunities inside and outside of Canada, and serves as a pathway to various professional designations and careers in liberal and fine arts.

The Role of Financial Aid in the Admission Process

Institutions today are balancing enrollment priorities, issues of changing demographics and expectations around who we serve, and how we measure success. Hear from two financial aid professionals on how we direct resources to deal not only with internal pressures of discount rate, revenue, and headcount but also the changing face of America and the world and the role that higher education plays in society.

The Student Stress Epidemic & What We Can Do About It

At ASSET, we recognize that the more counselors can develop and deepen their awareness of their own self-regulation and stress management, the better they can support students with theirs. Through ongoing awareness training and the practice of ASSET’s strategies and techniques, authentic co-regulation is the natural result. In this session, we'll cover the importance of co-regulation for the developing adolescent brain and equip attendees with concrete stress-management tools they can use for themselves and their students. Our goal is when attendees leave our session they feel confident and able to support their students through co-regulation.

Through the Looking Glass: A Glimpse Into Working With the Neuro-diverse Student

The term "neurodiversity" was coined to reduce the stigma associated with any sort of learning difference, meaning that brain differences are just that: differences, and should not be considered abnormal. Participants will gain insight into preparing neurodiverse students for the college application process. In addition, panelists will share testing-taking strategies, insights into trends in college admission and standardized testing, and tips on how to help students with learning differences develop executive functioning skills. The session will also explore college “fit” for the neurodiverse population and how to communicate effectively with students and their families.

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