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TACAC's 2024 Conference - Should You Attend?

Navigating the fast-evolving landscape of college admissions can be a daunting task for Independent Educational Consultants (IECs) like yourself. It is to help you stay at the forefront of industry trends, networking, and professional development, that organizations like the Texas Association for College Admission Counseling or TACAC hold annual conferences. Today’s blog post explains why TACAC's 2024 Conference can be a key event for any IEC, offering great value through insightful sessions, networking opportunities, and a detailed look into the future of college admissions.


What is TACAC?

TACAC is one of the 23 state and regional affiliates of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). Since 1979, it has facilitated NACAC's mission to support and advance the work of counseling and enrollment professionals so that they are able to effectively assist students in the transition from secondary to post-secondary education. TACAC leads several initiatives in achieving these goals, from workshops, to college fair, to professional education, to leadership development, and of course its annual conference.


What is the TACAC Conference all about?

Scheduled from April 7 to 9, 2024, at the Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, TACAC's 2024 Conference is themed around "HOPE”, symbolizing resilience, renewal, and the joy in overcoming challenges​​. It is designed to be a comprehensive experience to empower IECs with the latest insights, tools, and connections to navigate the complexities of college admissions.


Key highlights and what to expect


  • Theme and Vision: This year's theme, "HOPE," is a testament to the conference's commitment to fostering an optimistic outlook towards the future of education and professional growth, especially in the light of the recent SCOTUS decision regarding affirmative action.


  • Sessions and Workshops: The first two days of the conference feature a lineup of sessions that span the most current issues, trends, and strategies in college admissions, providing you with a wealth of knowledge to better serve your clients.


  • Networking opportunities: The conference offers access to a community of peers, college admissions officers, and other professionals, facilitating meaningful connections. There are multiple socializing sessions, including a dedicated “Card Swap” as well as a dinner. 


  • Special Events: With features like college tours and a college fair, you get a unique chance to directly engage with institutions, enhancing your understanding and network​​. There is also a service project, TACAC Gives Back, specially created to help support the Lubbock community.


The complete schedule can be viewed here.


How do you register for the TACAC 2024 Conference?

While the registration for the 2024 iteration of the conference has just closed, here are a few details for your reference for 2025:

  • Registration period: October 1 (member) / December 1 (non-member) onwards

  • Cost: $250 (member) / $350 (non-member)

  • Local Educators Day: $125


If you’ve already enrolled for the Conference, then registration for some of the special events is still open:


  • College Fairs: $100 (members) / $150 (non-members)

  • College Tours: There are multiple options available, including Texas Tech University, Lubbock Christian University, and Wayland Baptist University.


All about becoming a TACAC member

To make the most of the TACAC's conference, becoming a member offers additional benefits, including access to exclusive resources and events. As a member of TACAC, you'll have access to a broad array of benefits aimed at enhancing your professional journey in college admissions counseling. These benefits include but are not at all limited to:


The membership itself has a flat cost of $35. Note that starting August 1, 2024, this will be increased to $55. The details of the membership itself can be found here.


Pros and cons of attending

Pros:

  1. Extensive networking opportunities: The conference hosts 5 different educational sessions, a keynote speaker session, and of course there are the exhibit fairs as well as socializing sessions, all to help you connect with peers and leaders. One unique event in this regard is the Card Swap session, specifically designed to help you enhance your network.

  2. Professional development: The sessions, speakers and workshops that are held at TACAC’s conference cover the latest trends and practices in the industry, and provide a platform for industry leaders and veterans to share their learnings in an engaging and interactive manner. It is a solid opportunity to shore up the gaps in your own skill set and bring yourself up to speed on proven best practices.

  3. Access to a rich resource and information pool: The Conference utilizes the resources that TACAC maintains to create highly engaging and valuable knowledge sessions. These will help you expand your knowledge base and skillset, and help you bring innovations to your workplace or your practice.

Cons:

  1. Limited Scope: While TACAC is a part of NACAC, much of its focus is limited to Texas specifically. This may make some of the learnings and resources less valuable to a practice in another state.

  2. Time commitment: The conference is four straight days of time away from your practice or your workplace, with an additional day if you opt for the pre-conference sessions. While it is valuable professional learning, it is still worth noting that it will impinge upon your professional commitments at the time.

Our conclusion: should you attend?

The potential benefits in terms of knowledge gained, connections made, and professional development opportunities obtained from the TACAC conference are substantial. For IECs committed to excellence in their practice, TACAC's 2024 Conference is an investment worth making. Consider it not just as an event to attend, but as a strategic step towards enhancing your expertise, expanding your network, and ultimately, enriching the service you provide to your students. In the ever-changing world of college admissions, staying informed, connected, and ahead of the curve is not just an option—it's a necessity.



If you’d like to recommend a rigorous research program open to high schoolers, you may want to consider the Lumiere Research Scholar Program, a selective online high school program for students founded by researchers at Harvard and Oxford. Last year, we had over 4000 students apply for 500 spots in the program! You can find the application form here. You can also reach out to us at contact@lumiere.education to know more, or to have a chat about possible collaborations!


Also check out the Lumiere Research Inclusion Foundation, a non-profit research program for talented, low-income students. Last year, we had 150 students on full need-based financial aid!


Stephen is one of the founders of Lumiere and a Harvard College graduate. He founded Lumiere as a Ph.D. student at Harvard Business School. Lumiere is a selective research program where students work 1-1 with a research mentor to develop an independent research paper.


Image Source: TACAC logo

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