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GAC SHINE Blog

Welcome to the Georgia Apply to College SHINE blog! This blog has been created to provide a forum for those involved with the Georgia Apply to College program to share:

  • Suggestions
  • Hints
  • Ideas
  • News
  • Examples

Every Georgia Apply to College event is different and we know each school has found new and unique ways to make their GAC events shine! We hope you will use this forum to share tips with and to ask questions of other Georgia Apply to College schools.


Got Volunteers?

By Christen Anglin (GAC committee) | October 23, 2013

Volunteers are an important part of a successful GAC event! Volunteers help and encourage students as they navigate the college application process and can inspire students by sharing their own college experiences. The ideal number of volunteers for an event is one adult for every 5-6 computers that will be in use during the event.

We provide a number of sample communications in the Site Coordinator Handbook that schools are encouraged to use to quickly and easily share event information with potential volunteers.

Remember, volunteers don’t have to be experts on the college admission process! The Georgia Apply to College Volunteer Training Video and Volunteer Handbook have been designed to provide volunteers with the information they need to provide assistance during your event.

Examples of volunteers may include:
• Local college representatives
• Parents
• Community business leaders
• Former students
• Retired school staff

After finding volunteers, be sure to tell them how to access the Volunteer handbook and the Voluneer Training Video! These materials can be found on the Get Involved as a Volunteer section of the Georgia Apply to College website.

If you are unable to find enough volunteers for your event, we want to hear from you! Please email us at gacw@usg.edu for assistance!

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2013 Georgia Apply to College selection notification letters have been sent!

By Sarah Wenham (GAC Committee) | May 9, 2013

Email
Did your high school apply to participate in the 2013 Georgia Apply to College program? If so, be sure to check your inbox! The 2013 GAC program notifications have been sent by email to each high school’s designated GAC event Site Coordinator and Back-up Site Coordinator.

If you are a GAC Site Coordinator, be sure to review the information in the acceptance letter to confirm the details listed for your school are correct. Let us know ASAP if any changes are needed.

A follow-up email with helpful next steps for planning a successful event will be sent shortly. Early in the new school year, schools should watch for another email containing a link that will need to be used to confirm program participation. Only those schools with confirmed participation will be eligible to receive GAC materials (buttons, stickers, posters, etc.) or will be listed as a participating school on our website.

We look forward to working with all of the 2013 GAC Schools in the months leading up to November!

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You asked for it and GAC delivered! Tips from Veteran GAC Site Coordinators!

By Kachelle McCormick-Gras (GAC Committee) | April 18, 2013

Many GAC Site Coordinators have requested ways to be able to share information and tips with each other! Not only do we have the GAC Shine Blog and our Facebook page, but now there is a new item for you on our website called “Tips from Veteran Site Coordinators”! Click here to access this great new resource! Enjoy!

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It’s that time again! Apply to participate in GAC 2013!

By GAC Committee | February 14, 2013

We are excited to announce that it is once again time for interested high schools to apply to participate in the next Georgia Apply to College program! ALL Georgia high schools are encouraged to apply to hold an event this November! Our goal is to continue to expand the program across the state so we hope even those schools not previously selected will consider participating in the 2013 program!

Be sure to check out the Thinking of Holding an Event section of this website (the third tab down on the left) to find out what it takes to hold a successful event, the materials and resources we provide to participating schools and to learn more about school responsibilities,

Once you are ready to apply, click on the blue box to the left to get started! Then, just scroll to the bottom of the page and click to begin the GAC Program Application.

Blog File

The application deadline is Monday, April 15th so don’t delay!

Please feel free to contact the Georgia Apply to College Committee by emailing gacw@usg.edu or calling 404-962-3110 if you have any questions. We hope that your school will be a part of the 6th annual Georgia Apply to College program!

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It was great to see everyone at the GSCA conference!

By Kachelle McCormick (GAC Committee) | November 12, 2012

We enjoyed attending the 2012 Georgia School Counselors Association conference in Athens, GA last week! We loved seeing so many familiar faces and making some new friends too! Thanks to all who stopped by our table in the exhibit area. We loved hearing about the successes of events that took place earlier this month, learning about the exciting plans for upcoming GAC events, and answering questions from schools who are considering holding an event for the first time next year.

Thanks also to those who were able to attend our presentation. It turned into a highly interactive session with members of the audience sharing their ideas for making GAC events great. We hope that everyone who attended walked away with some great ideas that can be incorporated into future events. We would like to send a HUGE shout out to Torri Jackson and Celia Davis for serving on our expert panel! Torri and Celia have both held amazing GAC events and we really appreciated them taking the time to share their tips and suggestions and for making the panel so awesome! If you were not able to joing us for the GAC Session, no worries, click on the title slide below to view our presentation!

GSCA

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Data is Critical to the Georgia Apply to College Program

By Sarah Wenham (GAC Committee) | October 31, 2012

Data Summary
Data is extremely important to the future of the Georgia Apply to College (GAC) program. GAC event data and feedback help us to continue to make improvements to the program as well as to meet the federal reporting requirements that we must satisfy as a program that receives funding through the U.S. Department of Education. We ask that all participating schools help us meet our reporting requirements by submitting a completed GAC Event Data Summary Sheetfollowing their event.

Using the GAC Event Data Summary Sheet, participating schools should provide the following:

• Total number of students in their senior class
• Total number of students that participated in their school’s GAC event
• Total number of applications started during their event
• Total number of applications completed during their event
• Total number of applications submitted during their event

To help make it easy for schools to capture the above information, we recommend that schools use the GAC Student Sign-Out Sheetand ask each student to sign-out following their event participation. The Student Sign-Out Sheet includes an area for each student to indicate the number of applications they started, completed and submitted. Participating schools don’t need to submit the Student Sign-Out Sheet to us, but rather summarize the information collected on the Sign-Out Sheet on the GAC Event Data Summary Sheet and submit it to us.

We also ask that participating schools provide us with the total number of volunteers who supported their event, also using the GAC Event Data Summary Sheet. Schools should include all adults who helped with their event in this count, even if this includes teachers and other staff from the school. We also ask for a summary of the affiliations of those who assisted during a school’s event. For example, if volunteers included representatives from local colleges, members of the local chamber of commerce and parents, this information should be included.

To help make it easy for schools to capture volunteer information, we recommend schools utilize the GAC Volunteer Sign-In Sheet and ask each volunteer to sign-in upon their arrival. As with the Student Sign-Out Sheet, participating schools do not need to submit the Volunteer Sign-In Sheet to us. We only ask that the summarized data be submitted to us on the GAC Event Data Summary Sheet.

Completed Event Data Summary Sheets should be submitted to us within seven days of the conclusion of each school’s Georgia Apply to College event and can be submitted to us in any of the following ways:

Email: gacw@usg.edu
Fax: 404-463-0568
Mail: Georgia Apply to College Program
The Office of Student Affairs
270 Washington Street, SW
Atlanta, GA 30334

The GAC Event Data Summary Sheet, the GAC Student Sign-Out Sheet and GAC Volunteer Sign-In Sheet can all be found in the Materials for the Day of the Event area of the Materials for Participating Schools section of the Georgia Apply to College website.

Participant evaluations are also a very important part of the Georgia Apply to College program and allow us to evaluate and research for the purpose of program improvement. We ask that you encourage all participating students and volunteers to complete a brief evaluation of their program experience at your school. Links to both the GAC Student Evaluation and the GAC Volunteer Evaluation can be found under the What’s New section on the www.GAcollege411.org site. Please note that students must be logged out of their account and then return to the GAcollege411 home page in order to see the evaluation link. We have created a flyer for you to hang around your event location to encourage students to complete the online evaluation.

In the days following the Georgia Apply to College events, we will send each participating school a link to a brief online Site Coordinator Evaluation. It is our goal to provide a program which meets your needs and only by receiving feedback can we continue to develop, expand and improve the Georgia Apply to College program. Also, some of the summarized data from the evaluations is included in what we submit as part of our data reporting. We hope that ALL site coordinators will plan on taking a few minutes to complete the brief evaluation following their event!

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Technical Tips for Holding a Successful GAC Event

By Kachelle McCormick (GAC Committee) | October 18, 2012

Computer_-_Superhero_1
Some GAC Site Coordinators have asked if there is anything they can do ahead of time to help ensure that school computers are ready for students to apply online during their Georgia Apply to College event…well, all Site Coordinators should now have received an email filled with great technology tips for GAC schools. If you are a participating GAC school and didn’t receive the email, let us know so we can be sure you get all of the information!

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Volunteers Can Make ALL the Difference

By Kachelle McCormick (GAC Committee) | October 11, 2012

Volunteer2

Year after year we hear from Site Coordinators and students alike, that volunteers are critical to the success of the GAC events! Volunteers provide assistance during GAC events by doing things like helping students navigate the college application process, sharing their own college experiences with students, and inspiring students to reach for their dreams by making plans to continue their education following high school graduation.

As you begin thinking about volunteers for your event, here are a few tips to help make securing and coordinating volunteers for your event as easy as possible:

  • We recommend that GAC schools start reaching out to potential volunteers as early as possible as schedules fill up quickly.

  • Keep in mind that volunteers do not need to be experts on the online college application process. We have developed both a Volunteer Handbook and a Volunteer Training Video. Both are available in the Get Involved as a Volunteer section of our website and provide volunteers with the information they need to help during a GAC event. We recommend that you encourage all of your volunteers to review these materials before attending their first Georgia Apply to College event!

  • When determining how many volunteers you may need for your event, we recommend one adult for every 5-6 computers that will be in use at one time during your school’s event. For example, if you have a computer lab with 30 computers, we recommend that you secure about 6 volunteers for your event.

  • The following may be good sources of potential volunteers for your event:
    * Local colleges and universities
    * Current and retired teachers, counselors, administrators and other staff from your school
    * PTSA and parents
    * Civic organizations
    * Local chamber of commerce and local businesses
    * Partners in Education
    * Former students

  • If your school requested to have your GAC Site Coordinator contact information made available on our website (to help make it easy for potential volunteers to contact your school), that information has now been posted on How to Become a Volunteer area of the Get Involved as a Volunteer section of our website. If any changes need to be made to the contact information for your school or if you would either like your school to be added to or removed from the contact list, let us know by emailing gacw@usg.edu.

  • While the GAC Committee spreads the word to potential volunteers that assistance is needed at the participating schools, it is up to each school to secure volunteers for their event. We recommend that schools take advantage of the sample communications found in the Site Coordinator Handbook to quickly and easily spread the word about their event to their community. The Site Coordinator Handbook can be found in the Materials for Participating Schools section of our website. If you have taken all steps possible to find volunteers and you are still concerned about having enough help for your event please contact us at gacw@usg.edu.

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Putting Your GAC Materials to Work

By Kachelle McCormick (GAC Committee) | October 8, 2012

GAC Materials blog

All 2012 Georgia Apply to College participating schools should now have received the materials for their November event. Participating schools should let us know ASAP if their materials have not yet been received by emailing gacw@usg.edu. We also recommend that schools double-check that they have received enough of the different types of materials and let us know if any additional items are needed.

Now you have received your materials, are you wondering how to use them? We encourage all Georgia Apply to College Site Coordinators to check out pages 29-38 of the GAC Site Coordinator Handbook to learn more about how to incorporate the materials into their school’s GAC event. The Site Coordinator Handbook, as well as other resources and information, can be found in the Event Preparation Materials area of the Materials for Participating Schools section of our website.

The Site Coordinator Handbook includes tons of fun activities which you can use to further foster a college-going culture at your school and to make your Georgia Apply to College event special for your students! We know that many schools have developed their own special activities to make their GAC event fun and engaging for students too. We would love to hear from you if you have created a new activity at your school! Feel free to email us the details of your activity for possible inclusion in the Site Coordinator Handbook or feel free share with your fellow Site Coordinators as a comment to this blog.

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We Hope to See You at the GSCA Conference!

By Sarah Wenham (GAC Committee) | September 25, 2012

We are looking to forward to seeing many familiar faces and making many new friends at the GSCA conference this November. We hope that you will make plans to stop by the Georgia Apply to College booth in the exhibitor area and also join us for the Georgia Apply to College session during the conference. Join us for the highly interactive session to pick up a few tips for planning and holding a great event from veteran GAC schools and to share your own secrets to success! Check out the session details below and see you in Athens!

GSCA conference

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