Nancy Beane elected president of National Association for College Admission Counseling


Unlike the Republican and Democratic presidential hopefuls who have to wait a full year before voters hit the polls, election day came early for assistant director of college counseling Nancy Beane when she was elected president of the National Association for College Admission Counseling in October.

The National Association for College Admission Counseling, or NACAC, is an organization of nearly 15,000 members including high school counselors from private and public schools, independent counselors, and representatives from community-based organizations and colleges.  Its mission is to work with counselors to help students navigate the college process. Additionally, it outlines principles of good practice in order to protect the rights of students. For instance, policies such as allowing students until May 1 to make a formal college decision or preventing colleges from asking to where else a student plans on applying were all created by the NACAC.

Beane has been heavily involved with the NACAC ever since she first started  college counseling in 1992, when she served as the counselor for all senior girls. The boys counselor at the time, Leon Scott, took Beane to her first NACAC conference in Los Angeles, and Beane has since attended the conference every year but one. These conferences give Beane and other members the opportunity to interact with college representatives in a setting similar to a college fair and to attend information sessions centered on how to address key topics such as testing and parental involvement.

Similar to the college process, the election process for presidency was a long one. Beane nominated herself and had to garner recommendations to support the self-nomination.

Afterward, she was notified that she and the head of admissions at the Ohio State University had been chosen as the two nominees. During the following NACAC meeting in the summer, Beane had to submit articles answering pertinent questions, “speed date,” which entailed having brief conversations with a variety of different members, and give a six-minute speech in front of 7,700 people. Finally, 214 members of the assembly voted, and Beane was elected president.

During her time in office, Beane wants to focus on the emotional well-being of students and how to help students deal with the transition from high school to college. She also wants to concentrate on topics like transfers from community college, the international aspect of college counseling, and public schools.

Addressing public schools holds a special importance for Beane. Beane and the other three Westminster college counselors each have about 50 seniors and 50 juniors. But in some larger public schools, there is one college counselor for about 400 to 1,000 students. In addition, many public school counselors are not a part of the NACAC.

“I taught in public schools for 15 years,” said Beane. “We need to be more inclusive of each other and work together on [this issue].”

Although the responsibilities of presidency seem daunting, her new role only requires Beane to travel about once or twice a month and will not significantly affect her role as a college counselor.

“Students and parents can still get in touch with me because my primary responsibility is Westminster,” said Beane. “I work hard in the summer and during the night to make sure that [counseling] is my first focus. Even though there is a fair amount of travel for me, there are also 66 other people who work full-time for the NACAC.”

Senior Alex Kong appreciates Beane’s accessibility and immense knowledge about the difficult process.

“She’s very good at her job. She’s really involved and clearly cares a lot about her kids,” said Kong. “She also obviously knows a lot about the college process and is very effective. Whenever I have any question, she makes sure to get back to me with a detailed, in-depth answer as quickly as possible.”

Similarly, her love for helping students and genuine personality are evident.

“No matter where I see her, Mrs. Beane always greets me with a smile, and you can tell that she genuinely enjoys what she’s doing,” said senior Josh Doman. “Having known Mrs. Beane for quite a while now, I feel comfortable saying that she goes beyond anything I could have ever hoped for in a college counselor.”

Although the college process poses many challenges, Beane shares one key piece of advice about college for all high school students, in addition to encouraging future freshmen and sophomores to attend the NACAC fair next March.

“Believe it’s going to work out,” said Beane. “Sometimes it ends up being for the best. Make [the college process] one part of your life.”

During her 23 years as a college counselor, Beane has enjoyed watching students grow and thrive.

“All my memories are good,” said Beane. “I just love working with the class and seeing what happens at the end.”