For 15 years, ACT has been delivering College and Career Readiness Workshops nationwide. These free, half-day, on-site sessions help educators maximize the benefits of ACT solutions.
“We consider it a valuable learning partnership where everyone benefits, but most especially the students,” said Karen Pennell, interim vice president of ACT Client Relations.
Crystal Ellis, manager, ACT Client Relations, adds, “Our mission is to help people achieve education and workplace success—to be successful in their lives. Ultimately we want educators to come to the workshops so they have information to help students as they go out into their lives and their careers.”
The workshops attract kindergarten through 12th grade educators—guidance counselors, teachers, assistant principals, and principals. Some superintendents also attend, and Ellis would like to attract even more.
“It’s valuable to have various levels at a school represented,” she said. “They all take something different away from the workshop. Superintendents are especially in the position to implement insights and tools at their schools.”
The workshops, originally called the “Fall Educator Workshops,” are offered mid-September through mid-November in various cities throughout the country. ACT tailors each workshop to the community it is serving. Coordinators work hard to schedule the workshops so they are offered at the best time for potential attendees. Ellis said people begin asking about the workshops well before they are even planned.
“Educators look forward to attending,” she said. “Anything new coming out from ACT—there’s a lot of interest. The educators want ACT to provide them with insight to unlock student potential.”
Those interested can register at www.act.org/learningevents/workshops. However, some of the workshops have already been held in some states this fall.
Ellis, Pennell, and the other professional ACT staff hear directly from participants who tell them how valuable the workshops are. One high school counselor wrote to tell Pennell that the workshop was the highlight of her fall semester. She returned to school, prepared to help students succeed using ACT products and services. “She continued to say that she trusts ACT to help her connect learning in the classroom to student success—in college and career.”
A curriculum director wrote to say how much he appreciated that ACT programs and services are grounded in extensive research and proven practices.
Planning the workshops, which can attract up to 15,000 people, takes a lot of time, effort, and planning, Ellis said. Some years, ACT has offered as many as 400 workshops. This year’s ACT team was responsible for getting 225 sites up and running—and coordinating 25 presenters.
“Everyone comes together,” Ellis said. “It comes down to the students. We’re passionate about helping them—through high school and into their careers. It’s very exciting.”