Administrator Newsletter

Welcome to the Administrator Newsletter

October 2017

Each month we’ll share information about important upcoming deadlines and events, professional development opportunities, new research, product updates, and ACT assessment news.

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Improve Your Communication with Students and Parents

Effective communication with students and parents about the importance of college and career readiness is a critical component of preparing them for success after high school. ACT has prepared a variety of communication tools for school counselors to use to make this task easier. These toolkits include:

  • Email communications to be used throughout the school year
  • Engaging social media images for sharing from your school’s accounts
  • PowerPoint slides related to the ACT® test, using data on college readiness benchmarks, and how parents can help prepare students for the ACT
  • Student-focused digital resources such as eBooks, infographics, and videos

Please share these materials with your school counselor. Counselors have reported that the information has been great to share at fall open houses! 

The Best Educational Resources, All for Free

The most effective learning resources for students, are now in one place. The free OpenEd “smart library” accurately aligns educational content from more than 500,000 online resources to your students and classroom based on your students’ strengths and challenges. 

With educational video games, activities, homework assignments, lesson plans, and assessments, you can seamlessly integrate OpenEd into your schools instruction. Here’s how it works:

  1. Teachers assign OpenEd homework and quizzes to students.
  2. Students complete assignments, and their performance and progress appears on a mastery chart.
  3. OpenEd uses advanced algorithms powered by best-in-class machine learning to find relevant instructional content for each student or classroom, based on homework and quiz results. The content is designed to help with remediation and mastery of subject areas.
  4. Educators can track students’ progress, receive detailed results, and assign further resources recommended by OpenEd and tailored to students’ areas of need.

OpenEd supports access for all students, with additional supports for English language learners and special education students.

Professional Development Opportunities

College and Career Readiness Workshops

Don't miss out! Learn how to boost student success. Register today to attend an ACT College and Career Readiness Workshop near you! 

Webinar: Does SEL Make a Difference?

Thursday, October 26, 2017 - Noon Eastern / 9 a.m. Pacific

Join us for a free, one-hour webinar about the importance of SEL in K-12 education as told from both the experiential and research perspectives.

Upcoming Dates

National Rural Education Association Annual Convention

October 12–14, 2017
The Ohio Union - Ohio State University
Columbus, Ohio

District Testing: Late Spring Enrollment Deadline

October 27, 2017

National ACT Test

October 28, 2017

Association for Middle Level Education

November 6–8, 2017
Philadelphia, PA
Visit us at booth #127

Research Spotlight


ACT established ACTNext, an incubator for educational research and business innovation dedicated to developing ground-breaking learning and assessment systems. The ACTNext team comprises international leaders working on innovative solutions using computational psychometrics, multimodal analytics, learning experiences, and other dynamic solutions to advance individuals and institutions in the age of digital technology and next generation assessments.

Follow ACTNext on Twitter @ACTNext 

ACT Partners with School Districts

Local school districts are joining forces with ACT to provide real-world feedback and collaboration, allowing for further development, research, and evaluation of ACT experiences. From these partnerships, ACT will learn how to better understand and react to educator needs and pain points.

The Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency and ACT will cooperatively administer ACT® Tessera™, ACT Aspire®, PreACT®, and the ACT test in local school districts beginning in the fall of 2017, allowing ACT to conduct studies on the long-term performance of students based on various academic and environmental factors.

Continue to watch upcoming issues of this newsletter for further insights from this partnership. 

Product Spotlight

ACT Tessera

In recent years an undisputed amount of evidence has emerged to establish how critical Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills are for success in school, college, careers, and life satisfaction and fulfillment. Read the research.

Gaining a clear, accurate understanding of existing student skills and strengths is essential in order to target interventions. And, highly-effective SEL skill building efforts depend on a reliable assessment.

ACT Tessera is a robust, next-generation online assessment that gives students, parents, teachers, and schools a comprehensive view of SEL.

“What we’ve built is an assessment of these social and emotional skills,” Rich Roberts, Vice President and Chief Scientist, Research at ACT said “but it’s more than that because it has feedback and action plans that get given back to the kids.”

The new system includes assessments for middle and high school students (grades 6-12), as well as actionable lesson plans for teachers looking to integrate SEL into their classrooms. Tessera uses advanced methodology to deliver highly valid results and user-friendly reports. Equipped with this data, schools and students can support holistic self-knowledge, goal-setting and continuous improvement.

Educational leaders across the country are enthusiastically embracing Tessera’s next generation SEL assessment system. “I’m really excited to be using Tessera with my high school students this year—and they are excited, too, to be getting their results and learning more about themselves” said Eve Rifkin, Director of College Access at City High School in Tucson, Arizona.

For those administering both Tessera and ACT Aspire, Tessera is now available in the ACT Aspire Portal—the secure site where you will perform administrative tasks associated with managing and delivering the assessment—bringing student data and test session management for both assessments onto a single system. 

Learn more about how Tessera can help you accurately assess your students’ Social and Emotional Learning skills. 


Learn more about how Tessera can help you accurately assess your students’ Social and Emotional Learning skills. Visit
Learn more about how Tessera can help you accurately assess your students’ Social and Emotional Learning skills. Visit
Learn more about how Tessera can help you accurately assess your students’ Social and Emotional Learning skills. Visit