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ACT CEO Thanks Counselors During National School Counseling Week

“It takes across-the-board excellence to be a great school counselor,” says ACT CEO Marten Roorda in a blog post on the ACT website that celebrates National School Counseling Week. Roorda’s message thanks counselors across the country for their commitment to supporting students at every step of their educational journey.

Roorda says ACT’s ongoing transformation, with an increased focus on individual learning and navigation to success, mirrors the holistic perspective of counselors. “A school counselor’s job is to see the whole picture—and consider how the unique circumstances, skills, and passions of each student fit into an all-encompassing navigational framework.”

Find Marten Roorda on Twitter.

ACT College and Career Readiness Champions to Be Announced

Tomorrow (Feb. 6), ACT will recognize outstanding students, educators, and workforce professionals across the country who are positively impacting college and career readiness in their communities.

Follow ACT on social media and be the first to learn about the ACT College and Career Readiness Champions—students, educators, and workforce professionals who are demonstrating persistence through adversity, a collaborative approach to problem solving, and a passion for learning and leading others to find their own success. Individuals will be recognized from each state. Use the hashtag #ACTChampions and tag @ACT to tell us about the champions in your state.

UPDATE: The ACT College and Career Readiness Champions have been announced! See the College and Career Readiness Champions of 2019

Giveaway: Measure SEL at Your School for Free!


Your school or district can apply for the inaugural ACT Social and Emotional Journey Program! ACT will choose eight schools to receive 500 free ACT Tessera® assessments, allowing them to offer feedback to ACT regarding the social and emotional learning (SEL) assessment experience at their school.

Applications must be submitted by February 8.

Toolkit: How to Share the My Success Campaign

The My Success campaign was created to illuminate the many paths that can be taken to success while highlighting stories that encourage and inspire students to find their path. We’ve made it easy for you to share these useful stories with your students to help them find their own paths to a successful future.

Our campaign toolkit contains images and text for your social media channels, newsletter content, videos, and more that offer tips related to preparing for college and beyond. Explore, download, and share! You can also email if you want your logo or student resources to appear on our website.

ACT Acquires Campaign to Help Underserved Students

After years of supporting and empowering the American College Application Campaign (ACAC) from the American Council on Education (ACE), the ACT Center for Equity in Learning, which focuses on closing gaps in equity, opportunity and achievement for underserved populations and working learners, will oversee and continue to expand the campaign.

ACAC is a national initiative led by leadership teams in 50 states plus the District of Columbia that seeks to increase the number of students from low-income families and first-generation college students who pursue a postsecondary degree, and to help those students navigate the college application and admissions process.

ACAC state teams work to remove barriers that may prevent underserved students from applying to a postsecondary institution by ensuring that all high school seniors at participating schools have the support they need to complete an application to at least one two- or four-year postsecondary institution. The campaigns are run independently in each state, with public and private entities organizing the effort with guidance and technical assistance from ACAC.

Webinar: Anchoring Your K-12 Curriculum

This 30-minute webinar will help you connect your curriculum and content standards to the ACT College and Career Readiness Standards. Understanding these connections is key to monitoring and understanding your students’ progress, and to deciding on next steps to help students succeed.

Date: Thursday, March 7

Start time: Noon CT

Duration: 30 minutes

A Teacher’s Perspective on the ACT Certified Educator Program

Dr. Jon Berry, Department Coordinator of World Languages at Mount Carmel High School in Chicago, recently shared his experience after attending the ACT Certified Educator Basics training program. Here is a highlight:


“Our jobs are not defined as ‘ACT Teachers,’ and no classroom activity gets more criticized than ‘teaching to the test,’—and rightly so. Secondary education is, and should be, much more than a summative test taken several times during a student’s junior and senior year. Furthermore, it is impossible to take students who have not been exposed to a strong curriculum or who have performed poorly in whatever curriculum they have experienced, who lack a strong foundation in the language, math, and scientific reasoning skills that are assessed on the ACT test, and magically transform them into high-performing ACT students through nothing more than practice tests and a crash course on fundamentals.

“So the question is, and always has been: ‘How do I improve my students’ ACT scores and readiness for college when I am just one in a long line of instructors, when I am teaching subjects that are not specifically assessed on standardized tests, and when my own interests go deeper than the proper use of a comma or using the correct word in the correct place?’"


Read more about Dr. Berry’s recent experience in attending an ACT Certified Educator workshop in Illinois and how he is helping his students prepare for the future.

In Case You Missed It: ACT Test Prep Webinar

ACT held a free webinar in January designed to answer the question, “What kind of test prep is right for each student?” Our presenters provided a detailed overview of the new and traditional test prep products (free and paid) offered by ACT. You can view the webinar, download slides, and find other resources related to ACT test prep at the link below.

Ask the Expert: When Should Students Take the ACT?

Kat Pastor of Flagstaff High School in Arizona helps her school full of self-assured learners to prepare for life after graduation by taking the ACT® test. She drives her students toward free ACT test prep to help them feel as confident taking the test as they do in the classroom.

Pastor, 2016 National High School Counselor of the Year, discusses in this video the best time for students to take the ACT, why they should consider taking the test more than once, and how student can prepare to do their best.

Helpful Tips to Share With Your Students


How to Avoid Senioritis 

Letting grades drop senior year can have a lasting impact on your future. Keep these tips in mind as you start your final semester. How to Avoid Senioritis: Pushing Yourself and Finishing Strong  


Send this email communication and post this social media image for your seniors:


Junior Year Checklist 

Now that you’re more than halfway through your junior year, make sure you’re on track for your next semester with this checklist:  Junior Year Checklist


Send this email communication and post this social media image for your juniors:


Practice Good Learning Habits

Practicing good habits now can make a big difference later. Learn tips that can help you get more out of class and your overall high school experience.  Practice Good Learning Habits


Send this email communication and post this social media image for your sophomores: