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ACT Thank-A-Teacher Challenge

Teachers sacrifice much of their time to advance the lives of their students by providing inspiration, instruction, and encouragement. They shape students’ minds and spirits, and strive to motivate each individual to achieve great things.  

National Teacher Day is next Tuesday, May 8, and ACT will honor those teachers who are changing lives. We’re challenging students, parents, and other educators to share stories about the teachers that have impacted them for the better.  

Let’s thank teachers for their influence. ACT will be sharing inspirational stories through our channels. Encourage your staff and students to participate in this national campaign by posting their stories to their preferred social media channel and including the hashtag: #thankateacher. And please tag @ACT if you’d like us to share your story.  

The “X Factors” of College Readiness

What factors most influence students’ readiness for college?

Getting good grades and taking rigorous courses are obvious attributes, but what about those that often get ignored? Attributes like:

  • Student motivation
  • Parent involvement
  • Social engagement
  • Views on education
  • School culture

Considering all of these “X factors” can give educators a more holistic approach to preparing students for future success.

Don't Miss Out!

In December, representatives from the Helena (Montana) Public School District and ACT researchers hosted a free webinar presenting data behind the role of school and student characteristics in achievement, and discussed the use of ACT® test data to boost students’ benchmark achievements. It has been our most popular webinar ever and many counselors, just like you, have taken valuable insights back to their schools.

Engaging Your Freshman Class

Your freshmen – probably over the first-year nerves and excitement of high school – will be preparing for a more comfortable second year. College and jobs – all that might seem too far away. But time will fly, and soon they will be seniors, going off to tackle the next steps in life. 

Your freshmen might not want to concern themselves with college and career planning yet, but if you give them this sophomore year guide, they can prepare for the future while mapping out their sophomore year. The guide covers:

  • Which classes should be top priorities
  • The importance of joining a team sport, activity, or group
  • Why the counselor should be a part of a sophomore’s support system
  • How to start saving for college 

In the next edition of the counselor newsletter, we will include a class of 2021 section so you can continue to make contact and help these soon-to-be sophomores find and work toward their future goals. 


Send this email communication to your current freshmen, telling them about this sophomore guide: 

Suggested Copy:
To help you start planning for sophomore year and beyond, take a look at this planning guide:  

Class of 2018: The One Thing Your SENIORS Should Do Right Now

Determine the Cost of College

Finding the actual cost of college can be tricky. Most college websites will have a net price calculator to help students determine the cost of college after financial aid is subtracted. But digging deeper and finding all the expenses and even what other school-specific financial aid is out there can be time consuming and stressful.

To help ease some of that stress, direct your seniors to this resource library. Students will find help with:

  • Determining the 3 “total costs” of college
  • Knowing what questions to ask their college’s financial aid office
  • Understanding how to afford college
  • Seeing the importance of investing in their future 


Use this email communication and social media post to alert your college-bound seniors of this library:

Suggested copy:
Check out this great article which provides information and tools for calculating the total cost of college:

Class of 2019: The One Thing Your JUNIORS Should Do Right Now

Prepare for Senior Year

Senior year is just around the corner for your juniors. It’s both an exciting and exhausting time, a period for students to look back at all they’ve accomplished and celebrate, but also a period to look forward and plan for the major life changes coming soon. When taken seriously, senior year can be a very rewarding time in their lives.

But, as you likely experience, students might be tempted to take this last year easy and save their energy for college. The “senior slide” could cause problems down the road.

To help your soon-to-be seniors keep their focus, show them this webpage which offers:

  • Explanations on what to expect senior year
  • How to keep high school duties – and college planning – front-and-center
  • The 3 tasks that allow students to finish high school strong 


Tell your juniors and their parents about this information using this email communication and social media message: 

Suggested copy:
To help you avoid the “senior slide,” take a look at this article: 

Class of 2020: The One Thing Your SOPHOMORES Should Do Right Now

Prepare for Junior Year

Just as your juniors are on the brink of senior year, your sophomores are months away from becoming upperclassmen. There is a lot to balance during junior year – homework, studying for tests and the ACT, friends, extracurriculars, and planning for life after high school.

Prioritizing these tasks and developing a plan is the first step to preparing your current sophomores for junior year. To help your students, we’ve created a simple guide that tells them:

  • What they can expect junior year to be like
  • Why they should be taking core classes
  • The 5 questions they should ask before planning for the future 


Help the class of 2020 prepare for next school year by sharing this email communication and posting this social media image introducing them to the junior year guide: 

Suggested copy
Check out this article which will help you develop a plan for junior year and the future:  

Product Spotlight - ACT Academy

“Practice is the best of all instructors.” – Pubilius Syrus

Thousands of students are already using ACT® Academy™ to get FREE, personalized practice for the ACT and, as a result, are improving their scores. Students get access to video lessons, interactive practice questions, a full-length practice test, educational games, and other materials designed to help them get the best score possible. If students have already taken an ACT test, PreACT®, and/or an official practice test, they can input their previous scores and receive a personalized study plan based on which areas need improvement. 

Other features include:

  • Accessibility anytime/anywhere there is an internet connection
  • Both a full length ACT test option as well as ACT test sections
  • Content that goes beyond just lecture-type videos and spans into songs and games

Take a look at what ACT Academy has to offer and encourage your students to sign up!

Upcoming Events

Webinar: PreACT Reports

Developing Insights and Making Connections

Wednesday, April 18 - 2:00 PM CST

This informative webinar will help counselors use the data from PreACT reports to reflect on instruction, intervene with individual students, and guide students on their college and career planning process. 

Duration: 1 hour

ACT® National Test Date

June 9, 2018

Register by May 4 to avoid late fees.