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Happy Teacher Appreciation Week!

This week, we celebrate our hardworking educators during Teacher Appreciation Week! It has never been more important to support our teachers, who increasingly must do more to help students while receiving access to fewer resources. Meanwhile, the shortage of teachers in the United States continues to grow. The most recent Condition of College & Career Readiness report from ACT found that only 4% of ACT-tested students plan to enter a teaching field in their careers. 

In a blog post this week, ACT CEO Marten Roorda describes the ed-tech ecosystem ACT is developing to “give our great teachers some long-sought superpowers,” which includes:

  • Measurement integrated with instruction
  • Open educational resources
  • Advances in artificial intelligence, machine learning, natural language processing, and related technologies

Roorda also reiterates ACT’s recommendations for addressing the teacher shortage.

Stop the “Summer Slide” with ACT Academy

We’ve all heard the statistics: students can experience up to two months of learning loss during the summer months. Summer learning programs are plentiful but often cost money, putting the financial burden on students and families. ACT Academy™, the free instructional tool for personalized learning, can help your students combat the “summer slide.”

ACT Academy experts have selected a collection of resources designed to help your students practice and polish up their expertise on the subjects that matter most. Find grade-specific resources to prevent the "summer slide" and give your students a head start into next year.

Why Your Juniors Should Take the ACT This Summer

If they haven’t already, your juniors (incoming seniors) should consider taking the ACT test during the June or July test date. ACT recommends that juniors take the ACT at or near the end of the school year for many reasons, including:

  • They have completed most coursework covered on the ACT
  • They can use test scores to make course decisions
  • Students will have time to retest during their senior year, if they want to improve their score

“I encourage my students to take the ACT at the end of their junior year in June or July,” said Jennifer Thurston, counselor at Linn-Mar High School in Iowa. “Juniors take a lot of higher-level courses like English III, advanced algebra or pre-calc, and science courses like chemistry and physics, which all give them a better foundation to work from on the ACT. The stronger foundations they have in those courses make for better ACT scores, and waiting until the end of the year means they can focus on preparing for the ACT and then start working on their college applications. It makes a smooth, easy timeline for them.”

2019-2020 ACT Test Dates Announced

Before summer starts, be sure to share ACT test dates for the 2019-2020 school year with your students. 

2019-2020 Test Dates (National)
Test Date Registration Deadline (Late Fee Required)
September 14, 2019 August 16, 2019 August 17-30, 2019
October 26, 2019 September 20, 2019 September 21-October 4, 2019
December 14, 2019 November 8, 2019 November 9-22, 2019
February 8, 2020 January 10, 2020 January 11-17, 2020
April 4, 2020 February 28, 2020 February 29-March 13, 2020
June 13, 2020 May 8, 2020 May 9-22, 2020
July 18, 2020* June 19, 2020 June 20-26, 2020

*No test centers are scheduled in California or New York for the July test date.

The Official ACT Prep Guide 2019-2020 Now Available

The Official ACT Prep Guide 2019-2020 is a must-have resource for college-bound students, and it’s the only guide from the makers of the ACT.

The new edition includes a brand-new practice test, adding 215 new test items to the book. It’s accompanied by online test questions that can be organized into practice exams. In addition, this guide has everything students and educators need to know while preparing to take the ACT, including:

  • 5 full-length practice tests
  • 400 online test questions
  • Updated writing prompts and directions
  • Tips on how to do your best preparing for the test
  • Helpful advice for test day

Why Rural Students Need Better Access to Technology: An ACT Report

Rural students are often overlooked when it comes to education policy reform. However, many rural students come from low-income families, generally earn lower scores on standardized tests, lack access to rigorous coursework, and attend college at lower rates than students from non-rural areas. 

Efforts to improve outcomes for these students depend increasingly on access to technology, as there are many tech-based resources for enhanced learning and because students will need basic computer skills for many careers.

This new research brief from the ACT Center for Equity in Learning takes a closer look at rural students’ access to technology, coursework, and extracurricular activity opportunities throughout high school.

Record Number of Schools Hold College Application Events

American College Application Campaign 2018 National Data - 7,109 host sites - 572,956 participating students - 801,061 applications submitted

A record 7,109 high schools reported hosting college application completion events in 2018, according to the American College Application Campaign. The schools helped more than 572,000 students complete more than 801,000 college applications.

ACT and ACAC want to send a resounding “thank you!” to counselors, college advisers, teachers, principals, volunteers, and everyone who played a role in helping the class of 2019 apply to college. Because of your efforts, we have opened the college door for hundreds of thousands of seniors. We can’t wait to celebrate their college decisions and watch them take this next big step on their college journey.

Webinar: A New College Guidebook for Native American Students

Join the American Indian College Fund and ACT’s Center for Equity in Learning for a webinar introducing Native Pathways: A College-Going Guidebook, a new, culturally relevant, college-going guidebook developed to empower Native students who are seeking higher education. 

Webinar: Introduction to New College-Going Guidebook for Native American Students 

Monday, June 3
2 p.m. ET / 11 a.m. PT

 The webinar will:  

  • Discuss the need for a guidebook tailored to Native students
  • Provide an overview of the guidebook content 
  • Demonstrate how to use the guidebook in your daily work with students 

College access practitioners including counselors, college advisers, and other education equity champions working with Native students are encouraged to join this discussion. It is critical we include Native students in our conversations regarding educational equity, and this new guidebook is a great starting point to guide practitioners in their conversations.    

Helpful Tips to Share With Your Students


College courses come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Make sure you understand the details of each type and format as you make your course selections.

College Courses Decoded


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

Learn the differences between college class formats.


Senior year is right around the corner. Begin mapping out ways to prepare for next year by prioritizing the information highlighted in our senior year eBook.

Prepare for Next Year with the Senior Year eBook 


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

Juniors, start preparing for next year with the Senior year e-book!


Volunteering helps you get involved, meet new people, learn about new industries, and give back to your community. Dedicating your time to an organization that interests you is also a great way to build your résumé.

Four Ways to Find Volunteer Opportunities 


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

Sophomores, learn 4 ways to find volunteer opportunities!