College Counselors' Network Benefits Students

Barstow's signature College Counseling program helps every student find the right academic, financial and social fit for their next educational step. Director Scott Hill and Associate Director Caelin Anderson build strong relationships with admissions representatives at top colleges and universities through networking, experience  and leadership.
Associate Director of College Counseling Caelin Anderson recently completed a second term as co-chair of the Missouri Association of College Admission Counselors (MOACAC) Annual Conference.

MOACAC is a non-profit organization that strives to help students and their families through the college selection process. Hundreds of college counselors, college admissions representatives and educational organizations attended the conference April 2-4 in St. Charles to network and learn about changes and trends in the college admission process. 

Attending the conference and serving on MOACAC's Executive Board is beneficial to Barstow's College Counseling Office for several reasons.

"Definitely the networking piece is important," Ms. Anderson says. "It raises Barstow's visibility and it increases recognizability in our letters of recommendation for seniors during the application process." 

Educational breakout sessions, keynote speeches, exhibits and roundtable discussions with peers are also important components of the annual conference. Ms. Anderson not only helped plan the schedule of sessions, but also attended many of them to learn new information that will help Barstow students as they plan their next educational step.

"Things are changing, so knowing that information is really important. It pays to be professionally engaged because it makes us better at our jobs when we see trends in the admission process as they unfold," she says.

This year's conference included discussions of the trend toward test-optional schools, timelines for digital SAT and ACT testing, important changes to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FASFA) and an imminent Supreme Court affirmative action ruling that could affect the college  admission process.

Ms. Anderson said the timing of these conferences in the spring is helpful because it gives college counselors the opportunity to gather new information for rising seniors as they enter the most important phase of their college search, rising juniors and sophomore searching for their "right fit" schools, and for freshman just beginning the process.

"We can communicate this new information to all our parents and students as they're about to enter the next phases of their college search process," she said. Director of College Counseling Scott Hill hosts College Information Night for Freshman and Parents on Wednesday, April 19, and will share some of the latest trends and changes that were shared at the MOACAC Annual Conference.

Ms. Anderson also served as annual conference co-chair in 2022, when MOACAC held a double affiliate conference with its Great Plains counterpart. Working with co-chair Elora Thomas, Director of Admissions at the University of Missouri – Kansas City, they managed six committees with 22 committee members and planned the keynotes, sessions, roundtables and exhibits for 400 guests in 2022 and about 200 guests at the single affiliate conference this year. 

Though she was invited back to plan the annual conference in 2023, she has decided to focus singularly on Barstow next year. In addition to assisting freshman, sophomores and juniors, she and Mr. Hill will be helping one of the school's largest-ever senior classes find their college or university fit.
    • Director of College Counseling Scott Hill has 23 years of Barstow experience and has helped hundreds of students find their "right fit" school.

    • Elora Thomas, UMKC, and Caelin Anderson co-chaired the MOACAC Annual Conference in 2023, and a double affiliate conference in 2022.