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As a high school member, you'll be connected to more than 11,000 members from institutions around the world. Facilitate your professional development by attending discounted meetings, gaining complimentary subscriptions to our College & University journal and more.

Why should you join? From professional development opportunities to forging connections that will help you in setting down career stones, there's more than one reason. 

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AACRAO's bi-weekly professional development e-newsletter

Congressional Hill Day Wrap-Up 2023

Jul 21, 2023, 11:02 AM
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Summary : AACRAO's Congressional Hill Day gives a voice to membership and empowers higher education leaders to lead on the issues affecting their institutions.
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Last month, AACRAO celebrated the return of in-person Congressional Hill Day for the first time since 2019. 

Attendees gathered on the morning of Thursday, June 22, 2023 for training sessions that lent insight on maximizing meetings with Congressional staff. Scott Jaschik, Founder & Editor of Inside Higher Ed, provided an overview of current issues impacting the higher education landscape, touching on a range of federal and state efforts. 

Liz Clark, Vice President for Policy and Research at the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO); Jarret Cummings, Senior Advisor for Policy and Government Relations at EDUCAUSE; and Sarah Spreitzer, Vice President and Chief of Staff for Government Relations at American Council of Education (ACE), participated in a panel discussion detailing their experiences meeting with Congressional offices over the years. The group responded to a variety of questions from attendees and offered advice for both first-time and seasoned advocates. 

The advocates departed for Capitol Hill in the afternoon. Groups navigated the halls of Congress and met with different congressional aides to share their practitioner perspective and discuss the association’s legislative priorities. AACRAO advocates encouraged lawmakers to support the recently reintroduced Reverse Transfer Efficiency Act, and pushed for a number of other changes to FERPA to identify electronic records in the definition of educational records, clarify that third-party record collectors should be subject to the law, and correct the 2012 regulatory amendments that dramatically expanded FERPA. The groups also urged congressional offices to raise the maximum Pell Grant as part of the #DoublePell initiative

Our goal was to provide a direct opportunity for AACRAO members to influence key policy issues that impact the institutions and students that they serve, said AACRAO’s Director of Public Policy Michelle Mott.

Participating in AACRAO's Hill Day was one of the best professional development opportunities I had this year. Not only did I have the opportunity to learn more about AACRAO's legislative advocacy efforts, but I also shared how those issues impact my students and my role as a registrar directly with those who can make a difference. AACRAO's Government Relations team helped to make advocating for issues important to our students and profession much easier than I imagined though their preparation materials and day-of training, remarked Shannon Gerke-Corrigan, Registrar/Title IX Coordinator at Fox Valley Technical College Enrollment Services. 

It is humbling to realize that my conversation with a congressional staffer might have an impact on the future of higher education. It reassures me that every constituent can play a role in our governmental processes., stated Diana Hull, Senior Associate Registrar at the University of Florida. 

Hill Day can be stressful, but it’s even more exciting.  Representing AACRAO and our students via Hill Day is a humbling and amazing experience.  It’s an honor and heavy responsibility to take part in the great experiment we call democracy.  The ability of our citizenry to walk in a speak to those directly involved the legislative process is a privilege we should never take for granted, added  Tim Amyx, Registrar/Sr Director of Student Services Assessment & Technology at Volunteer State Community College. 

Attendees had the unique opportunity to promote legislative causes that directly affect the students they represent. 

I had the opportunity to meet legislative aides from my state and talk about issues important to higher ed, described Lisa Emery, Senior Associate Registrar at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor. The AACRAO staff made it easy for us by providing clear information about the topics we were discussing.  They also set us up for success by providing webinars and a panel of speakers on the morning of the event to prepare us for what to expect. An added bonus for me was that it gave me the opportunity to connect with the government relations staff for my institution while I was in DC. I was able to visit the office and meet the DC-based government relations staff to network and discuss how we can work together in the future.  

Learn more about how you can help to promote the association’s legislative agenda and consider applying for next year’s Congressional Hill Day to lend your voice to other issues we support.

Categories :
  • Professional Development and Contributions to the Field
Tags :
  • Hill Day
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