It most certainly seems that the weather has turned and that spring is here to stay for the long run. As some of us are working with some students on their schedules for next year and helping others finalize their college decision, while others are working on accepted student day events and phone campaigns to help students come to a decision by the universal and famous May 1 deadline. This time of year is particularly significant and special as we see students’ excitement for their final college choice. During this time, I always take a moment to reflect on my own experience, selecting the place that would ultimately become my alma mater, as one of the biggest and ultimately best decisions I ever made. For the students we work with, let us do our absolute best to ensure that this is the same for them as well.

As the weather turns for the better, this time of year also reminds me that we are not to far away from #NJACAC19, our Annual Conference. It is very exciting to know that many of you will be joining us at the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Atlantic City for what is shaping up to be our best conference yet. Just this past week, we were proud to announce that New Jersey’s Secretary for Higher Education, Zakiya Ellis Smith, will be joining us and providing remarks during Monday’s lunch session. We are extremely excited to welcome Secretary Ellis Smith, who is a former NACAC Board Director and is therefore very familiar with the function of our association as a NACAC affiliate and will be able to provide us with a bird’s-eye look at the state of higher education in New Jersey and what we can do to have a positive effect.

Not to mention, at #NACAC19, we will have our keynote speaker Dr. Helen Rothberg join us as well as Bob Bardwell, NACAC Board Director, who will provide us with updates from NACAC. This year, we are excited to bring special interest group sessions to our conference so that those who identify with these groups have an opportunity to meet and collaborate in this setting. The idea being that the conversations started at the conference can continue beyond this! We will also award our annual scholarships to a number of worthy students as well as our annual awards to deserving members of our association.

At the beginning of April, the NACAC Northern New Jersey College Fair took place in Secaucus, NJ. The entire day welcomed students, parents, and school counselors from all over the state of New Jersey and even brought over some friends from New York City to see all of the post-secondary options that were exhibiting. I want to personally thank our colleagues at NACAC as well as our Northern New Jersey National College Fair co-chairs, Cigus Vanni & Susan Makowski, along with their entire committee for all of their efforts.

Our annual elections are open to members! We have a very wide array of candidates for a number of positions that are open on our board for the upcoming year. Looking forward to welcoming newly elected members of our board at our conference, where most of them would begin their term. Wishing all of the candidates the best of luck through this process. Online voting will close on Friday, May 3.

Plenty going on! The countdown is officially on to #NJACAC19! Hope to see you all then!


Carlos O. Cano
NJACAC President