By: Sara Vancil
Hello KASFAA friends!
The Board of Directors just had our winter board meeting. I wanted to provide some key updates to the entire membership about the work of KASFAA since our last Board meeting. Our various committees have been working diligently to fulfill their missions as well as the goals laid out for them in our three-year Strategic Long Range Plan.
- Our drive-in trainings this fall at five different sites using two NASAFAA U credentials were a success, with nearly 90 registrants. The Board voted to create a permanent Professional Development committee, which will host trainings for our members separate from our annual conference. We would like to continue with NASFAA U credential opportunities and expand into other topics as well, including possibly bringing back a workshop for support staff.
- The Membership Committee is working to get all our members renewed and paid before spring conference registration opens up. They have also been working on a plan to be even more robust in our welcome of new members at the upcoming conference. If you are new to KASFAA, be sure to attend the conference in Lawrence and be recognized!
- The Outreach Training Committee had 314 attendees at the Counselor Training Workshops in late September, which was an 18% increase over last year. All the materials from the training are on our website for counselors to access so feel free to pass this on as a resource! The committee will be moving its attention next to brainstorming other ways that KASFAA can connect with and train our partners across the state. One idea is possible training on next steps after FAFSA like reading award letters and helping students and parents with reviewing costs and accepting aid.
- ATAC, our website provider, is in the midst of an overhaul of our website thanks to the hard work of our Electronic Resources Committee. The homepage will feature a much streamlined menu structure, rotating pictures of all of our member institutions, and easy access to the latest news and events.
- The Finance Committee drafted a new investment and reserve policy which the Board reviewed. We expect to approve the new policy in April after additional work to find an appropriate short-term investment vehicle for some of our funds, such as a money market account. KASFAA’s balance sheet and budget is available for your review.
- The Board decided to engage the Hilton Garden Inn in Manhattan, KS to host our April 2021 conference. We were last in Manhattan in 2016 and enjoyed our stay so we’re going back! Upcoming conferences include April 3-5, 2019 at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Lawrence (submit a session proposal now!) and April 1-3, 2020 at the Atrium Conference Center in Hutchinson.
- The Board approved the addition of a new KASFAA Rising Star award to our list of awards given each year. This award will recognize members with fewer than five years of experience in KASFAA who show promise for future contributions. It will honor those who demonstrate passion, professionalism, and dedication to our profession. Nominate someone today!
- The Archive committee is finalizing the plan to electronically archive all of the materials we stored in hard copy for many years. Along with that, we have a box full of photos. We’re going to ask for everyone’s help at spring conference to identify places and faces in these photos. We’ll also have some photos to give away if you’re interested!
- Don’t forget to apply for a scholarship to attend RMASFAA’s Summer Institute! Deadline to apply is February 1. SI will be June 2-7 in Colorado Springs.
As you can see by this update, KASFAA is in good shape! We have nearly 80 individuals who serve on the board and committees. THANK YOU to everyone for putting their time, talents and energy into this association. Thank you giving me the opportunity serve all of you this year as KASFAA President. I’ll be attending the RMASFAA winter board meeting in March as the Kansas State Delegate and will report back! Happy Holidays and good luck with spring startup!