Educators | National Decision Day
National Decision Day is an event sponsored by the National College Advising Corps (NCAC) to celebrate the success of high school seniors in pursuing post-secondary education. Typically, these celebrations take place on or around May 1 which coincides with the date that many institutions use as a deadline for students to make an enrollment decision.
At a time when college education and/or post-secondary training is of the utmost importance with the ever-changing economy, Decision Day not only rallies support for seniors as they start a new journey but it also inspires younger high school students — especially those that may not be thinking about college for their future!
Why celebrate National Decision Day at your school?
- To recognize students for their postsecondary endeavors
- To rally students who have not made a decision to do so
- To encourage younger students as they prepare for college
- To support a college-going culture within the school
How does my school participate in National Decision Day?
Plan at least one school-wide event where students can be recognized for their future plans. Following are some ideas to get you started:
Hold an assembly or pep rally
- Have all grades attend to build excitement about going to college
- Involve the marching band and cheerleaders to make it a true celebration
- Invite a guest speaker (alumnus from your school) to share their success
- Invite all faculty, staff, and district office personnel to attend
- Share some data on the senior class – number of college applications, number of acceptances, amount (in dollars) of scholarship money earned, etc.
- Options for recognizing students:
- Each student can walk across the stage/gym and announce their post-secondary plans
- Someone can announce each college and have seniors stand when theirs is called
- Create a slideshow to project the senior’s name, picture, and all of the schools they were accepted to. In big, bold letters each slide can say, “This Fall, I will attend: _______,” with the name of the school the student enrolled in.
- See the video at the right for an example from a high school in Texas! College Signing Day 2012 from Uplift Education on Vimeo.
Have a College Signing Day
- Inspired by the NCAA’s National Signing Day for collegiate athletes
- Reinforces the idea that academic excellence should be given the same recognition as athletic excellence
- Have high school seniors sign a banner, letter of intent, or poster to demonstrate their commitment to their future
- Post the signatures in a highly-visible location within your school
Designate a “College Gear” Day
- Choose one day (or a few) and allow seniors to wear college gear from their future schools
- Allow underclassmen to wear their favorite gear
- Invite teachers and staff to wear gear from their alma maters
Post students’ acceptance letters
- Encourage seniors to submit a copy of their acceptance letters
- Black-out all personal information aside from the student’s name and post in a high-traffic area for all to see in the hallways
- This celebrates not only each student’s individual success but allows the overall accomplishments of the senior class to be seen
- Check out the picture to the right of how Delaware Military Academy does this at their school!