The National College Advocacy Group is currently taking applications from financial planners and academic advisors for membership. This FAQ is designed to provide answers to many of the questions we have recieved about the NCAG and what being a NCAG members means and entails.
How does the NCAG provide education?
The NCAG hosts a twice monthly online live seminar on different topics relevant to the college financial and admissions industry. These are sessions where a subject matter expert does a presentation on a specific topic and then takes questions from the audience. All NCAG members need is to have a computer connected to the internet and then download the gotomeeting application to participate. In addition the NCAG has over 70 articles published by its members on subjects from 401-K to FAFSA to What is it Like Playing College Athletics.
What is a NCAG newsletter like?
The NCAG newsletters each cover a current and relevant subject and are written by members and outside experts. Sometimes if a change within the industry is happening the newsletter will go more in-depth on the subject of the change to keep its members informed.
Who writes the NCAG articles?
The NCAG articles are written by NCAG members who have an expertise within a specific area of the college financial or admissions areas. Any NCAG member can suggest a new topic or sign up to write an article for a topic that has been approved to be an article by the Certification committee.
What is a NCAG topic?
A topic is an area of industry information that NCAG members have a desire to learn more. Topics are submitted by members and then vetted by the Certification committee. Once accepted then any NCAG member can volunteer to write the article for the topic. Once the article is written it becomes a part of the certification curriculum.
What is the NCAG annual conference like?
This two day conference is held once a year and hosts sessions on various topics of interest to NCAG members. In 2015 the conference keynote speaker is Mark Kantrowitz who is a nationally-recognized expert on student financial aid, scholarships and student loans. Mark is the Senior Vice President and Publisher of Edvisors.com and former publisher of the Fastweb and FinAid web sites owned by Monster Worldwide. In addition each conference has an optional college visitation where NCAG members who are attending the conference can go as a group to visit a local college.
What is the NCAG certification?
The NCAG certification is the Certified College Advocate (CCA) certification which is awarded upon the successful completion of the CCA Test. The test is based on the Knowledge Bank created by the college planning members of the NCAG. The Knowledge Bank has articles on academic, athletic, FAFSA, CSS Profile, financial and general issues.
How can I obtain the NCAG certification?
Any NCAG member can study and apply to take the certification test. The test is timed and is not an open book or notes test. Itis made up primarily from the NCAG articles in the planner’s field of membership – either Financial or Academic. Upon successful completion of the test, a plaque will be given to the new CCA. A CCA will be required to complete continuing education requirements of 18 hours per year. The continuing education can be completed by viewing archived NCAG Webinars and/or attending a live NCAG session offered twice a month (1 hour of credit for any of the webinars); creating an article for the Knowledge Bank (2 hours); one hour for every hour of attendance to a NCAG/IECA/HECA Conventions’ lectures and lastly, attending one hour of ethics training from any source offered by your professional organizations. The certification is a self-prepared and proctor administered test.
Does the NCAG have a ready resource of information on various industry issues?
Answer: The topics library has well over 100 articles written on topics from the FAFSA interpretation issue to Early Admission. From Section 127 plans (Financial topic) to Grade Point Averages (Academic topic). If your issue for the day is not there then suggest it for consideration or contact the NCAG Leadership and they will have the topic written up by an industry leader in that area.
Why should I take the time to go to yet another conference offered by your organization?
All conferences are good but some are unique in their approach. The NCAG confrences have a mix of academic and finacial speakders and partidipants. The mix is the issue. Netwrking with a mixed crowd will offer a great experience.
Why would I want to become a Certified College Advocate (CCA)?
You may not! As an organization the NCAG desired to create a designation providing proof of raising a professional’s standards to a documented level of base line knowledge. The CCA designation is that standard which once again is consistent with the NCAG’s mission statement of promoting and educational growth environment for members
What is the value of the webinars system offered by the NCAG?
NCAG was the first to offer a webinar system for training, continuing education and a knowledge platform that can be counted on to be current and accurate. There are many sources for webinars now which is fantastic. NCAG’s mission statement is to increase the knowledge base of a college bound student/family and college planners who provide the professional service as college advisors.. We are happy to have partners in the increase of that knowledge base.