It's Time to Become International

If you’re like the Executive Board, you’ve probably had to explain what “OACAC” means to colleagues, family and friends. Some parts are easy to explain:

  • We are a 2000+ member international organization that represents nearly 100 countries from every corner of the globe.
  • We are the international champions of those seeking higher education.
  • We offer a dynamite annual conference.
  • We host professional development opportunities throughout the year, including Regional Institutes around the world and Webinars to a global audience.
  • We have great depth and breadth of international knowledge among our members. 

When you look at these answers, and reflect about who we are, the answer is “we’re international.” Overseas doesn’t factor into the discussion.  So why is it in our name?

The dictionary definition of Overseas is:

  •  Adverb \ˌō-vər-ˈsēz\: in or to a foreign country that is across a sea or ocean
  • Adjective \ˈō-vər-ˌsēz\

      1 :  of or relating to movement, transport, or communication over the sea overseas liner>
      2 :  situated, originating in, or relating to lands beyond the sea <overseas installations>

Twenty-three years ago, OACAC started as the Association within NACAC for all foreign countries. At the time, this was predominantly for students within Europe who wanted to study in the United States. We were the Overseas ACAC twenty-years ago.  However, does it still work when there are nearly 100 countries represented within our membership, including universities in Canada, UK, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Asia, Australia and New Zealand?

By comparison, the definition of International is:

  •  Adjective \ˌin-tər-ˈnash-nəl, -ˈna-shə-nəl\: involving two or more countries : occurring between countries
           : made up of people or groups from different countries
           : active or known in many countries
  • Noun :  one that is international; especially :  an organization of international scope

We are an international organization. Our name should be reflective of everyone we represent. It’s time to become the

    International Association for College Admission Counseling

Changing to the International ACAC remains true to the principals and vision of OACAC founders. The landscape of international admission has changed dramatically in the last 5-10 years. This is a chance to continue with the hard work OACAC was built on, to redefine ourselves in the 21st century, and assist students with navigating the international college landscape. 

The current OACAC Board and many of the Past-Presidents are in support of this name change, but ultimately it’s the decision of our members.   

What are the next steps?

  1. Let this sink in, think about it, say it again, then discuss. A community forum is encouraged. Please share your thoughts, questions, concerns on this using the comments section below. This discussion forum will be open until mid-April.

  2. OACAC will conduct an electronic vote in June

  3. The decision will be announced at the annual conference in July at the University of Oregon.

We look forward to hearing your thoughts in the upcoming months. 


Ffiona Rees, President
Joe Giacalone, President-Elect                  
Ryan Sullivan, Past- President
The OACAC Executive Board

< UPDATE >  The Name Vote is now open to the membership. If you did not receive your electronic ballot by email contact [email protected]

Voting will close June 15th at 5:00pm EDT. The results will be announced at this summer’s annual conference.

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Comments 0-5 of 26

Rosalind Stewart - Monday, June 15, 2015

I like the sound of INACAC better than IACAC. I think it sounds a bit better and may be less confusing if there are three organisations with the IACAC acronym.

Ffiona Rees - Tuesday, June 09, 2015

John, we would be called International ACAC which would help to minimize the confusion. Additionally, NACAC and the 22 other affiliates have been notified and their Presidents were all highly supportive of the proposed change.

John Soltice - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

p.s. Correction, Iowa makes it four.

John Soltice - Wednesday, June 03, 2015

Updating/modernizing the name is a great idea. Are we ok having three affiliates with the same IACAC acronym? (Illinois, Indiana, International). Would INACAC work?

Toni Jones - Thursday, April 30, 2015

I'm certainly up for the switch to "International". Should I begin practicing "eye-yack-ack"? I'll miss the sound of "OACAC"/ "owackack." But onward and upward! :)

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