About Us

Mission Statement 
The Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools is an educational leader and professional community that empowers its members as they educate and support students, families, and institutions through a lens of equity, inclusion, and belonging in an ever-changing college admission landscape.

Vision statements

  • ACCIS will deliver timely, relevant, and innovative programming to inspire and inform members in their college counseling work;
  • ACCIS will model learning and growth while leading change in independent schools to center diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging in college admission counseling;
  • ACCIS will work collaboratively to address the social, ethical, and pedagogical forces at play in the world we live in and their intersection with higher education.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Statement:
Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) are central to ACCIS’s mission and vision statements, which uphold and center a commitment to creating more inclusive communities while fighting oppression of historically underrepresented groups. We recognize and acknowledge that educational institutions can produce and reproduce systems of inequity and exclusion. By continually engaging with DEIB work, ACCIS aims to empower our members — and by extension, their school communities — to thrive and reach their full potential. Striving to be an inclusive community is an ever-evolving imperative that requires skill, a growth mindset, empathy, and humility.

ACCIS will model a practice of inquiry and a culture of shared responsibility for the purpose of identifying, challenging, denouncing, and dismantling oppressive systems in our association and member schools. We commit to initiating purposeful conversations that challenge ACCIS leaders and members to examine individual habits, common practices, established policies, and existing culture in K-12 schools and higher education.

A little history...

The Association of College Counselors in Independent Schools is an international membership organization providing support, shared knowledge, and professional development programming for college counselors based in independent (non-public) schools around the globe. ACCIS counts over 600 schools as members, represented by over 2100 counselors and office assistants working to support the students in their care. 

Founded in 2007, ACCIS was formed to offer independent school college counselors a professional association focused on the specific needs and challenges of their work with students and families in independent school communities. The intent was to supplement existing organizations such as the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) and to provide additional and more focused opportunities to a specific constituent group. Forty-two founding schools provided seed funding and initial support for the Association.

In 2008, ACCIS hosted its first Summer Institute at Kenyon College with 75 attendees. A year later, Colorado College hosted the next Institute, and since then, Summer Institutes have been hosted annually on campuses across the country in what has become the Association's flagship professional development gathering, featuring outstanding member-generated content and notable speakers. Dozens of other colleges have hosted ACCIS Colloquia, counselor tours, programs for college counseling office assistants, and leadership team meetings. As the Association has grown in both membership and national presence, colleges continue to express interest in hosting ACCIS programs, a testament to the important work of college counselors who support students and colleagues alike.

ACCIS’s growth and its extensive programming are the products of an expansive network of volunteers dedicated to the Association’s mission. At its founding, the Association had only two part-time employees; all other planning and operations were carried out by the Boards of Trustees, volunteer executive directors who also held full-time positions in independent schools, and a host of volunteer committee chairs. In 2016, in an effort to move the strategic plan forward and to continue to grow the organization, the Board of Trustees approved the appointment of a full-time executive director, the first in the association's history. With that full-time executive director in place as of January 2017, just prior to the Association's 10-year anniversary, ACCIS moved ever forward in providing essential professional development and leadership to independent school college counselors as they help families navigate the transition to post-secondary education.  

Non-Discrimination Statement
As an equal opportunity employer and an organization that assists independent school college counselors and the students in their care, ACCIS expresses an ongoing commitment to the principles of diversity, equity, and inclusion. ACCIS does not discriminate in its operations on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, ancestry, age, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, military or veteran status, pregnancy, personal appearance, family responsibilities, socio-economic status, medical condition, political affiliation, or any other category protected by federal, state, or local law.

Commitment to Antiracist Action (adopted January 2021)

ACCIS Bylaws as of May 2021