North­eastern Uni­ver­sity hosted a three-​​day con­fer­ence for the Over­seas Asso­ci­a­tion for Col­lege Admis­sion Coun­seling (OACAC) last week, bringing together nearly 900 par­tic­i­pants from 87 coun­tries to foster the organization’s goal of helping high school stu­dents make the tran­si­tion to college.

The con­fer­ence achieved the largest atten­dance in its 17-​​year his­tory. It was also the largest-​​ever regional affil­iate con­fer­ence of the National Asso­ci­a­tion for Col­lege Admis­sion Counseling.

Hosting the OACAC annual con­fer­ence was a great oppor­tu­nity for North­eastern Uni­ver­sity,” said Philomena Man­tella, senior vice pres­i­dent for enroll­ment man­age­ment and stu­dent affairs. “It has pro­vided the oppor­tu­nity for hun­dreds of sec­ondary school coun­selors from more than 80 coun­tries to come and expe­ri­ence our uni­ver­sity and allowed us to share the ini­tia­tives that con­tribute to the dis­tinc­tive­ness of Northeastern.

This is yet another example of our com­mit­ment to glob­al­iza­tion and rein­forcing our inter­na­tional rela­tion­ships to advance cross-​​cultural understanding.”

A major com­po­nent of this year’s con­fer­ence was the exten­sive use of Web 2.0 tools, orga­nizers said. Twitter and Face­book kept vis­i­tors informed about the con­fer­ence events, while edu­ca­tional work­shops explored how social media can be used more effec­tively in recruiting stu­dents across the country and around the globe. In addi­tion, the con­fer­ence offered a mobile phone appli­ca­tion that pro­vided vis­i­tors access to event schedules.

For both col­lege coun­selors and uni­ver­sity rep­re­sen­ta­tives, my hope is that everyone leaves having made some impor­tant con­nec­tions,” said OACAC Pres­i­dent Bridget Her­rera on Friday. “It is really impor­tant to net­work and get to know others and have an oppor­tu­nity to share infor­ma­tion about our stu­dents and insti­tu­tions to see alto­gether how we can match stu­dents up with universities.”

Col­lege and high school fairs on Friday, held in Matthews Arena, served as key net­working oppor­tu­ni­ties. Edu­ca­tional work­shops explored topics such as plan­ning suc­cessful high school and col­lege visits, preparing stu­dents to study abroad in col­lege and helping stu­dents reach their poten­tial. Ses­sions offered glimpses of stu­dent life and high school cur­ricu­lums in spe­cific regions of the world, and pro­vided strate­gies and tools nec­es­sary to embark on suc­cessful stu­dent recruiting trips around the globe.