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The Role of the College Board


With the international recruitment environment becoming increasingly crowded and competitive, leading global higher education institutions are seeking effective ways to reach and attract best-fit students from around the world.

A proud and recognised supporter of these efforts, Clay Hensley, senior director of international strategy and outreach at the College Board, has worked diligently to forward the international engagement of College Board member universities. The College Board is an international membership organisation with a hundred-year heritage in educational advocacy and research. Under the leadership of Judith Hegedus, executive director of College Board International, who heads the organisation’s international initiatives, Clay supports the aspirations of international students and educators. He works with Judith to build and enhance relationships with educational organisations around the world.

Clay, the 2013 recipient of the Overseas Association for College Admission Counselling (OACAC)’s Distinguished Service award, promotes the effective use of College Board programmes and resources, including the SAT, the Advanced Placement Program (AP), and College Board Search.

Reaching Out

Serving as an ambassador to the international education community, Clay has broadened collaborations with organisations such as AACRAO, ACE, AIEA, APAIE, CIS, NACAC, NAFSA (the Association of International Educators), OACAC, among others. He has organised workshops on cost effective models to reach, attract, and retain best-fit students, on recent trends impacting key regions (such as China’s rapidly changing student mobility), and on global social media strategies. He has convened and moderated numerous panel discussions on the role of recruiting international undergraduates within the effective global engagement by universities. He has supported recent initiatives such as the Institute of International Education’s Generation Study Abroad campaign as well as the newly formed partnership between the College Board and the Khan Academy’s SAT test prep services. Clay has also supported Education USA, participating in their regional forums and supporting advising centres’ efforts in helping international students navigate the university admission process.

Working closely with international constituents, Clay has spearheaded outreach trips around the world promoting the value of Advanced Placement and the creation of recognition policies. Having a clear and accessible AP recognition policy helps institutions attract a diverse range of motivated high school students and enhance universities’ academic profiles. Both counsellors and students alike can use this site as a way to explore global options and learn how their advanced courses will be viewed at international institutions.

Clay has been an advocate for growing the number of SAT centres globally (which now reach 180 countries and territories.) Clay helped expand access to AP by spearheading the development of test centre models for the programme in countries such as China, India, Singapore and South Korea. He was also a catalyst behind the partnership that has led to the new interdisciplinary AP Capstone Diploma.

Big Future

Further, the College Board’s Big Future college planning site aids the overall search process and provides an “at-a-glance” look at colleges and universities around the world. Institutions such as King’s College London (U.K.), McGill University (Canada), and Warsaw University of Technology (Poland) and others join longstanding members such as Harvard University (U.S.), Yale University (U.S.), and MIT (U.S.), to become active players advocating for access, equity and excellence in education. Members also increase their visibility to the seven million students worldwide that the College Board serves each year. Visited by over 1.5 million students from 180 different countries and territories, Big Future not only helps international students, parents, and counsellors navigate through the admissions process, but it introduces institutions that may not have initially been considered and could turn out to be “best fit” to a student’s academic needs.