APSCU's Hill Day will take place March 3-5, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency Crystal City in Arlington, Virginia. Whether you have attended several Hill Days or this is your first time, here are some of the most frequently asked questions and answers.
What is Hill Day?
Annually, APSCU hosts a Hill Day event in our nation's capital. Hundreds of representatives from our member institutions along with their students, alumni, employer advocates and other third-party partners participate in presentations, followed by visits with their elected officials on Capitol Hill. These visits with members of Congress and congressional staff members provide an opportunity to educate them on the role our institutions play within the higher education sector.
What are the typical Hill Day events and activities?
During Hill Day, our member institutions participate in committee meetings, attend presentations, and meet with members of Congress that culminate with the Graduate Recognition for Excellence, Achievement and Talent (GREAT) Awards program on Wednesday.
Who from my institution should attend Hill Day?
APSCU member institution faculty and staff are welcome to attend. In addition to staff, we strongly encourage member institutions to invite and bring advocates that can provide validation of the institution's value such as students, alumni, employers and community partners.
Do I have to attend the Public Policy Forum sessions being held on March 4th to participate in the congressional meetings on March 5th?
We strongly encourage you to attend the Public Policy Forum sessions. The presentations are designed to prepare you for your Hill visits, provide important background information on our policy asks, and give you an opportunity to network with your peers.
What is the main policy "ask" for the Hill Day Congressional visits?
This year, registered Hill Day attendees will be focused on the impact of the proposed gainful employment regulation. In preparation for their congressional visits, each attendee will receive background information and talking points on the proposed regulation.
Will APSCU schedule visits with members of Congress on my behalf?
Yes. If you are an APSCU education member institution, we will work to schedule meetings with your Representative or Senators. To identify your members of Congress per campus location please visit APSCU's Advocacy site. Then indicate those members of Congress on your registration form. Schedules fill-up quickly, so we recommend you register as soon as possible for Hill Day.
In addition, please indicate the names of students, alumni and employers that will be joining you during your congressional Hill Day office visits. This is important, as we must supply a list of attendees to the member's scheduler in advance of the meeting.
Lastly, please indicate your arrival and departure information on your registration form so we can do our best to schedule an appointment on your behalf.
I'm an Allied Member. Will APSCU schedule Congressional meetings on my behalf?
APSCU submits congressional meeting requests for our education member institutions. However, as an Allied Member we do welcome you to participate in Hill Day by either scheduling your own meetings or working with an APSCU education member institution that you have a relationship with to join them in their meetings.
When will know who I am meeting with?
A detailed schedule of who you will be meeting with will be provided in your packet when you check-in at the registration desk. However, if you need an advance copy of your schedule, with the understanding that times are subject to change, contact APSCU's Kristine Gager via email at email@example.com.
Please note that your guests (students, alumni, employers or other advocates) will not receive packets.
Do I need to register?
Yes. Even though registration is free, we still need attendees to register in advance so we can get accurate counts for meals as well as produce name badges and information packets.
Are employers, students and alumni responsible for registering themselves?
No. If you have invited a student, alumni and/or an employer, your institution is responsible for registering them with APSCU via the online registration form. On the form, please indicate that the person registered is a guest of your institution.
The registration form looks different this year. Who do I contact if I have any questions?
In an attempt to streamline the registration process, the form has changed. Before submitting your registration form, APSCU's Kristine Gager can answer any questions you have about the process. She can be reached at 202.336.6714 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I need to cancel my registration for Hill Day. How do I do that?
If you are unable to attend Hill Day, and especially if you've requested our assistance in scheduling congressional meetings, please contact APSCU's Kristine Gager at email@example.com.
What dates should I arrive and depart? What airport do you recommend?
The official Hill Day event starts on Monday, March 3rd with our welcome reception and ends on Wednesday, March 5th. Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) is the closest to the hotel.
What should I do to prepare for Hill Day?
You should be prepared to provide basic information about your organization:
Most importantly, quantify the difference your institution makes to the community. These numbers should be included in the abovementioned documents as well as talking points in your discussion with the official.
Tips for Successful Meetings with Your Elected Official
Remember that most Hill visits are brief (15-20 minutes) and often with legislative staffer who are responsible for education issues. Therefore, plan on making no more than three key points, using examples and, if you brought an employer and/or a student/alumni, give these advocates time to talk.
Be Prepared and Concise
Review and rehearse the key points you want to make.
Be on Time
But don't be surprised if the members of Congress or their staff are not on time. Congressional schedules are hectic; therefore you need to be flexible and patient. If APSCU has scheduled your meetings, we work to accommodate for the unexpected. If you are running late for your next appointment, call that office to let them know. The office phone numbers for each meeting are included on your schedule, which can be found in your information packet.
Answer their questions, but if you can't, let them know you will get back to them with the information and follow-up.
Thank your elected official or the congressional staff person and following the meeting send a thank you note to the person you met with. In your thank you note, consider mentioning an open invitation to visit your campus when the member of Congress is back in the district/state.
Please complete the feedback form that APSCU provides to let us know how your congressional visits went, what was discussed and what we can do to improve on our annual Hill Day event.
This is my first time attending Hill Day. Do you have any tips for me?
Here are some tips and tricks from the APSCU staff:
Still have questions about Hill Day? Contact APSCU's Government Relations Program Specialist Kristine Gager at 202.336.6714 or via email.
PSCUs open doors to many of the 13 million unemployed and 90 million undereducated Americans by providing a skills-based education. To remain competitive over the next decade, we must identify between 8 and 23 million new workers with postsecondary skills. PSCUs are a necessary part of that solution, having produced over 800,000 degrees last year alone.