Four year colleges and universities throughout the United States participate in the College Advising Corps. Recent graduates engage in a five week training session, and learn strategies for increasing college entrance and completion rates for rural, low income, first generation, and students from underrepresented populations (Carolina College Advising Corps, 2011). Within the state of North Carolina, college advising programs are funded by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, North Carolina State University, Duke University, and Davidson College.
College advisers have new experiences each day as they learn to advocate for students by increasing their confidence and helping them realize their full potential. They are responsible for scheduling college visits to local institutions, counseling students and parents on financial aid, assisting with admissions and scholarship applications, and serving as a reference for students who want to go to college, but may not have the grades or funding to do so. Through the College Advising Corps, students in rural and low income areas receive academic and personal support and guidance that they may not receive otherwise.
Students in more affluent schools and areas have access to opportunities that are unavailable to rural and low income students. For example, many students that received assistance from the College Advising Corps later became low income, first generation college students. Since most of their parents did not attend college, they had to familiarize themselves with the college application, admission, and enrollment process, financial aid, and preparation for standardized testing. Students from more affluent schools and areas have access to more advanced placement and SAT and ACT preparation courses, easier access and entrance to universities because of family connections, and financial support from family members as they pursue a college education.
Without programs like the College Advising Corps, high school completion rates would decrease, college admission and completion rates for underrepresented students would decrease, and students would not be motivated to explore what life has to offer outside of their current setting. Students who attend institutions of higher education come from a variety of backgrounds with differing opportunities and levels of college preparation at their previous schools. Individuals who work with students from rural and low socioeconomic status areas should consider the different backgrounds and experiences of students as they interact and work with them in the future. More high schools in rural and low income areas should also consider participating in the College Advising Corps to provide more resources for students. Learn more about the College Advising Corps and the benefits that it offers here. http://advisingcorps.org/
Carolina College Advising Corps (2011). Retrieved from http://carolinacollegeadvisingcorps.unc.edu/