School Advising Corps in North Carolina
College Guidance and Counseling

School Advising Corps in North Carolina

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  • Inserting current graduates in underserved excessive faculties, @AdvisingCorps in North Carolina seeks to spice up postsecondary entry and attainment among the many state’s highschool college students.
  • “As a near-peer school adviser, I meet one-on-one with college students to information them each step of the best way as they search for a postsecondary match and match — be that neighborhood school, navy service, or a four-year college.” @AdvisingCorps
School Advising Corps in North Carolina

Lyric Larson graduated from Caldwell Early School Excessive Faculty final month and is headed to Western Carolina College this fall with the Jack Kent Cooke Basis scholarship in hand. 

Larson mentioned pursuing a bachelor’s diploma had all the time been a dream of hers, however residing in rural North Carolina with restricted assets and funds created challenges. When it got here time to use for scholarships and faculties, Larson mentioned having the assistance of School Advising Corps (CAC) adviser Selena Kongmany made all of the distinction. Kongmany assisted Larson with purposes, serving to her determine assets and ensuring Larson knew what she wanted to finish each.

Larson is among the many 1000’s of scholars throughout the nation who obtain help from CAC advisers every year. The nationwide nonprofit locations current school graduates in underserved excessive faculties throughout the nation to assist college students plan and put together for his or her subsequent steps after highschool.

CAC advisers don’t change highschool school counselors. As a substitute, advisers work along side the advisors on campus – serving to fill the faculty counselor hole. Based on School Advising Corps, nationally the student-to-counselor ratio is 415:1. Meaning many college students have, on common, solely 20 minutes a 12 months with a school counselor. 

How School Advising Corps works

School Advising Corps dates again to 2005 when Dr. Nicole Hurd who, on the time, served as dean and director of the Middle for Undergraduate Excellence on the College of Virginia (UVa), began the “School Information” program. With the assistance of the Jack Kent Cooke Basis, this system positioned 14 current UVa graduates in rural Virginia communities to assist low-income, first-generation school college students with the faculty planning and utility course of. 

This system was a hit, and in 2007, the Jack Kent Cooke Basis, with assist from the Lumina Basis, expanded this system nationally and moved CAC’s headquarters to the College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

School Advising Corps’ mission is straightforward: “Improve the variety of low-income, first-generation school, and underrepresented highschool college students who enter and full increased schooling.” 

Postsecondary attainment is a pathway to financial alternative. The lifetime earnings of somebody with a school schooling are higher than somebody with solely a highschool schooling. Not solely does postsecondary attainment assist transfer households economically, additionally it is linked to raised bodily and psychological well being, relationships, and civic engagement. 

Hannah, a Caldwell Early School Excessive Faculty graduate, throughout school determination day. Hannah labored with CAC adviser Selena Kongmany. Courtesy of School Advising Corps

CAC works with associate universities and highschool college students to supply them with personalised steering on school admissions, monetary support, and enrollment.

Throughout the 2020-2021 faculty 12 months, CAC advisers served greater than 223,000 highschool seniors. That very same 12 months, CAC partnered with 30 universities nationwide and positioned greater than 820 advisers in over 775 excessive faculties in 19 states.

The group makes use of two program fashions to serve highschool college students – in-school and digital. The in-school mannequin locations educated, current school graduates on highschool campuses. Advisers collaborate with faculty employees to attach with college students, serving to them navigate the faculty admissions course of. This contains assist with FAFSA purposes, SAT/ACT charge waivers, and extra. Advisers present steering along with the present counseling employees at the highschool.

Digital advisers join with college students through video chat, electronic mail, phone name, and textual content messages.

The service offered by the advisers is free to the excessive faculties and the scholars and is funded by way of the AmeriCorps program. Advisers encourage highschool college students to discover all postsecondary choices, together with acquiring credentials from two- and four-year establishments, profession pathways, and navy enlistment. They work with college students to develop a listing of selections that match their future targets.  

School Advising Corps in North Carolina

North Carolina is predominantly rural. Based on the N.C. Rural Middle, 78 of the state’s 100 counties are thought-about rural. 

College students and households in these areas usually face distinctive challenges, together with fewer well being care choices, an absence of jobs that supply family-sustaining wages, unreliable transportation, and insufficient broadband web.

Whereas nationally, highschool commencement charges in rural communities are 4% increased than the nationwide common, college students from rural areas aren’t attending school on the similar price as these in city and suburban areas.

However low school attendance isn’t just an issue in rural North Carolina. Solely 41% of North Carolinians aged 18-24 are enrolled in a postsecondary establishment, putting the state twenty eighth amongst all states in 2019. 

To spice up school entry and attainment, CAC locations current school graduates in underserved excessive faculties in rural, suburban, and concrete areas throughout North Carolina.

CAC has 5 associate universities within the state: Appalachian State College, Duke College, North Carolina State College, College of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and College of North Carolina at Wilmington. Companion universities usually recruit from their very own pool of current graduates to fill adviser positions, although a number of recruit from any North Carolina establishment. 

A minimum of one adviser is positioned in 72 of the 100 counties. There are at the moment 124 advisers in 140 excessive faculties throughout the state, and that quantity is predicted to develop. Katrina Thompson, Director of North Carolina’s School Advising Corps, mentioned the plan is to be in 73 counties by 2023 with a objective to develop to extra counties by 2024.

Chelsea Vickers, CAC adviser from UNC-Chapel Hill, helps highschool college students at A.L. Brown Excessive Faculty in Kannapolis. Courtesy of School Advising Corps

Changing into an adviser in North Carolina

Kallie Kressly is one in all Appalachian’s School Advising Corps’ advisers and serves a small Ok-12 constitution faculty in Crossnore. Based on a current perspective by Kressly, the vast majority of the scholars on the faculty are full-time residents of the Crossnore Dwelling for Kids and are in custody of the state. Kressly mentioned the scholars she works with usually have opposed circumstances that trigger important limitations to postsecondary entry, planning, and enrollment.

Like Kressly, North Carolina CAC advisers serve quite a lot of college students who face a number of challenges on the subject of the faculty planning course of. Planning can embody a number of actions from scholarship and school purposes, FAFSA, residency willpower kinds, and extra. The advisers work full-time in high-need excessive faculties for 2 years.

“As a near-peer school adviser, I meet one-on-one with college students to information them each step of the best way as they search for a postsecondary match and match — be that neighborhood school, navy service, or a four-year college.”

– Chelsea Vickers, CAC adviser

North Carolina college companions with School Advising Corps are nonetheless recruiting current school graduates to fill adviser positions. Latest graduates taken with making use of to grow to be a School Advising Corps adviser in North Carolina can go to the CAC-North Carolina recruitment web page. Hyperlinks for job postings at every N.C. college associate might be accessed by way of the recruitment web page.

Emily Thomas

Emily Thomas is a coverage analyst for EducationNC.