|Media invited to gathering of National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill|
|Wednesday, July 30, 2008|
National College Advising Corps training
Sunday-Thursday (Aug. 3-7)
UNC campus, Chapel Hill
Media representatives are invited to meet the 132 recent graduates from 12 colleges and universities who will be at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill to train to be advisers in the National College Advising Corps, a program funded in part by $10 million from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation. The Advising Corps is the first national effort led by colleges and universities that places recent graduates in high schools and community colleges to increase access to higher education for first generation, low-income and underrepresented students.
Note: The following sessions will probably offer the best opportunities for quotes and good context for a story:
Monday (Aug. 4)
11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
In the session “What Will the First Year Be Like?” returning advisers will give new corps members advice on the challenges they will face, how to build coalitions within the schools and how to succeed. The advisers and program directors will be available after this session.
1:30 p.m.-3 p.m.
In this session, members of the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance (committee appointed jointly by the U.S. Congress and Department of Education) will provide an overview of the college access landscape and the barriers that prevent students from applying and attaining degrees.
Wednesday (Aug. 6)
Chancellor Holden Thorp will address the 2008-09 Advising Corps. The advisers and program directors will be available after this session. The Chancellor will be introduced by Autumn Clark of Martinsville, Va., a Carolina sophomore who was encouraged to apply to college by Paulin Cheatham, an adviser from the University of Virginia.
Thursday (Aug. 7)
9:30 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
Sonja Haynes Stone Center
“Life Beyond the Corps” will feature veteran advisers and discuss the benefits of service, including how the Corps shaped their graduate school and career aspirations.
Following the tradition of the Teach for America and AmeriCorps programs, each of the participating institutions recruits and trains recent graduates to work as advisers in their states. These advisers, working alongside guidance counselors, help students at partner high schools plan their college searches, complete admissions and financial-aid applications and overcome obstacles that might discourage them from continuing their education.
The national office of the College Advising Corps is based in Carolina’s Office of Undergraduate Admissions and is led by Dr. Nicole Hurd, founding director of the College Guide Program at the U.Va. The national office supports the programs at partner institutions and also encourages other schools to launch similar efforts. The University of Illinois joined the Corps this month.
The universities in the advising corps recognize that college access has become a major issue for our nation’s students. The National Center for Educational Statistics found that the national average for students to guidance counselors is 488 to 1. Experts say that a lack of guidance and information about college has had a real effect on students in poor urban and rural schools. A recent report (http://ccsr.uchicago.edu/downloads/1835ccsr_potholes_summary.pdf) by the Consortium on Chicago School Research found that only 41 percent of students in Chicago Public Schools who wanted to attend college took the necessary steps to apply. The report also found that, of the students who attended college, only one-third enrolled in a school that matched their qualifications. Of the students who had the grades and test scores to attend a selective college, 29 percent went to a community college or skipped college entirely. Clearly, the difference in rates of admission and attainment of college degrees is due, in large part, to the lack of access available to lower-income students.
The following colleges and universities are partners in the National College Advising Corps:
Advising Corps executive summary: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar07/
Advising Corps Web site: www.advisingcorps.org
UNC Admissions Web site: www.admissions.unc.edu