Here - Carolina College Advising Corps

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Here - Carolina College Advising Corps
HIGH SCHOOL
The Other Counselors
Carolina has taken the lead in a program
that tries to ensure that nobody misses
out on college ‘for no good reason at all.’
by Bill Krueger
raceli Morales wants to do something unheard of in
her family. She wants to go to college.
Morales is 17, a senior at Graham High School.
Located just a few miles off I-85 in Alamance
County, Graham is full of kids whose greatest aspiration is to finish high school. Some are simply waiting to turn 16
so they can drop out. Many of them come from low-income families where college simply is not a consideration, either because it
seems too expensive or too difficult to get in.
Morales, though, is determined. Her dream school is Davidson,
but she has applied to others “just in case.” The process hasn’t been
easy. No one in her family went to college; she can’t turn to her
parents for advice about what to write in her essay or how to
apply for financial aid. And her parents don’t speak English, so it’s
tough for them to seek help for their daughter.
But Morales is getting advice and help — from Jennifer Alston
’09.
PHOTOS
BY
DAN SEARS ’74
A
It’s Jennifer Alston’s
job at Graham High
to find and counsel
students such as
Araceli Morales,
seated, who want to
go to college but
lack the necessary
support at home.
28
“I think this is good, but you need to go back and check your
grammar,” Alston — barely out of college herself — tells Morales
after looking over one of her application essays. They are huddled
around a small table in Alston’s office, set up in a trailer behind the
school. College posters and pennants cover the walls.
One of the colleges requires a 680-word essay. Another wants
one that’s only 500 words. Morales can’t figure out what to cut for
the shorter one.
March/April 2011
C A RO L I N A A L U M N I R E V I E W
29
A mutual benefit
Farmer set out in 2006 to address that
problem, jumping at an opportunity when
the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation was
offering grant money to expand a collegeaccess program that had been started at the
University of Virginia.
The next year, UNC was awarded $1
million to start a North Carolina program
and additional money to host the national
office of the National College Advising
Corps. North Carolina, with 21 advisers in
55 schools across the state, is now one of 14
30
March/April 2011
BY
‘I’ve never been involved in something
more rewarding. It’s really in the
DNA of this institution.
At Carolina, part of our makeup
is to be thinking about public service
and outreach this way.’
PHOTOS
“Don’t worry too much about 500
words,” Alston tells her. “You’re going to be
fine. They just don’t want you to write a
novel. Being a little over is not going to
hurt you, especially if it’s worth reading. I
think you’re on the right track.”
That’s Alston’s job, to make sure Morales
and other high school students are on the
right track to getting into college. Alston is
an adviser in the Carolina College Advising
Corps, a program run out of UNC to help
high school students like Morales get to
college. The program targets students who
don’t see college as a viable option and
tries to show them that it’s attainable. The
advisers are assigned to work in schools
that have high percentages of kids getting
free and reduced-price lunches and that
have had low numbers of students moving
on to four-year colleges. In many of the
schools, the ratio of students to regular
counselors is astronomical.
“There are students in every school
across the state who are capable of going to
college who never make it there,” said
Stephen Farmer, associate provost and
director of undergraduate admissions at
Carolina. “There are a lot of little obstacles
that seem insurmountable to a low-income
student or to someone whose family has
never gone to college.”
Students from middle-class or wealthy
households aren’t even aware of those
obstacles. College is simply assumed to be
the next step after high school.
“They are like cracks in the sidewalk,”
Farmer said. “But to somebody who grows
up in different circumstances and doesn’t
get the same kind of support, they are not
cracks in the sidewalk. They may as well be
the Grand Canyon. It’s wrong that kids
miss out on going to college for no good
reason at all.”
DAN SEARS ’74
THE YOUNGEST COUNSELORS
Nicole Hurd
states with such a program. Nicole Hurd, a
UVA professor who ran the Virginia program, moved to Chapel Hill to head the
national program, which serves as an
umbrella organization for the state programs.
“I’ve never been involved in something
more rewarding,” Hurd said. “It’s really in
the DNA of this institution. At Carolina,
part of our makeup is to be thinking about
public service and outreach this way.”
The advisers — recent Carolina graduates
who have demonstrated a penchant for pub-
Nicole Hurd, above left, headed an advising
corps program at the University of Virginia.
Now she runs the national program from
Chapel Hill. Yolanda Keith coordinates the
North Carolina corps, in which recent
Carolina graduates are the heart of the enterprise. “Any student who wants to be served
will be served,” Keith says. UNC undergraduate admissions director Steve Farmer is pictured at top.
lic service — are the heart of the program.
They are hired to spend one or two years
working in North Carolina high schools,
serving as counselor, cheerleader, financial
guru, scheduler, tour guide and whatever else
it takes to help college become a reality for
high school students who thought college
was beyond their grasp.
The advising corps reaches 9 percent of
all high school seniors statewide — nearly
5,000 — and 15 percent of those who
identify themselves as American Indian,
African-American or Hispanic.
The advising corps adviser sometimes is
the one person at school who is willing to
listen and talk with students about their
dreams of college.
This is not necessarily a funnel to
Chapel Hill — the goal is to find the college that’s the best fit for each individual
student. For some, that will be Carolina or
Harvard. For others, it may mean going to
a community college first and then transferring into a four-year school.
“We are an inclusive organization,” said
Yolanda Keith, the program coordinator for
the Carolina College Advising Corps. “Any
student who wants to be served will be
served.”
The pay for being an adviser is not
great, but the program helps the advisers
pay off student loans. Hurd said there are
15 applicants for every adviser chosen. The
vast majority of those who apply — and
those hired — are not education majors.
They have majored in sociology, public
health and journalism, among other fields.
Many are looking for a bridge between
their undergraduate years and graduate
school. Each adviser splits time between
two high schools.
“Carolina has a great population of
young, energetic, public service-oriented
young people,” Keith said.
Many of the advisers, like the students
they are serving, are first-generation college
students. That, plus their age, makes it easy
for them to relate to their students. Farmer
says the advisers serve as “living, breathing
evidence that it’s possible to get from where
the students are to where the advisers are.”
Justin Simmons ’07, who worked as an
adviser in two Charlotte high schools for
two years, said a lot of the kids he worked
with told him they could relate to him
continued on page 34
True or False
here are several popular — and
persistent — myths about UNC
undergraduate admissions. The
Review tackles them periodically. Here are
15 — every one of them false; to see how
the admissions office responds to these and
others, see the March/April 2010 Review’s
coverage at alumni.unc.edu/admit2010.
■ UNC has hidden admission caps and
quotas.
■ There are secret cutoffs for SATs,
ACTs, GPAs and number of AP courses.
■ Students from low-income families
have a better chance of getting in.
■ UNC does offer interviews, and they
do affect admissions decisions.
■ UNC prefers the SAT to the ACT.
■ First-deadline applicants have a better
chance of getting in than second-deadline
applicants.
■ It is better to pad and protect your
GPA than to take tough courses and risk a
slightly lower grade.
■ If students show how much they love
UNC — by calling, writing, e-mailing, visiting or sending gifts — they will have a
better chance of getting in.
■ Students who choose “undecided” for
intended major on their applications will
hurt their chances.
■ The children of deep-pocketed
donors — or of alumni, employees and
people otherwise connected with the University — almost always get in.
■ Being well-rounded is the key to getting in. Also its opposite: Having a passion
for one thing is the key to getting in.
■ Students who go to a certain kind of
high school — public or private, highly
competitive or underperforming — will
have a better (or worse — take your pick)
chance of getting in than students who
attend a different kind of school.
■ Letters of recommendation from bigname UNC alumni or other power brokers will make a big difference.
■ The junior year is the only year that
really counts.
■ A minor discretion will keep a student from getting in, so it’s best to try to
cover it up.
T
ONLINE: Have questions? Undergraduate
admissions has a place to ask them at
www.admissions.unc.edu/ask_carolina.html.
C A RO L I N A A L U M N I R E V I E W
31
THE YOUNGEST COUNSELORS
Geographic Distribution of Freshmen*
North Central 111
Guilford 255
Students with NC
in address field
Wake 612
Forsyth 146
Mid-Atlantic 246
East 140
Midwest 79
Northeast 143
Northwest 170
West Central 169
New
England
West
58
West 158
North
Carolina
Mecklenburg 458
South Central 366
n Demographics
Residency
North Carolina
Out of state
Total
Number
3,153*
807*
3,960
%
79.6%
20.4%
Sex
Female
Male
Total
Number
2,378
1,582
3,960
%
60.1%
39.9%
Race/Ethnicity*
Number
Caucasian/White
2,717
Asian-American/Asian
368
African-American/Black 362
Hispanic/Latino/Latina
123
Native American
19
Pacific Islander
2
Total
3,591
%
78.2%
16.1%
3.4%
2.3%
Cum%
78.2%
94.3%
97.7%
100.0%
*1,018 students did not report a class rank
Numerical Rank
Number
First
196
Second
153
Third
160
Fourth through 10th
727
Total
1,236
%
6.7%
5.2%
5.4%
24.7%
42.01%
Grade Point Average* Number
4.0 or higher
3,227
Average
4.47
%
89.2%
Cum%
6.7%
11.9%
17.3%
42.0%
*342 students did not report a GPA
1298
1328
1304
Middle 50 percent
North Carolina
1200-1390
Out of state
1210-1460
All
1200-1410
%
75.7%
10.2%
10.1%
3.4%
0.5%
0.1%
AP Results
Total scores submitted
Nationality
U.S. citizens
Permanent residents
Nonresident aliens
Total
Number
3,784
103
73
3,960
Scores 3+
15,034
% 3+
84.3%
ALL SCORES
Students % of class
Number of enrolling
students submitting 1 or more
2 or more
Students submitting 3 or more
Students submitting 4 or more
Students submitting 5 or more
Students submitting 6 or more
Students submitting 7 or more
Students submitting 8 or more
Students submitting 9 or more
Students submitting10 or more
Students submitting11 or more
Students
12 or more
Students submit 13 or more
Students submit 14 or more
SAT Score Bands Number
1600
5
1500s
204
1400s
738
1300s
1,145
1200s
955
1100s
493
1000s
166
Below 1000
56
Total
3,762
%
0.1%
5.4%
19.6%
30.4%
25.4%
13.1%
4.4%
1.5%
%
95.6%
2.6%
1.8%
*Geographic distribution is not necessarily tied to residency
status or citizenship. The number of students who qualified
for admission as in-state students differs from the number of
admitted students who have North Carolina addresses as their
primary residence, according to the admissions office. (For
example: A student might live with one parent out of state while
the other parent is a North Carolina resident and taxpayer.)
Scores
17,844
2,978
2,877
2,700
2,458
2,098
1,664
1,182
795
492
282
150
87
42
21
Cum%
0.1%
5.5%
25.1%
55.5%
80.9%
94.0%
98.4%
UNC, Fall 2010
North Carolina
Non-alumni children
Alumni children
Total
Applied
8,186
1,283
9,469
Admitted
3,914
821
4,735
Admit %
47.8%
64.0%
50.0%
Enrolled
2,551
602
3,153
Yield
65.2%
73.3%
66.6%
Out-of-State
Non-alumni children
Alumni children
Total
Applied
13,292
510
13,802
Admitted
2,606
218
2,824
Admit %
19.6%
42.7%
20.5%
Enrolled
715
92
807
Yield
27.4%
42.2%
28.6%
All
Non-alumni children
Alumni children
Total
Applied
21,478
1,793
23,271
Admitted
6,520
1,039
7,559
Admit %
30.4%
57.9%
32.5%
Enrolled
3,266
694
3,960
Yield
50.1%
66.8%
52.4%
South 284
Southwest 47
Durham 88
*Reflects students who reported one race or ethnicity
only; an additional 282 students reported two or more
races; another 87 students did not report race or ethnicity.
Sources: UNC Office of Undergraduate Admissions and
UNC Office of Institutional Research and Assessment
n Academics
Percentile Rank* Number
Top 10 percent
2,300
Second 10 percent
473
Third 10 percent
100
Below third 10 percent 69
Total
2,942
3,157*
Southeast 189
Orange 152
SAT Results*
Average
North Carolina
Out of state
All
29
n Profile of Freshmen Entering
By Residency and Alumni Status
SCORES 3+
Students
% of class
2,870
2,661
2,387
2,041
1,635
1,235
851
573
348
205
108
65
30
12
72.5%
67.2%
60.3%
51.5%
41.3%
31.2%
21.5%
14.5%
8.8%
5.2%
2.7%
1.6%
0.8%
0.3%
75.2%
72.7%
68.2%
62.1%
53.0%
42.0%
29.8%
20.1%
12.4%
7.1%
3.8%
2.2%
1.1%
0.5%
ACT Results*
Average
North Carolina
Out of state
All
Middle 50 percent
North Carolina
Out of state
All
28.3
30.0
28.8
26-31
28-33
27-31
By Residency and First-Generation College
North Carolina
FGC
Non-FGC
Total
Applied
2,308
7,161
9,469
Admitted
847
3,888
4,735
Admit %
36.7%
54.3%
50.0%
Enrolled
609
2,544
3,153
Yield
71.9%
65.4%
66.6%
Out-of-State
FGC
Non-FGC
Total
Applied
1,843
11,959
13,802
Admitted
276
2,548
2,824
Admit %
15.0%
21.3%
20.5%
Enrolled
109
698
807
Yield
39.5%
27.4%
28.6%
All
FGC
Non-FGC
Total
Applied
4,151
19,120
23,271
Admitted
1,123
6,436
7,559
Admit %
27.1%
33.7%
32.5%
Enrolled
718
3,242
3,960
Yield
63.9%
50.4%
52.4%
School and Community Activities
Participated in community service . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 94%
Played a sport . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 74%
Participated in music, drama or other arts . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 59%
Traveled outside my home country . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 55%
Held a job during the school year . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48%
President of class or club . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48%
Participated in academic competitions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47%
Participated in student government . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 34%
Captain of a varsity sport. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 33%
Contributed to a school publication . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 28%
Conducted research outside the classroom . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 27%
Earned all-conference or higher recognition as an athlete . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24%
Participated in academic or professional internship . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23%
Founded an organization . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 20%
Achieved fluency in non-native language . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17%
Earned National Merit Semifinalist recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10%
Named National Achievement Scholar . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10%
Served as editor-in-chief of a publication. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7%
Participated in Governor’s School. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7%
Earned National Merit Finalist recognition . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7%
Participated in Boys’ or Girls’ State . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
Earned Eagle Scout or Gold Award . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
Served as student body president . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6%
By State
State
Alaska
Ala.
Ark.
Ariz.
Calif.
Colo.
Conn.
D.C.
Del.
Fla.
Ga.
Hawaii
Iowa
Idaho
Ill.
Ind.
Kan.
Ky.
La.
Mass.
Md.
Maine
Mich.
Minn.
Mo.
Miss.
Mont.
N.C.
N.D.
Neb.
N.H.
N.J.
N.M.
Nev.
N.Y.
Ohio
Okla.
Ore.
Pa.
R.I.
S.C.
S.D.
Tenn.
Texas
Utah
Va.
Vt.
Wash.
Wis.
W.Va.
Wyo.
Applied
11
104
39
87
578
181
345
90
77
1,119
747
20
31
13
379
107
53
86
103
462
939
50
191
99
116
43
6
9,615
4
23
86
953
25
33
1,122
445
24
37
626
64
337
3
312
562
32
1,044
40
97
92
53
6
Admitted
0
29
11
21
102
36
47
21
21
365
213
1
8
2
58
18
21
30
25
52
206
6
17
22
24
13
1
4,743
0
8
5
148
6
7
230
90
5
15
93
3
87
0
88
163
4
232
4
16
15
7
1
Enrolled
0
1
2
8
30
8
13
4
6
94
68
0
3
0
17
4
5
8
6
12
64
1
5
7
5
1
0
3,157*
0
1
3
53
2
0
80
25
2
6
36
0
25
0
20
41
2
61
0
4
7
3
0
*Some N.C. residents have non-N.C. addresses, while
some nonresidents have N.C. addresses.
*2,594 students did not report ACT results
*For critical reading and math; 198 students did not report SAT results
32
March/April 2011
C A RO L I N A A L U M N I R E V I E W
33
DAN SEARS ’74
THE YOUNGEST COUNSELORS
Each adviser splits time between two high schools. Shamelle Ingram ’09 has Southern High and Hillside High in Durham. A public policy major at
Carolina, she’s decided she wants to go to graduate school for counselor education.
continued from page 31
better than they could with “these old
teachers and old counselors.”
“I liked some of the same things they
liked,” Simmons said. “We could talk about
musical artists they knew about. Knowing I
liked sports helped out. I was able to relate
to them.”
Shamelle Ingram ’09 is an adviser at two
Durham high schools — Southern and
Hillside. She was drawn to the program
because she was helped by a college-access
program when she attended an inner-city
high school in Trenton, N.J., that didn’t
have a good track record of sending students to college. Alston, who works at Graham High and another high school in Alamance, was attracted to the job as an
opportunity to give back. Her father, who
went to community college, lost his job
when Alston was in the eighth grade. Alston
34
March/April 2011
‘I’ve not been able to save the world,
but I’ve been able to save a piece
of it. And for me, that’s enough.’
Shamelle Ingram ’09
needed financial aid to go to college.
“I thought about it, and I would be doing
myself a disservice if I didn’t give back,”
Alston said. “I felt like it was my calling.”
All advisers are given intensive training in
the rules of college admissions, the process
for seeking financial aid, and how to work
with students, teachers, guidance counselors
and parents. But they also are given wide latitude in determining what sort of approaches
to use to reach the students in their schools.
Alston has made classroom presentations, set up a Facebook page to communicate with students and held countless oneon-one sessions with students. Rachel
Brody ’08 felt like she had to be a detective
to figure out how best to approach her job
as an adviser in Caldwell County. She
found that e-mail was not an effective way
to reach students but that building relationships with teachers and counselors led
them to send students to see her. She
arranged several community events to get
parents involved and made stickers for students proclaiming that they had applied for
college. Ingram has taken students on several tours of college campuses, letting them
see firsthand where they want to be. Many
of the advisers put together school assemblies last May to celebrate students who
were accepted into college.
The clean-slate club
Inevitably, though, the advisers’ idealism
collides with reality. They learn that they
can’t solve all the problems facing some
students and that many students — or their
parents — aren’t ready to buy into the
notion that college is an option.
“I’ve not been able to save the world,
but I’ve been able to save a piece of it,”
Ingram said. “And for me, that’s enough.”
Among the schools to which advising
corps counselors’ students have been admitted are Meredith College, N.C. State, UNCPembroke, N.C. Central and Appalachian, as
well as a number of community colleges.
Brody said she went into the program
hoping to see greater results but recognized
eventually that she was getting results beyond
the individual students she was helping. She
was excited when there was a big turnout
on the first date that students could take the
SAT. To Brody, that was tangible evidence
that her work was making a difference.
“We were changing a culture, and that
takes time,” she said. “The amount of information that was getting out into the community was changing the way people were
thinking about college.”
For most of the advisers, this is their
first full-time job. And Hurd says they learn
some valuable lessons in just two years.
“They go in very idealistic, but they
end up learning how to be strategic,” she
said. “They learn you can make an impact
as a young person, but you’re not going to
do it alone. They need to learn how to
work with others, how to collaborate.”
Farmer says the fundamental challenge
facing the advisers is to find 15 to 20 kids
in each school who are capable of going to
college but are at risk for not making it.
Some already may be thinking about college but don’t know how to get there.
Others may not have entertained the idea.
The advisers, he said, “can demystify the
process for families,” Farmer said. “They
can help people get excited about the
process instead of fearful.”
Jennifer Milton, a staff counselor at Graham High, says having someone like Alston
focusing solely on college access has
opened doors for students. Milton spends
most of her time dealing with issues to
keep students on track in high school —
mediating disputes between students, dealing with students who are considering
running away from home or committing
suicide, talking with kids who are missing
school. She has little time left to help students get to college.
Alston, she said, “doesn’t have a background with these students. She considers
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BARTON COLLEGE t MIAMI t LIPSCOMB t NORTH CAROLINA CENTRAL UNIVERSITY t DEPAUW t MOUNT OLIVE t
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ANOTHER GAA MEMBER EXCLUSIVE
August 12 & 13
Alumni Center
UNC Campus
College admissions questions?
We have answers.
The Alumni Admissions Forum is a seminar
designed specifically for 9th through 11th
grade students and their parents to provide
an in-depth view into the world of college
admissions.
Visit alumni.unc.edu/forum for additional
information and to register.
Questions? Contact Tanea Pettis ’95 at
[email protected] or call (919) 843-9694.
Participation in this program will have no effect on a student’s
application status should they decide to apply to Carolina.
General Alumni Association
C A RO L I N A A L U M N I R E V I E W
35
THE YOUNGEST COUNSELORS
Expanding carefully
Jerry Bowens, 19, is a sophomore at
Carolina now, thanks to the help he
received from an adviser at West Charlotte
High School. He did well in high school,
finishing second in his class, but knew that
he would need a lot of financial help to go
on. No one in his family had been to college, and he didn’t know how to navigate
the world of financial aid.
“All my friends kept talking about this
new lady here helping us with college applications,” Bowens said. “I had a lot of questions about college, the whole process, and
didn’t have an outlet to go to at home. Having that support system was very beneficial.”
Bowens assumed he was going to have
to rely on loans, but the adviser at his
school helped him find scholarship opportunities. He ended up being selected as a
Carolina Covenant Scholar, a member of
UNC’s renowned program that helps lowincome students graduate debt-free.
“That relieved a lot of stress for my
family,” he said. “I’m able to focus just on
my school work.”
Morales, the Graham senior who
dreams of Davidson, said Alston has helped
her with specific questions about college
applications and with encouragement to
keep pushing ahead when she reaches a
stumbling block.
“She’s been a great help for me. I appreciate the time she spends with me.”
The program has served more than
100,000 high school students nationally
since 1995 and has helped students secure
more than $5 million in scholarships and
grants for college. In North Carolina, the
program is in about 10 percent of all public
high schools; the 55 schools is substantially
36
March/April 2011
DAN SEARS ’74
them all as potential college applicants. We
may have experienced some burnout, but
she has come in with some new zeal.”
The program has a memorandum of
understanding with each of the schools it
serves that specifies that the advisers have
to be able to work with any student who
wants help. When the program began at
Virginia, they called it the “clean-slate
club” — no one is denied help because of
problems they’ve had before.
“The advisers have to be willing to listen to their colleagues in the school, but
they also have to be tenacious on behalf of
the kids they serve,” Farmer said.
Jerry Bowens finished second in his high school class, but he didn’t know how to navigate the
world of financial aid. Counseling led to his being chosen a Carolina Covenant Scholar.
‘All my friends kept talking
about this new lady here helping us
with college applications. I had a lot
of questions about college, the whole
process, and didn’t have an outlet
to go to at home. Having that
support system was very beneficial.’
Jerry Bowens
higher than the 18 originally projected for
this year. Twelve percent of all low-income
high school students statewide attend a
school served by an advising corps adviser.
School officials in Caldwell County, for
instance, say the presence of advisers in the
schools there has led to a big jump in the
number of kids going on to college —
from 24 percent who said in 2007 that
they planned to go to college to 38 percent
in 2009.
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As successful as the program has been,
Farmer hopes they can put advisers in
closer to 100 schools over the next five
years. But Hurd says it is important to be
deliberate in expanding, that the program
only works if it is based on a partnership
between the high schools and the program.
Guidance counselors and principals help
plan and help decide whom to hire as
advisers. “We’re trying to make sure we’re
all in this together, that the universities are
committed and that the high schools are
involved,” she said.
The national program just got an additional $500,000 from the Cooke foundation, whose funding was expected to
expire in May. In February, it received a
$1.5 million grant from the Pathways
Fund, a new public-private education partnership. When matched with other private
funds, this would enable the program to
add 50 advisers nationally and to expand
from four Charlotte high schools to about
eight. The program has received funding
nationally from Bank of America, the
Kresge Foundation and the Lumina Foundation for Education and in North Car-
DAN SEARS ’74
THE YOUNGEST COUNSELORS
olina from several foundations.
The advisers share some of that desire
to do more and do it quickly. Most of their
Jennifer Alston ’09 congratulates Graham
High senior Mariela Serrato, who’s just been
accepted to N.C. A&T State University.
work is with high school juniors and seniors, but they sometimes find that students’
grades are such a mess by that point that
getting to college is difficult. It would help,
they say, if there were advisers who could
get to students as early as middle school.
Sometimes that means advisers have to
provide students with a reality check. Their
dream may be to go to Carolina, but their
grade point average may say that community college may be a necessary first step.
“I’m not a dream-killer, but they have
to be realistic to reach their goals,” Alston
said. “Sometimes community college is the
best option.”
Alston recalls one girl who came to her
looking for help. She came from a singleparent home and had a low grade point
average.
“Something within her made her come
talk to me about her dream of going to
college. She said, ‘I know I have everything
working against me. Don’t have money. I
don’t have good grades.’ ”
Alston got her to work harder in the
classroom. She managed to raise her grade
point average and, with Alston’s help, was
‘I’m not a dream-killer, but they
have to be realistic to reach their
goals. Sometimes community
college is the best option.’
Jennifer Alston ’09
accepted at Livingstone College in Salisbury. Alston said she is doing well there.
“This is why I do this.”
Taking their own advice
In helping others, though, advisers often
find out something surprising about themselves. Most went into the program unsure of
what they wanted to do next. Graduate
school was likely for many, maybe law school
or even medical school. But it’s not uncommon for them to decide that they would like
to make a career out of counseling.
Brody is now in graduate school at
George Washington University, studying
public administration and working for a
nonprofit organization that does collegeaccess work. She was a double major in
political science and Spanish at Carolina
but now thinks she might want to work in
higher education.
“This took me on a path that I would
not have predicted,” she said.
Simmons, another former adviser, is in
graduate school for school counseling.
Ingram, a public policy major at Carolina,
wants to go to graduate school for counselor education.
“I would love to stay with a collegeaccess program,” she said. “I love working
with high school students, helping them
realize their potential.”
And Jerry Bowens, the sophomore at
Carolina who benefited from the help of
one of the program advisers?
He’s thinking about applying to be an
adviser in the Carolina College Advising
Corps after he graduates.
BILL KRUEGER is a writer based in
Raleigh.
ONLINE: Each spring, the Review
writes about admissions; past articles are
available online to GAA members at
alumni.unc.edu/admissions.
To those who helped us become the only top ten Children’s Hospital in North Carolina:
When you purchase products that bear
UNC logos, please look for the "Officially
Licensed Collegiate Product" hologram. This
hologram assures that the product has been approved by
UNC and that a portion of its proceeds will be directed
toward University programs. Revenue generated through
the sale of UNC merchandise helps to fund both needbased and academic scholarships.
Once again, U.S. News & World Report has ranked the North
Carolina Children’s Hospital among the nation’s top 10 Pulmonology
centers for children with respiratory problems. We were also recognized in
Diabetes and Endocrinology ranking 23rd in the nation.
To all of our physicians, researchers, nurses and staff members—we
applaud you. Because of your courageous effort and selfless dedication, this
hospital can be called one of the nation’s finest.
Families across North Carolina can rest easy knowing their children
have access to world-class care at one of the best children’s hospitals in the
entire country—here in Chapel Hill and at more than 25 satellite clinics
throughout the state including our N.C. Children’s Specialty Clinic on the
campus of Rex Hospital in Raleigh.
What drives us? Our mission is simple. Make the world a healthier and
happier place for kids.
ncchildrenshospital.org
38
March/April 2011
C A RO L I N A A L U M N I R E V I E W
39

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