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The Michigan College Advising Corps (MCAC) is a diverse group of recent University of Michigan graduates working full-time as college advisers in under-served high schools throughout Michigan. To address the widening gap in college preparation, counseling and programming, advisers help students navigate every aspect of the college-going process and identify their personal best fit. Additionally, they work with principals, counselors and teachers to foster a college-going culture in their school and community. Through this work, advisers help increase the number of low-income, first-generation and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education.
Following in the tradition of the AmeriCorps and Teach for America programs, MCAC recruits and trains this diverse group to work for one or two years following the completion of an undergraduate degree. MCAC is one of 23 constituent programs in the National College Advising Corps, a consortium of colleges and universities whose aim is to increase the number of first-generation college going students in the United States.
History of the Program
In 2004, the University of Virginia piloted a project that utilized recent college graduates as “college guides” that were placed in under-served high schools in the Charlottesville area to serve as a resource for low-income, first-generation and underrepresented high school students in need of assistance navigating the college-going process. In 2007, the project received a large grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation and the National College Advising Corps (NCAC) was formed and moved to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill campus. With increased funding from sources such as The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Lumina Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, and Bank of America the program has grown to:
- Employ 532 Advisers annually
- Serve 521 schools
- Serving 160,000 students located in 14 states
Who Are MCAC Advisers?
MCAC advisers play a pivotal role in the education and achievement of under-served youth. Navigating the college-going process can be an overwhelming prospect even for students with access to valuable resources. Students from under-served schools in particular do not have adequate access to the programs and services that expose them to the wonderful possibilities a college education can bring; the knowledge and information necessary to prepare for college; and the one-on-one advising that helps to motivate them on their journey toward fulfilling their dream of a college education.
MCAC advisers, who are closer in age and experience to the high school students they serve, bring enthusiasm, an entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and a strong desire to participate in making this dream come true for their students. At the same time, MCAC provides advisers with a tremendous professional development experience as well as the pride and satisfaction associated with knowing that they have made a difference in the lives of so many youth.
MCAC advisers do not replace professional counseling staff, but rather to supplement them, serving as student advocates and liaisons. Advisers facilitate programs that address awareness of college-going opportunities, knowledge of financial aid resources and application processes, practice for personal essay writing, and other topics regarding the college-going process. The advisers make individual contact with students who may not have exposure to resources or assistance with the college decision-making process beyond school’s available resources. In this one-on-one relationship between students and advisers, advisers grow to become students’ trusted mentors.
Where are MCAC Adivsers?
Current MCAC partner high schools include:
- Ypsilanti High School, Ypsilanti
- Jackson High School, Jackson
- Battle Creek Central High School, Battle Creek
- Holland High School, Holland
- Ottawa Hills High School, Grand Rapids
- J.W. Sexton High School, Lansing
- Eastern High School, Lansing
- Flint Northwestern High School, Flint
- Flint Southwestern Classical Academy, Flint
- Pontiac High School, Pontiac
- Saginaw High School, Saginaw
- Chandler Park Academy, Harper Woods
For more information about the Michigan College Advising Corps, please contact:
Acting MCAC Program Director