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Media Advisory

For immediate use

July 30, 2007

Training for National College Advising Corps set for Chapel Hill

Sunday-Tuesday (Aug. 5-7)
Carolina Inn and Hyde Hall
UNC campus, Chapel Hill

Media representatives are invited to meet the 60 recent graduates from 11 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 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. 6)
1:30-2:45 p.m.
University Room, Hyde Hall
McCorkle Place
The session “KnowHow2Go” will present an overview of the national access campaign sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for Education, the American Council on Education and the Ad Council. David Cournoyer from Lumina will be available for questions.

Monday (Aug. 6)
4 p.m.
University Room, Hyde Hall
McCorkle Place

In the session “What Will the First Year Be Like?” past guides in the College Guide Program at the University of Virginia, the program that was the model for the National College Advising Corps, 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.

Following the tradition of the Teach for America and AmeriCorps programs, each of the participating institutions will recruit and train recent graduates to work as advisers in their states.  These advisers, working alongside guidance counselors, will 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 central office of the National College Advising Corps, a partnership between  the university, the Cooke Foundation and the National College Access Network, 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 University of Virginia. It will support the programs at its partner institutions and also encourage other schools to launch similar efforts.

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. Research shows that low-income and first-generation students are particularly underserved during the college application process. Notably, low-income high school graduates who score in the top quartile on standardized tests attend college at the same rate as high-income high school graduates in the bottom quartile.  Income also influences the attainment of higher education credentials, as only 36 percent of college-qualified low-income students complete bachelor’s degrees within 8½ years, compared with 81 percent of high-income students. 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:

For more information, visit these links:

March 21, 2007, news release announcing partnership: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar07/jackkentcooke032107.html
Advising Corps executive summary: http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar07/Carolina_College_Advising_Corps_Summary.pdf
UNC Admissions Web site: www.admissions.unc.edu

For a detailed agenda and more information, contact these sources:
National College Advising Corps contact: Nicole Hurd, (919) 962-2240 or nhurd@email.unc.edu
UNC News Services contacts: L.J. Toler, (919) 962-8589 or Susan Houston, (919) 962-8415 or susan_houston@unc.edu.