The University of Virginia launched the Virginia College Advising Corps, then called the College Guide Program, in fall 2005 to address the widening gap in college access for low income, first generation, and under-represented students. Initial funding was provided by the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation.
The Corps places recent U.Va. graduates in high schools throughout the Commonwealth to work alongside counselors and other college access organizations. College Advisers serve full-time in their placement sites for two years. They become mentors within the school setting, and are often the key resource for students to persist in their education beyond high-school. Our goal is to encourage and assist high school students with college applications, financial aid, scholarship searches, and making the transition to post-secondary education, in an effort to raise the percentage of Virginia students who attend and complete college.
Currently 17 Advisers serve 19 high schools throughout Virginia. VCAC was the model for the National College Advising Corps, now a cohort of 17 national universities using recent undergraduate alumni to encourage students to pursue higher education. Since the programÃ?Â¢??s inception in 2005, VCAC has served more than 94,000 students and helped over 8,000 students enroll in post-secondary institutions.
"Being a college adviser means being a resource and a guide for students. Someone that they can feel comfortable talking to and can trust; but also, someone who is a role model. Being an adviser to me means being a supportive means of inspiration; a person who helps others realize their potential and achieve it, whether its going off to a 4-year institution, community college, or trade school." - CHRISTINA MATTALIANO, ADVISER AT MAGNA VISTA HIGH SCHOOL (RIDGEWAY, VA)