1. Kansas State University
  2. »Division of Communications and Marketing
  3. »K-State Today
  4. »Kansas State College Advising Corps seeks fall 2021 advisers to connect with first-generation...

K-State Today

February 8, 2021

Kansas State College Advising Corps seeks fall 2021 advisers to connect with first-generation college students

Submitted by Laura Loyacono

Wanting to positively change a student's life? The Kansas State College Advising Corps, or KSCAC, is recruiting advisers for the 2021-2022 school year to serve in one of 13 Kansas City area high schools.

The program taps recent college graduates to help increase the number of first-generation, low-income and underrepresented high school students entering and completing higher education.  

Register to attend a 2 p.m. virtual information session on Feb. 12 to learn about the responsibilities and benefits of being a KSCAC adviser. 

"High school students have a lot of anxiety about the college application process, which has only gotten worse with COVID," said Jonathan Ruiz Cervantes, an adviser at Wyandotte High School. "I draw upon my own experience as a first-generation college student and what it felt like to navigate the process. I grew up in the same neighborhood as my students, so I understand what they are going through."

Cervantes and his colleagues are part of a national network, College Advising Corps. The K-State chapter hires recent college graduates to serve as full-time college advisers in select high schools in Wyandotte and Johnson counties. Advisors help high school-aged students navigate the college admissions and financial aid processes so students can select a college that best fits their postsecondary plans.

Advisers offer a blend of virtual and in-person advising.

For example, last spring, Mallory Martin, adviser at Shawnee Mission Northwest, made the transition to virtual advising and continued to provide personalized support to the seniors. To accommodate the virtual learning format, Martin used technology, such as WebEx, social media, texting platforms and Google Sites to conduct outreach and meetings with students and families.

"Student and parent outreach have definitely looked different this year," said Martin. "I have found a lot of students prefer texting over emailing, so that has been a great resource, especially for quick check-ins on what schools students have applied to or if they have filled out their FAFSAs."

Still, advisers worry that some students will feel discouraged from pursuing higher education due to the cost, and many students are opting to work in low-wage jobs to support their families. Whether it be college, workforce, or military, advisers want students to understand their options, and make intentional best-fit decisions.

"The power of the College Advising Corps model is that high school students are able to connect with advisers with similar life experiences," said Meaghan Higgins, program director. "Advisers are able to tell their students, 'I went to college and so can you.' Working with a mentor who is will be with students every step of the way during senior year makes students' aspirations seem more attainable."

Learn more about KSCAC and sign up for the information session at linktr.ee/kscac

Contact: Meaghan Higgins, director, at mcbhiggins@k-state.edu