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Missouri College Advising Corps expands to include graduates of all University of Missouri System campuses

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Christian Basi

November 17, 2014

Program that empowers Missouri students to go to college and succeed will now utilize graduates of MU, UMSL, UMKC and Missouri S&T as advisers

COLUMBIA, Mo. – The Missouri College Advising Corps (MCAC; http://mcac.missouri.edu), a program headquartered at the University of Missouri in Columbia with a mission of steering Missouri students to college and lives of success, is expanding its scope to include the other three University of Missouri System campuses. Beginning in 2015, the program will now utilize graduates of the University of Missouri-St. Louis, University of Missouri-Kansas City and Missouri University of Science and Technology, in addition to graduates of the University of Missouri-Columbia, to serve as advisers in the program.

Established in 2007, the MCAC hires recent college graduates, trains them intensively on all college-related processes, and places them into partner high schools across the state to serve as full-time, near-peer college advisers. After selecting exclusively among graduates of MU for the program’s first seven years, the MCAC will now begin accepting graduates of all four UM System campuses.

“We are pleased that the MCAC has now expanded its adviser selection process to graduates of all four of our UM System campuses, which will ensure a rigorous candidate pool with additional candidates coming from areas already served by the program,” University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe said. “The addition of our UM System campuses in the mix will further empower the MCAC in its mission of making the college dreams of Missouri students a reality.”

“MCAC is now in its seventh year and has grown exponentially – serving in seven high schools in its first year and now in 37, and having nine advisers in year one to 41 now,”  MCAC Executive Director Beth Tankersley-Bankhead said. “As the program has evolved and grown, it is the perfect time to broaden the adviser selection process and include students from additional quality higher education institutions such as the schools of the University of Missouri System. I am excited for the expanded experiences among the adviser team and that MCAC is truly evolving into a statewide program, serving youth across the state.”

Of the 23 advising corps nationwide, each situated at a higher education, MCAC/MU is the first to expand its program to all graduates of its larger university system.

MCAC advisers work closely with school counselors and staff and enact a set of 17 quantifiable service deliverables, all of which are activities demonstrated through research to increase college-going trends. Advisers work with all students in the high schools served, most intensively focusing on seniors, helping them to navigate the college planning, admissions, and financing processes. Additionally, college advisers come from similar backgrounds, life experiences, schools and communities to those served by the MCAC. The program, currently serving 37 high schools across the state including in St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield and other locations in southern Missouri, has demonstrated a 10.35 percentage point increase in college-going rates, on average, across its partner schools.

Students from the four UM System campuses who are interested in becoming advisers can begin applying for positions in early 2015 through their campus Human Resources site. Those selected will begin service on July 1, 2015, and begin in their school placement site in the fall of 2015.