Two years ago, the Dare County Board of Education began seeking funding for a Carolina College Advising Corps adviser. The community came through, and by early summer recent UNC grad Seth Rose was making the rounds, meeting the three local high school principals. He spent July in training, and by late August he was in place. Now, the question is – how did we ever do without him?
At First Flight High School, Yolanda Keith, Chris Barnes and Mary Melone represented the CCAC and came out for the one year anniversary of the CCAC in the district. With FFHS Principal Arty Tillett, the attendees included County Commissioners, Board members, major donors to the program, and Superintendent of Schools Sue F. Burgess.
The Corps aims to help low-income, first-generation and under-represented students apply and enroll in a higher education institution where they will succeed, and importantly, stay until graduation. The CCAC adviser helps out on several fronts – by assisting school counselors, who realistically don’t have the time it takes to give individual attention to students, and by being a near-peer – bringing in not only a cool factor but he is current on everything-college. The CCAC advisers do have time to spend to help with the FAFSA, to find the best match for students, to help edit college and scholarship essays, and answer other questions that occur to students. They also go on tours of colleges, where grant funding is available.
Keith said that on average, in schools or districts with a CCAC adviser, college admission is generally increased by 10%. But the problem for Dare County, especially being in such a remote location, is that of retention – kids not opting to “come home” but to stay and thrive on the campus of their choice. The match and fit part of Rose’s toolbox helps out with that.
There were four students at the table who had personal stories of how Rose had helped them, and with each story one had to think – where would these kids be going to school - or what plans would they have - were it not for Rose’s interventions? First Flight High School seniors Ian Kenny and Peter Yanacek, and Manteo High School seniors Dora Tovar and Sydney Putnam all had different takes on the ways in which they have been and are being advised by Rose. The two big things were filling out the FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) correctly to receive maximum benefits, and to apply for individual school scholarships, which can be the difference between going to a school or not. Rose encouraged following their school or schools of choice on Instagram and twitter – for that matter, FAFSA also has a twitter feed!
Rose also volunteers to participate in school events - such as plays and announcing for spelling bees. These kids, plus many of the district’s juniors and several sophomores – hold Seth Rose in very high esteem. In 2017-2018, another adviser will be assigned to Dare County, making room for another near peer - but Rose’s impact will be felt for many years to come.
Funded by grants and private gifts and based in the Office of Undergraduate Admissions at UNC-Chapel Hill, the Corps aims to help low-income, first-generation and under-represented students apply and enroll in a higher education institution where they will succeed by placing UNC-Chapel Hill graduates in selected high schools across the state. The Corps is a constituent program of the national College Advising Corps.
Many thanks to individual contributions and the major donors who have made this program possible in Dare County – Dare County Boat Builders Foundation, Bear Drugs, Brew Thru, Cape Hatteras Electric Cooperative, Hooker Sportfishing, Joe Lamb Jr. & Associates, E.R. Midgett Insurance, Outer Banks Community Foundation, North Banks Rotary Club, and TowneBank of Currituck.
Check out the video, here.