VCAC is committed to increasing the number of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented high school students who enter and complete higher education. Postsecondary educational opportunity and attainment are critical to a just and equitable society, strong economy, and healthy communities. Since 2005, VCAC has embedded recent college graduates in high schools throughout the Commonwealth to work alongside school counselors on college and career readiness. These near-peer college advisers assist high school students and their families with college searches, essay writing, SAT/ACT prep, college applications, FAFSA completion, scholarship searches, college visits, and successfully transitioning to post-secondary education. Where school counselors are overstretched, college advisers serve as a capacity builder and a support in partnership with the high school counseling staff.
College advisers serve full-time in their placement sites for two years. They become mentors within the school setting and are often the key person ensuring that students persist in their education beyond high school. In 2021-2022, 48 advisers are serving 53 partner high schools. The program became the model for the national College Advising Corps, now present in 19 states and over 800 high schools.
Virginia College Advising Corps is a joint venture of the University of Virginia and College Advising Corps, and is an AmeriCorps program. Our service area is geographically diverse, including both rural and urban districts.