College Access Counseling

My firm, College Access Counseling, Ltd., works with adults and organizations who counsel and support first-generation and minority students on the way to college. I teach the ins and outs of the college process, helping them build social and cultural capital for their students. Click here for more information. I also write for NACAC's blog, Admitted. You can read my entries as well as some of my colleagues', here. Click here to read one of my entries in the New York Times's blog, The Choice.

October 30, 2009

Center for Student Opportunity

I'm a big fan of the Center for Student Opportunity,  a nonprofit organization with a mission to promote college access and opportunity among first-generation and historically underserved student populations. They've produced a very fine guidebook of colleges that focuses on information particularly appropriate to these students, including what support is offered, scholarships and so on. It also has essays and tips from experts in the front. I saw the first edition last year at NACAC and bought ten copies on the spot to give to the charter school counselors I've been working with over the past two years.

CSO has also created a strong website called College Center that lets students search for college access programs, ask experts questions about the college process and search for colleges offering advising, mentoring, transition programs, and so on. I expect them to continue adding to the list as they go on. 

Colleges can find out how to partner with CSO to reach underserved students by clicking here. With a contribution to CSO (based on Carnegie Classification), institutions can not only reach individual students but also community organizations. Everybody wins.

CSO's most recent addition is a blog section where ten students from minority, low-income, and first-generation backgrounds are sharing their stories or high school and college. The initial entries have the energy of a new project, projecting optimism and immediacy. Although there are only a few from each student so far, I hope they continue to record their thoughts and experiences for the benefit of their peers about to go through the process themselves. 

Their situations reflect the concerns that many first-generation students have, such as having to be an example for their younger siblings and communities. They are also poignant in their forthrightness--one student blogger talks about how she discovered she was pregnant while she was applying to colleges. This forthrightness can help students who think that personal circumstances make it impossible to think about continuing their educations. (They blog as part of their having become Opportunity Scholars--see below.)

If you are a counselor or community volunteer who works with first-generation, low-income, and otherwise underserved students, the Center for Student Opportunity can be a great help. Not only does the website have excellent resources, there is also a page where you can download free guides for helping high school students, parents/families, and others. Students also have the opportunity to be nominated as Opportunity Scholars; if selected, they receive college counseling support from a network of volunteer counselors as well as a chance for a $1,000.00 renewable scholarship in college. 

If you are a college and want to expand your outreach to underrepresented students, be sure to look at CSO's Colleges Partnership Program

There's plenty more to explore on the site, and I expect it just to get better and better as more and more individuals and institutions connect to it. It is a welcome and necessary resource for the students we serve.

No comments:

Blog Archive

Books About College, Teens, and American Culture

  • A History of American Higher Education
  • A Hope in the Unseen
  • Admission
  • Affluenza: The All-Consuming Epidemic
  • African Americans and College Choice
  • Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture
  • Boys Adrift: The Five Factors Driving the Growing Epidemic of Unmotivated Boys and Underachieving Young Men
  • Branded: The Buying and Selling of Teenagers
  • Campus Life
  • Class
  • College Access & Opportunity Guide
  • College Admissions and the Public Interest
  • College Admissions Together: It Takes a Family
  • College Gold: The Step by Step Guide for Paying for College
  • College Knowledge: What It Really Takes for Students to Succeed and What We Can Do to Get Them Ready
  • College Unranked: Ending the College Admissions Frenzy
  • Colleges that Change Lives
  • Consumed
  • Contradictions of School Reform: Educational Costs of Standardized Testing
  • Doing School: How We are Creating a Generation of Stressed-out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students
  • First in the Family
  • Fiske Guide to Colleges
  • Going to College: How Social, Economic, and Educational Factors Influence the Decisions Students Make
  • Harvard, Schmarvard
  • Higher Learning, Greater Good: The Private & Social Benefits of Higher Education
  • Huck's Raft: A History of American Childhood
  • I Am Charlotte Simmons
  • Increasing Access to College:
  • Less Stress, More Success: A New Approach to Guiding Your Teen Through College Admission and Beyond
  • Leveling the Playing Field: Justice, Politics, and College Admissions
  • Life: The Movie: How Entertainment Conquered America
  • Limbo: Blue-Collar Roots, White-Collar Dreams
  • Looking Beyond the Ivy League
  • Panicked Parents' Guide to College Admissions
  • Privilege: Harvard and the Education of the Ruling Class
  • Punished by Rewards: The Trouble with Gold Stars, Incentive Plans, A's, Praise, and Other Bribes
  • Race and Class Matters at an Elite College
  • Rescuing Your Teenager From Depression
  • Shakespeare, Einstein, and the Bottom Line: The Marketing of Higher Education
  • Sophomore Guide to College & Career: Preparing for life After High School
  • Standardized Minds: The High Price of America's Testing Culture and What We Can Do to Change It
  • Status Anxiety
  • Taking Time Off
  • Tearing Down the Gates: Confronting the Class Divide in American Education
  • The Big Test: The Secret History of the American Meritocracy
  • The Bond: Three Young Men Learn to Forgive & Reconnect with Their Fathers
  • The Case Against Standardized Testing: Raising the Scores, Ruining the Schools
  • The Chosen: The Hidden History of Admission and Exclusion at Harvard, Yale, and Princeton
  • The Culture of Narcissism
  • The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College
  • The Image: A Guide to Pseudo-Events in American Life
  • The Little College Handbook: A First Generation's Guide to Getting in and Staying In
  • The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College
  • The Pact: Three Young Men Make a Promise and Fulfull a Dream
  • The Pressured Child: Helping Your Child Find Success in School and Life
  • The Price of Admission: How America's Ruling Class Buys Its Way into Elite Colleges--and Who Gets Left Outside the Gates
  • The Price of Privilege: How Parental Pressure and Material Advantage are Creating a Generation of Disconnected and Unhappy Kids
  • The Rise and Fall of the American Teenager
  • The Secret Lives of Overachievers
  • The Unintended Consequences of High Stakes Testing
  • Universities in the Marketplace: The Commercialization of Higher Education
  • What Color Is Your Parachute? for Teens