In collaboration with CFNC, the Carolina College Advising Corps offered the opportunity for high school juniors to participate in a piloted program, Mock College Application Week. Mock College Application Week was created to give underclass students a realistic college application experience. The goal of the initiative was to kick-start students’ college preparations earlier in their high school careers and to get them excited about their futures.
During the week, students from 31 Carolina Corps partner high schools were offered the opportunity to get familiar with the CFNC application submission portal while filling out college applications, as if they were seniors. Students were able to update their CFNC accounts, learn of the needed information to submit a college application and gain a better understanding about the process. Advisers mimicked programing and logistics used to support the November 2013 College Application Week to make the event engaging and memorable for students.
One great demonstration of the event was in Bertie County. The College Adviser at Bertie County High School, Ms. Briana O’Neil, hosted over 80% of the school’s juniors during the event. Students were able to ask questions about college, discuss the schools they wished to apply to, and get information needed to dispel many myths surrounding paying for college. Students were engaged, curious and responsive during the event, as they understood the seriousness of having a plan for life after high school. Shannon A. Stanton, Admissions Counselor of Martin Community College also joined the adviser for the event. Students received information about the community college, its programs, and the process of transferring to four-year institutions. Additionally, she supported the initiative by assisting students with filling out mock college applications.
The event was a success in many ways. The students were exposed to the application process, they were exposed to information about colleges and expectations, and they had the opportunity to have one-on-one time with the college adviser in preparation for their senior year. Ms. O’Neil is now charged to follow up with students through one-on-one appointments and classroom presentations to lower the stress and anxiety students feel about the college application and financial aid processes. Additionally, she hopes to offer the opportunity for juniors to visit Martin Community College before the end of the academic year.