As a CAC college adviser at Lakewood High School in Sampson County, Desmond Gatling helps rural students think about college plans in ways they might not otherwise think possible.
Growing up in Ahoskie, Desmond Gatling, T’19, never thought he’d get into a college like Duke. Despite doing well in all his classes, his standardized test scores were below the admissions average and none of his peers were applying to selective institutions. However, with the help of a College Advising Corps adviser, he was able to put together a competitive application.
A program of Duke’s Office of Durham and Community Affairs’ education and workforce development unit, Duke CAC works to increase the number of low-income, first generation high school students from under-resourced high schools across the state who enter and complete higher education. Read the full story.
The College Advising Corps (CAC) at Duke University works to increase the number of low-income, First Generation College and underrepresented high school students in rural North Carolina who enter and complete higher education. Duke currently has 16 college advisers in central North Carolina high schools. The program is sponsored by the John M. Belk Foundation, AmeriCorps, The Anonymous Trust and The Duke Endowment.
Even many of the highest-achieving disadvantaged students — young men and women who are well qualified to continue their education beyond high school — do not consider attending a four-year college, and many who say they plan to apply, never do. The national student-to-guidance-counselor ratio of 467:1 means that the average student spends 20 minutes per year talking to his or her counselor. Moreover, low-income and first-generation students are particularly underserved, with many never seeing a college adviser.
“Every year hundreds of thousands of low-income students face barriers to college access and success. Low-income students often lack the guidance and support they need to prepare for college, apply to the best-fit schools, apply for financial aid, enroll and persist in their studies, and ultimately graduate.” —Increasing College Opportunity for Low-Income Students: Promising Models and a Call to Action (White House report)
In order to comply with the National College Advising Corps “near-peer” advising model, all adviser candidates must meet these requirements in order to be considered for employment:
To learn more about the Duke CAC adviser experience, please click here.