In 2017, Furman University became South Carolina’s first university partner with the National College Advising Corps (NCAC). The Furman College Advising Corps places well-trained recent college graduates in under-resourced communities to establish a stronger college-going tradition. Emphasis is placed on increasing the rate of college enrollment and completion among low-income, first-generation college and under-represented students. Using the NCAC ‘near-peer’ model, advisers form relationships with students through one-on-one meetings, group presentations, college tours, parent engagement activities related to the college applications process, and financial aid. Advisers serve as supplementary support for the schools’ counseling departments by collaborating with counselors, career development facilitators, school administrators, and teachers to expand the reach of often-understaffed departments.
According to a 2014 report from Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce, by 2020, 65 percent of all jobs in the economy will require postsecondary education and training beyond high school. Although upward mobility and economic security increasingly hinge on postsecondary education, many students do not have access to quality resources, guidance, and direction related to navigating the college entry process. The Furman College Advising Corps strives to address this critical need in South Carolina.