College access mentoring requires specific skills and knowledge that are rarely, if ever, formally taught.  The Ayers Institute College Access Project (CAP) is a series of courses that provide innovative professional learning tool for any college access professional.  Our goal is to build a cohort of college access leaders across the state of Tennessee, equipped with the tools to be agents of change in their schools and communities.

This is the College Admissions Process strand of the College Access Project developed by the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation in partnership with the Tennessee College Access and Success Network.

This strand provides college counselors with information and resources needed to guide students through the college admissions process. 

In this course, participants will:

  • Connect with other college access counselors
  • Learn about available resources
  • Consider the steps in the college admissions process
  • Build a portfolio of useful tools

This is the Working with Young People strand of the College Access Project course.

This strand provides college counselors with information and resources needed to guide students through the college admissions process. 

In this course, participants will:

  • Connect with other college access counselors
  • Understand the role of a college access mentor
  • Understand youth development
  • Understand the role of non-cognitive skills such as grit
  • Understand advising students on the role of GPA and standardized testing
  • Build a portfolio of useful tools for use in their practice

Learning Modules:

  1. Why is College Access Important
  2. College-Going Culture 101
  3. Creating a College-Going Culture

Sample Content:

Discussion Board Question: What are some of the competing messages students get about whether or not they are "college material” from their families, peers, schools, and other youth-serving organizations? How can college coaches help students sort through competing messages?

Portfolio Item: Using a template, create an asset map of what is happening around college access and success in your community already. What are some of the gaps you notice? What are your community's areas of strength?

Learning Modules:

  1. Why is College Access Important
  2. College-Going Culture 101
  3. Creating a College-Going Culture

Sample Content:

Discussion Board Question: What are some of the competing messages students get about whether or not they are "college material” from their families, peers, schools, and other youth-serving organizations? How can college coaches help students sort through competing messages?

Portfolio Item: Using a template, create an asset map of what is happening around college access and success in your community already. What are some of the gaps you notice? What are your community's areas of strength?

The Working with Young People strand of the College Access Project provides participants with the knowledge and tools needed to coach middle and high school students through the college admissions process. Course material includes information and learning activities to understand youth development, the role of non-cognitive skills such as grit in navigating college access and success, advising students early in high school regarding the role of grade point average and standardized testing in the admissions process, as well as providing counseling to higher-need students. An emphasis is placed on best practices for serving low-income, first generation students and special student populations such as military-connected youth and foster youth are also addressed.  

This course provides participants with the knowledge and tools needed to coach students through the college admissions process. Course material includes information and learning activities to research and categorize different types of colleges, including criteria such as the degree to which support services differ from college to college. Participants will also explore conducting conversations with young people on choosing the right college fit and understanding the components of and the timeline for an application.  Additionally, participants will consider ways to build student efficacy by linking the college admissions process to stages of youth development.

This is the Paying for College strand of the College Access Project developed by the Ayers Institute for Teacher Learning & Innovation in partnership with the Tennessee College Access and Success Network.