The Pennsylvania College Advising Corps (PCAC) is a branch of the national division of the College Advising Corps. PCAC places recent college graduates as full-time advisers in underserved, rural high schools across Pennsylvania. PCAC is a consortium of Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, and Millersville University.

The mission of the College Advising Corps is to identify and assist students to make the transition from high school to a post-secondary institution. The Advisers focus on low-income, first generation students. 

For the 2016 - 2017 school year, twenty-five PCAC Advisers are serving twenty-five high schools and networks in the counties of Adams, Blair, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Luzerne, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York. PCAC works with partnering high schools to elevate matriculation rates identified as below the Pennsylvania state average. Advisers meet with students individually, in groups, and in classroom settings, assisting students in exploring possible options after high school and enabling them to achieve their goals.

Advisers assist students with scholarship and financial aid opportunities and help to communicate these options with families. Advisers assist both students and families in completing college applications, financial aid forms, essays, and letters of recommendation. Advisers also become familiar with such web-based programs like College Board, Career Cruising, FAFSA, Educational Planner, and NCAA Clearinghouse. It is important to note that PCAC promotes a wide variety of post-secondary opportunities including college, the military, and career guidance. During training, Advisers visit traditional four-year colleges as well as two year technological and trade schools. They visit both public and private institutions and community colleges. Because Advisers make this variety of visits, they gain a broad understanding of just how many opportunities are available to students

The Need for College Advisers

The primary focus of the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps is to increase matriculation rates in Pennsylvania's lower income, rural high schools. To achieve this, Advisers identify a variety of post-secondary options to fit specific needs for students. These post-secondary options range from traditional four-year colleges, to community colleges, to two-year trade and technical schools.

In a recent study, the U.S. Department of Education found that 90% of today's fastest growing jobs require some form of post-secondary education. For this reason, PCAC believes it is invaluable to expose students to the wealth of post-secondary education available. 

College Advisers provide students with both individual and group information sessions. During these meetings, Advisers will help explore the best path to reach a career of interest.

Considering the National Center for Educational Studies (NCES) identified a ratio of 488:1 student to guidance counselors in America today, having College Advisers serve in high schools is vital for matriculation success. Because of this staggering ratio, often guidance counselors are unable to spend the necessary time that first generation college students require.

The same study by the NCES found that the average student spends only 20 minutes per year talking to his or her counselor. For this reason, PCAC Advisers will have the availability to spend more time with individual students and focus on their specific need as they work through the admissions process.   

The Work of the College Adviser

Our Mission is to provide support to high-need students to navigate the complex admissions and financial aid processes.

To accomplish this goal, PCAC:

  • Places advisers in underserved high schools
  • Advisers serve a 2 year, full time commitment
  • Advisers foster a college-going culture by engaging in the community and with parents, teachers, and administrators
  • Advisers hold one-on-one meetings, assist with SAT/ACT registration and preparation, assist with FAFSA application, and many other services
  • Advisers become champions, experts, mentors, and guides

Our Training

  • Summer Training: PCAC college advisers undergo an intensive four-week residential training session during the month of July. This training is comprised of college visits, discussions, and getting practical advice from the experts in the field.
  • In-Service Training: These trainings typically occur once a month where PCAC college advisers undergo further training on specific topics of relevance such as the FAFSA, understanding financial aid awards, College Board/SAT updates, and more.
  • National Training: Once a year, PCAC advisers travel to the College Advising Corps National Summit, where the advisers serving the College Advising Corps from across the nation come together to share ideas, best practices, and build better relationships.

The Benefits
As an employee of the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps, you will receive the following benefits:

  • Salary
  • Full health benefits
  • AmeriCorps Educational Award
  • Freedom and Responsibility within the position of adviser
  • Connections to 30+ institutions and 600+ college adviser colleagues
  • Making a difference!

After completing service with the Pennsylvania College Advising Corps, alumni have gone on to...

  • Attend graduate school at: Harvard University, University of Pennsylvania, The College of William and Mary, Vanderbilt University, University of Illinois, Boston College, North Carolina State University, University of North Carolina, University of Michigan, Brown University, and Columbia University.
  • Be employed by: Franklin & Marshall College, Lebanon Valley College, Drexel University, Juniata College, University of Illinois, University of Maryland, Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Willamette University, Philadelphia Futures, and various public school districts.

How to Become a College Adviser

Let us know you are interested! In the summer of 2016, recent college graduates were trained to become PCAC's ninth group of College Advisers. These twenty-five PCAC Advisers are serving twenty-five high schools and networks in the counties of Adams, Blair, Bucks, Centre, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Huntingdon, Lancaster, Luzerne, Montgomery, Philadelphia, and York.  PCAC will look to expand its program to serve more school districts by hiring additional Advisers on an annual basis.

To be eligible for a PCAC College Adviser position, interested candidates must hold a bachelor's degree.  Preference will be given to graduates of one of the four partner institutions (Dickinson College, Franklin & Marshall College, Gettysburg College, and Millersville University).

Get in touch with a current adviser or contact Bob Freund at robert.freund@fandm.edu or  (717) 358-4458  for more information.