In her second year as an Advise TX adviser, Marshala Wilkins became the first Advise TX adviser to serve Spring Independent School District in Houston at Dekaney High School. During her first year she served as an adviser at Akins High School in Austin. When she decided to move back home to Houston to start her Master of Social Work program at the University of Houston, our program was able to move her to be our first adviser at Dekaney High School. In her first year at Dekaney High School, with very little guidance or support, she has been able to successfully and creatively support her students in such a way that the school is now leading the school district in College Career and Military Readiness (CCMR) points for the first time ever!
That’s the end of the story, but to get to the end, Marshala had to be diligent and creative. When she first arrived on her campus, there was no College and Career staff to greet her. It took a while to gain district access to the student database to reach out to students. While waiting for access, Marshala still managed to meet teachers AND reach her students through Instagram (she immediately gained over 200 followers) in her efforts to reach her 388+ seniors. As time went on, she realized that the school needed a central place to store post-graduation up-to-date information for students, staff and parents, so Marshala created a College and Career Center website from scratch! She launched the new website during a Junior Parent’s Night including a flyer with the QR code to access the website. Her website was so comprehensive that the school has now posted her website on the school website! Check out Marshala’s handiwork here: https://sites.google.com/springisd.org/dekaneyccc/dekaneyccc
All of her hard work and creativity eventually led to her being called into the principal’s office in March where the principal and her site supervisor excitedly announced that, for the first time EVER, Dekaney is NUMBER ONE IN THE ENTIRE DISTRICT for all College, Career and Military Readiness indicators!!!
Even though the CCMR point system for schools is calculated by a variety of indicators, Marshala’s efforts to meet one-on-one with her seniors and encourage and assist then submit college applications, scholarships and financial aid forms contributed heavily to her students’ success.
AdviseTX is part of the national College Advising Corps, an ever-growing consortium of more than 31 partner institutions (including The University of Texas at Austin) around the country who have committed to recruit and train talented, enthusiastic recent college graduates to serve as college advisers within designated high schools in 15 states.
Through this nationwide consortium of colleges and universities, the program aims to increase the number of low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented students entering and completing higher education. By placing recent graduates of partner institutions as college advisers in underserved high schools and community colleges, the programs work in communities across the country to provide the advising and encouragement that students need to navigate college admissions.
Advisers work full-time to help students plan their college searches, complete admissions and financial aid applications, and enroll at schools that will serve them well.
The University of Texas at Austin manages 19 college advisers who serve in 22 high schools within 10 school districts in Central Texas, Houston, Dallas, El Paso and the Rio Grande Valley. These advisers serve in their high schools for a maximum of two years.
For more information, contact Cheryl Sawyer, AdviseTX Program Director at (512) 468-0661 or firstname.lastname@example.org