MSU College Advising Corps Seeking Advisers

July 15, 2021

The Michigan State University College Advising Corps (MSUCAC) within the MSU Division of Student Affairs and Services (SAS) is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year while continuing to address the widening gap in college access for low-income, first-generation and under-represented students. MSUCAC college advisers have served nearly 45,000 students at 80-plus Michigan high schools, helping students and their families successfully navigate the college enrollment process, during these 10 years.

MSUCAC’s college advisers are AmeriCorps members through the State of Michigan, which provides many benefits, including a $6,345 education award to use toward past or future educational costs and the ability to put repayment of federal student loans on hold (AmeriCorps may cover accrued interest), making MSUCAC a “launch year” opportunity. MSUCAC hires not only recent graduates, but also MSU alumni from the past two years – currently graduates from 2019 through August 2021.

MSUCAC is a unique structure in which all advisers are MSU alumni, created to help Spartans accelerate their professional development and launch their careers, all while they support Michigan communities. MSUCAC advisers come from a variety of majors and have gone on to graduate school programs and employment opportunities, ranging from education (K-12 and higher education) to speech pathology and law school.

MSUCAC has openings for the 2021-2022 year in Newaygo and Sanilac counties, and at Detroit Cristo Rey High School in Detroit.

Newaygo County has five advisers and a strong local college access network called WeCAN! offering additional funding for each school, as well as professional development for the advisers. As a former Newaygo County College Adviser, Zina Bellinger shared, "because of the well-established college access culture in Newaygo County, you can expect support and involvement from others in the community, which makes service a lot more rewarding and fun!”

Located 30 minutes north of Grand Rapids, Newaygo County is known among MSUCAC advisers as caring and supportive communities where great kayaking and a dairy store with homemade ice cream can be found.

In Sanilac County, MSUCAC is hiring two advisers, both in shared-school positions where the advisers each serve two small high schools. Former Sanilac County Adviser Ryan Hoppenworth encourages candidates to consider this type of service, which offers different experiences and perspectives, as well as distinctive student groups. “It was really nice to serve in two different communities,” Ryan said. “I got to have variety.”

Sanilac County, known for its small towns and farming industry, is located 15 miles west of Lake Huron. Former MSUCAC advisers have enjoyed spending their free time on the water and on the local walking trails. Every year, the county hosts a summer "Thumb Festival” and 4-H fair, and a "Lighted Farm Implement Parade” during the holiday season.

Detroit Cristo Rey High School, located in Southwest Detroit, is a unique placement opportunity, as well. As MSUCAC’s only private school, their model is to provide quality college preparatory education to students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds. The school provides students with a work-study program to foster skills and experiences for students’ future success.

Previous college advisers at Detroit Cristo Rey have enjoyed the local dining opportunities in the West Vernor-Junction Historic District – in particular, one of the restaurants is owned by a Detroit Cristo Rey student’s family.

No matter where an adviser is placed, they are embedded in their communities and get to learn both the K-12 landscape, as well as the world of college access. MSUCAC provides an incredible launch pad into advisers’ career next steps, helping build and market transferrable skills and honing professional experiences.

Those interested in becoming an adviser can find the application on Handshake (posting number 4354167) or by visiting collegeadvisingcorps.msu.edu for more information. Watch this video to hear from advisers.

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