“Access Together” and Community Collaboration

Written by Makayla Crow, College Adviser for West Bladen High School in Bladen County

This summer the theme for our training was “Access Together”. It’s a great theme for us advisers because it doubles as a reminder: we can’t do it all alone.

There may be many days where we feel like a lot is on our shoulders (because it is) but it’s imperative that we remember the value of community collaboration.

There are some collaborations that are obvious and vital – parents, staff, students – but here are just a few examples of community collaborations that you may not have considered reaching out to:

4H:

The goal of 4H is to help young people reach their fullest potential as leaders in their community. Working with local 4H clubs can provide many opportunities such as: getting more face time with students, meeting parents at events they were already attending (meeting them where they are), working on test prep skills, building relationships and trust for the College Advising Corps, etc

Local community college staff:

Building relationships with community college personnel can be beneficial in many ways. Staff in the Career and College Promise program or Admissions and Financial Aid offices can help you reach students that spend more time at the college than at the high school, help answer student (or your) questions, be an extra pair of hands at FAFSA Night or RDS workshop, or even put on presentations for your students.

Early College Students:

Early Colleges provide students with great opportunities that are unique to those programs but they can isolate students from their peers since class sizes are smaller and generally not on the high school campus. Reaching out to directors or professors in the Early College program can allow you to help those students while also building relationships with staff who may have experience or expertise that you could use later.

Regardless of what kinds of community collaboration you’ve done or plan to do in the future just remember that you’re doing great! Your students and communities value the work you’re doing and you don’t have to do it all alone!