College Possible Portland has hit a major milestone in our college success program this fall. To best support our students, we are working to deepen our relationships with colleges and universities across Oregon. Thanks to our partnership with Portland State University, this year College Possible students attending PSU will be able to meet with their coach on campus in her new office.
College Possible works with college students for six or more years until college degree completion. College coaches assist students in a variety of ways, from offering support as they register for classes and reapply for financial aid, to helping students find and access student services on campus.
Over the past three years, college coaches in Portland have primarily connected with students via phone, email, Facebook and Skype. Tech-connected advising has advantages: this year we are able to serve 658 college students attending more than 70 different colleges and universities across the United States.
For the 90 College Possible students attending Portland State University this fall, however, their connection to their coach is about to look a little different as PSU and College Possible deepen their collaborative partnership.
College Coach Maria, one of five college coaches in Portland, will have an office space on PSU’s campus in the Advising and Career Services building starting this fall. A PSU graduate herself, Maria is excited to meet students in person. While a tech-connected approach allows us to reach more students, building relationships over the phone can be challenging. Maria is eager to spend time with her students and show them different parts of campus, in addition to having an office space where they will know they can find her three days a week.
“With the connections I made from my time at PSU I am really excited to help my students feel connected,” Maria says. “I myself was engaged with my own work study and being part of the GANAS Program, an undergraduate peer advisor for the Department of Psychology and a member of Kappa Delta Chi Sorority Inc. I am hoping to have my students feel the community PSU offers and the diversity too.”
College Program Coordinator Margarita appreciates the opportunity this new partnership brings, allowing our coaches to build deeper relationships with their students and make personal connections that are so essential to the success of our program. She is excited about the possibilities of having an office space on campus at PSU. She hopes it will encourage students to drop in to ask questions, as well as meet other College Possible students who are attending PSU. Having a coach on campus will help create a College Possible support community for our students.
This community building aspect is particularly exciting; College Possible students at PSU come from six different local high schools and might not know each other. “A space to meet on campus could change that, giving students a level of peer support and accountability that will help them succeed,” Margarita says.
Maria already has a small community of four College Possible students who are in PSU’s pre-dental program and often study together. Two of these students went to high school together, the others met through classes, clubs and College Possible programming.
Margarita and Maria are also looking forward to supporting college juniors from Portland for the first time this year. Whereas first and second year students are primarily focused on adjusting to college life, juniors tend to be more comfortable with college processes and are starting to look into internship opportunities, graduate schools, study abroad programs and thinking about what they will do when they have earned their college degree.
Many of our college students will be looking for internship opportunities soon. If you know of internship opportunities to connect College Possible students with, please email ENischik@CollegePossible.org.