Jessica Caudle is a second-year adviser serving with the N.C. State College Advising Corps at Franklinton High School in Franklin County.
By Jessica Caudle
College Advising Corps
I decided to join the College Advising Corps after reflecting on my experiences when applying to college as a first-generation college student.
I navigated filling out college applications, completing the FAFSA, and the entire enrollment process mostly on my own. I attended a large high school in an urban area that was high-performing but lacked the student support staff to thoroughly assist students with the college application process — something that we see in high schools across the nation. The national average student-to-counselor ratio is 482:1, often leaving the students who need the most assistance to navigate the complex college process with little to no support.
Joining the College Advising Corps has provided me with the opportunity to serve as a mentor and champion for students like me as they break down different barriers they are facing to attending college.
In my first year of advising, I worked with a student who reminded me of myself when applying to college. She was an exceptional student with incredible potential, but not much direction and guidance. She had decided to apply to N.C. State. When she received her acceptance, she came into my office and pointed toward my diploma and said, “That’s going to be me!” The student ended up enrolling at a different university where she was offered a very prestigious scholarship, but that moment still sticks with me.
I am humbled to have made such a strong impact on her while she was developing her college plans. My students and their families have trusted me to help guide and prepare them for their collegiate careers and life beyond high school. These students are about to embark on the journey that leads them to who they are going to become. I am honored to stand beside them as they prepare for their next steps to college and beyond!
We have so many passionate young professionals and community partners working to make college a reality for thousands of students who may not have been able to navigate this process on their own. Serving as a college adviser, I know I have made an impact in the lives of my students. This work is powerful, and I am so honored to have a part in this positive impact the College Advising Corps is making in the world.