Published 12:00 am Wednesday, February 19, 2014
SALISBURY — Allison Doby is not only a guidance counselor at West Rowan High School, she is also the school’s Crosby Scholar Grade Adviser. The grade adviser program uses volunteers who hold meetings to help high school students focus on preparing for college.
“Grade adviser meetings have been a great opportunity for students to learn more about the college planning process in a relaxed setting,” Doby explains. “Students receive in-depth college information and seem comfortable asking questions and seeking advice.” Amanda Turner, a guidance counselor and Crosby grade adviser at East Rowan High School agrees. “The grade adviser meetings have allowed me to connect with students in a way that I am not often able to do as a counselor, due to time constraints,” she says, “I appreciate that Crosby Scholars is a program designed to simply facilitate each individual tapping into what is best about them and then to eventually put his or her best foot forward on whatever path they choose after high school.”
After retiring from Rowan-Salisbury Schools last summer, Lyn Wilson, North Rowan’s grade adviser, began looking into community volunteer opportunities. Her desire to continue as an advocate for young people led her to choose to work with Crosby Scholars. “I wanted to help support young people and focus on their prospects to continue education after high school,” she says. “As a grade adviser, I work with a Crosby staff member and meet with the ninth and 10th grade groups once a month. Each meeting encourages our students to make the most of high school, thus laying a strong foundation for college and beyond,” Wilson says. “Developing within them a “mindset” for college is the goal.”
Although not mandatory for students to attend, grade adviser meetings help high school students in the Crosby program examine their college and career options. With adult advisers volunteering in each of the Rowan-Salisbury high schools, four grade-wide meetings are held from November to April.
During those meetings, students are challenged to think about their futures. “The purpose of the grade adviser meetings is twofold — to put students on the path to making the best choice they can in terms of a college match,” says Jennifer Canipe, Crosby executive director, “and to help each student be the most competitive college applicant he or she can be.”
This fall, Crosby Scholars will add 11th graders to its student pool and the junior grade adviser meetings will become more focused on narrowing down college choices. “Our grade adviser program is fundamental to working toward our mission to prepare our students for successful college enrollment,” says Canipe. “We want our students to approach their futures full of hope and with the confidence of knowing they are well prepared for life after high school.”