College Knowledge Month, celebrated every October by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education (OHE), is dedicated to the college exploration and application process. Since College Possible Minnesota partners closely with OHE, we are mirroring the great work they are doing, such as having free application week, college fairs and events, and application support.
Over the years, College Possible Minnesota has tailored programming to highlight October as the start of the “application season.” During this time, we work with students to attend events such as the Twin Cities Partnership Fair – a college fair coordinated by our program events team to give College Possible students a dedicated time slot at local college fairs so students and their AmeriCorps coaches can walk around and ask questions in a less stressful environment. We are grateful for all the work that the Twin Cities Partner Fair team and the college admission representatives put in to support College Possible Minnesota students’ college exploration.
We also host several events and campus visits specifically for senior students to explore schools and finalize their college lists. We have just finalized our partnership with OHE’s Direct Admissions initiative to ensure we’re ready to provide students with their list of direct admissions schools and support them through the application process. Our leadership team stays up to date on best practices by attending events such as Minnesota Association for College Admissions Counseling, National Association for College Admissions Counseling, and the Minnesota Private College Breakfast to continue community engagement and partnership with regional colleges and organizations. Program coordinators and AmeriCorps coaches work hard to recruit students into the College Possible program throughout September. Most students join College Possible as high school juniors, however, we typically save space for a few senior students to join so that we have time to support them as they prepare for the College Knowledge Month activities.
We are working on multiple projects to support students as they prepare for the college application process. We start building college lists with students in their junior year of high school and use September and October to help students finalize those lists and prioritize applications that may be early action or early decision. We provide an “Application Opener” coaching session which creates space where students and their coaches work through different college application systems and learn how to create accounts and apply to their schools of choice.
This year, both our in-person and tech-connected high school programs have implemented Overgrad, a student and counselor-focused college and career readiness platform. Through this platform, College Possible students can research schools, build college lists, and help them calculate their likely-, target-, and reach-admission rates which is based on their academic profile. Overgrad also tracks all their college and financial aid-related progress. There are many features that we are excited to share with students to better support them and most importantly, help them take ownership of their college journey. This platform gives students a sense of direction and organization in their college steps, which in turn shares that same information with their coach so they can provide guidance and insight where needed.
Are you looking to support students as they navigate the college application process? By making a donation to support College Possible Minnesota, you are supporting students, coaches, and staff as we work to make high education accessible for all. You can also serve as an AmeriCorps coach!