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Preparing for the Fall With Transition Coaches

Preparing for the Fall With Transition Coaches

Although this summer was far from “normal,” College Possible continued to provide support to students throughout the summer. This year, it especially crucial with so many unanswered questions about what the fall will hold for schools and concerns about how students will be impacted by summer melt.

Enter our summer superheroes: transition coaches.

This year College Possible had three transition coaches serving in Philadelphia. Each coach had a caseload of more than 120 students. To help coaches manage and prioritize their outreach, we assigned students to different categories.

Category one students are on track to persist and don’t have any additional barriers indicated. This means they’ve completed financial aid, registered for classes, completed campaign coaching, attended orientation, paid all required fees and more.

Category two students are on track to persist but are facing at least one barrier that needs to be addressed.

Category three students have completed one indicator but needs to complete additional items in order to enroll or confirm persistence.

Category four students are not on track to persist and/or we have not been able to contact them.

Category five students do not intend to enroll next semester.

These categories are based on the top three indicators we use to help predict which students will enroll in college for the first time or persist toward their degree if they’re current college students. Ultimately, the transition coaches focused on students who still had significant financial and/or academic barriers that prevented them from registering.

Beyond working with students to move them up in persistence categories, transition coaches also help to troubleshoot new issues students face due to COVID-19, listen and empathize about what school will be like in the fall, and help with appeals on financial aid decisions. In one recent case, a student received an additional scholarship that was not part of their original financial package, dropping their per semester cost to $1,000 instead of $6,000 per year.

 “Transition coaches make sure our students are covered and ready to go for the fall semester. This year specifically, we were grateful to have these coaches support students as they were trying to navigate life in a pandemic and what that looks like academically,” said College Program Coordinator Armelle Dushime.

The transition coaches worked with students throughout the summer before seamlessly handing off students to their new coaches who began their terms of service this fall. Although there were many challenges, this smooth transition ensures that students receive uninterrupted support as they enter a new school year.

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