Near peers are a powerful source of support as first-generation high school seniors explore their post-secondary options and prepare for their next steps.
WHAT DOES A BRIDGE COACH DO?
CARA’s Bridge program addresses the gap in postsecondary guidance for first-generation college students, low-income students, and students of color by training current college students to provide individualized support for seniors throughout their senior year.
Each participating high school embeds a Bridge Coach – usually an alumni of their school who attends a local college – into their postsecondary office, under the supervision of their counselor. Bridge Coaches assist the counselor to:
- Support students’ exploration of colleges and other post-secondary destinations
- Help students complete applications
- Ensure student completion of necessary financial aid applications
- Work with families as students make decisions in the spring
- Prevent summer melt through providing outreach throughout the summer after graduation
At-risk youth aren’t the problem–but they can be part of the counseling solution
Op-Ed: The Hechinger Report (2020)
Based on research with College Bridge Coaches, this article describes the importance and efficacy of using peer-to-peer advising to support postsecondary access and success.
College Bridge Program Model
Bridge Coaches have 70+ hours of comprehensive training in postsecondary access content.Table of Contents
Bridge Coaches develop a range of skills and content knowledge that they then use, alongside their unique near-to-peer perspective, to provide individualized support to graduating students. Trainings include the following topics:
-Financial Aid Applications
-Financial Aid Packages
Working with Students:
-Leading Postsecondary Transition Workshops
-Supporting Undocumented Students
Transition & Matriculation:
-Outreach and Engagement
CARA works with schools to help support the integration of College Bridge into existing college office work.
CARA brings College Bridge supervisors together several times a year to support the implementation of the program at their individual schools. CARA also provides:
- Counselor resources such as college match tools and income documentation forms
- Support with data-tracking and planning
- Opportunities to meet with high-level college admission professionals to discuss how admission policies impact students on the ground
- Provision of workshops for College Bridge coaches to run in senior classes
Recruit one Bridge Coach per 100 seniors from your pool of alumni
Pay Bridge Coach $18 per hour for school-based work and training time (10 hrs/week + 74 hours training = 474 hours total) + pay CARA training fee
Make time available during the school day for Bridge Coach to work with students
Meet weekly with Bridge Coach throughout the school year
Attend CARA Supervisor meetings
Communicate with CARA as needed to support programming
Supervise Bridge Coach at least five hours per week during the summer months
Provide space for College Coach to work and meet with students
Give College Coach access to student forms and information needed for college enrollment during summer
Track and report data to CARA
Participate in assessments as needed by CARA
Complete evaluations of College Coach
College Bridge Reach
College Bridge School Partners
College Bridge Curriculum & Resources
CARA partner schools can log in to access College Bridge curriculum and resources by clicking the button below.