Paving the Way for College Accessibility by Empowering Champions of First-Gen and Underrepresented College Students

Bowdoin College, with support from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, is providing an opportunity for those who champion first-generation and underrepresented students by paving the way for more of these influencers to attend the third annual Collaborative for Access & Successful College Outcomes (CASCO) conference to be held June 18-20, 2018, on the Bowdoin campus.

[Update: Hear from high school counselors and admissions staff who attended the conference and learn more about the conference outcomes.]

CASCO brings together professionals from high school counseling, community-based organization  college counseling, college financial aid, college student affairs, and college admissions.

“The two-day event is an integrated collaboration meant to span the continuum of a student’s pathway to and through the college experience, particularly focusing on the experiences of under-resourced students,” says conference cofounder and Bowdoin College Dean of Admissions and Student Aid Whitney Soule.

“By sharing experiences and questions that touch different points of the college journey, the attendees  learn about new aspects of student support and share best practices for successful impact.”

A $25,000 grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation makes possible the participation of many of these champions who hail from high schools and community-based organizations that are under tight budget constraints. More than 30 participants are being sponsored by the grant, which covers their registration fees, lodging, meals and transportation.

CASCO Cofounders Soule and Bowdoin College Dean of Students Janet Lohmann created the program out of a shared desire that important conversations that happen throughout the process — about precollege, applying to college, and students’ arrival on campus — are as clear and seamless as possible.

Soule says the goal is to leverage various and unique places on the continuum to better understand the intersection of student need, pre-college support, admissions selection, and matriculation/enrollment support.

The expectation is that each attendee will leave CASCO with an agenda of action items that could immediately be effective in promoting opportunities within their area of work and across programs, and to have an influential impression on student access and success.

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