In families where higher education is not yet the norm, we have found that high levels of support, interaction, and trust are necessary to ensure student success. Our Transition Counselors work with our students from their first days in our program through their college careers. With offices at The Care Center and at Holyoke Community College (HCC), they provide familiar touchstones and offer gentle, consistent support.
Transition Counselors provide these essential supports to Care Center students:
- Teach College to Career, a course that explores career and education options
- Facilitate the Bridge to College courses
- Mentor our students taking college courses in ways that encourage confidence and determination
- Walk students through the college application process
- Support students in completing financial aid forms
- Help navigate life challenges that might interfere with enrolling or staying in college
Once a Care Center graduate matriculates, other connections with the Transition Counselors in our offices at HCC and at our facility on Cabot Street emerge:
- Academic course selection guidance
- Alumnae relations and support
- Financial aid counseling
- Computer resources and training at our Cabot Street location
- Childcare coordination, which is offered through the first two semesters in college
- Academic support
The exciting fact is that this approach works! The combination of high expectations and high support has resulted in students staying in school and embracing education. Students fall back in love with learning and they remain engaged in college. Over time, as their children see the importance of education as an integral part of their lives, the intergenerational cycle of poverty begins to break apart.