Northern Arizona College Resource Center Works Toward Postsecondary Goals
Flagstaff, AZ | Submitted by Roxanne Dewyer
Serving over 4,000 Northern Arizona residents on an annual basis, the Northern Arizona College Resource Center (NACRC) has helped students and their parents or guardians identify and access opportunities for higher education and financial support to pursue postsecondary education.
The NACRC uses the following methods to help students and families:
- Individualized College Access Advising: At these meetings, students and families discuss their interests, aspirations, academic history and college-going pathway with an NACRC staff member.
- High School Program and Workshops: The center works with high schools partners throughout Northern Arizona to incorporate college-going outreach programs and workshops into curriculum.
- Community Based Programs and Workshops: The center works with community partners throughout Northern Arizona to enhance a college-going culture by providing services that align with the objectives and plans of statewide and local efforts.
These methods have been effective because they allow for the enhancement of the great work that is already being done around the state. The center is able to best meet community, high school and student needs by tailoring topics within this set of services.
The NACRC works regularly with Flagstaff area schools and has extended its reach to schools in Ashfork, Holbrook, Lake Havasu, Round Valley, Sedona, Williams and the Greater Phoenix area.
Center staff travel to reach distance students and families. In-person visits allow students and families to better understand the mission of the NACRC, as well as feel safe and secure sharing personal information to help them in their post-secondary goals.
The center provides direct services to students onsite, engages with students and staff in high schools, and creates long-lasting partnerships with community organizations.
Compared to high school juniors and seniors that have not met with an NACRC team member, students who have met with a team member are 30% more likely to apply to a postsecondary institution, 24% more likely to apply to a first choice college, 26% more likely to submit the FAFSA, and 18% more likely to prepare for the ACT.
The impact of the NACRC is that students who have met with a staff member are more likely to aspire to attend college, apply to colleges and for financial aid, be accepted to college, and commit to attending college.
Going forward, the center aspires to increase the number of youth and adults who utilize its resources both in person and virtually to allow all the opportunity to be prepared and succeed in college.
Other areas in Arizona can apply these ideas through needs assessment. The more that everyone understand the needs of a community, the easier it is to collaborate and provide support to meet that need. Applying these ideas is helpful for understanding the niche that everybody can have in meeting a common goal.