PEER COUNSELING PROGRAM
The HSF Peer Counseling Program is creating local partnerships between universities, community colleges and high schools. Each of the peer counseling sites serve as regional service hubs for outreach by university students to Latino high school and community college students. The goals of the HSF Peer Counseling Program include:
- Educating Latino high school students about the importance of staying in school, graduating, and providing them with a range of higher education options, including the differences between community colleges and four-year institutions.
- Increasing the number of Latino high school students enrolling in four-year institutions directly from high school.
- Providing Latino community college students with resources surrounding academic support, scholarships, financial aid and skills required to transfer into a four-year higher education institution.
- Increasing the number of Latino community college students transferring to four-year institutions.
- Increasing the retention rates of Latino college students.
- Increasing the number of Latino students graduating with baccalaureate degrees.
The HSF Peer Counseling Program has been established at eight Scholar Chapters across the country in California at the University of California Los Angeles; Florida at the University of Miami; Georgia at Georgia State University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Kennesaw State University; and Texas at Texas A&M University, the University of Houston-Downtown and the University of Texas at San Antonio.
The eight HSF Scholar Chapter campuses support peer counseling activities in partnership with high school and community college counseling programs for a period of two years; specifically targeting a cohort of younger Latino students. The specific details of each program are as follows:
High School Peer Counseling Program: HSF recruits and trains 4-6 university students from the HSF Scholar Chapter campus to serve as counselors/mentors to Latino students at local area high schools. Each Peer Counselor meets individually with a cohort of 15-20 students regularly at their high school during the academic year to discuss their academic and personal preparation for admission to a four-year higher education institution. The Peer Counselors will also work together to offer group workshops on college readiness to parents and students at the high school.
Community College Transfer Initiative: HSF recruits and trains 2-3 university students from the HSF Scholar Chapter campus to serve as counselors/mentors to Latino students at a local area community college. Each Peer Counselor meets individually with a cohort of 15-20 students regularly at the community college during the academic year to discuss their academic and personal preparation for transfer to a four-year university. The Peer Counselors will also work together to offer group workshops on college readiness to the larger student population at the community college.
HSF Scholar Chapters: Scholar Chapter members will support the Peer Counseling Program by providing outreach programming, such as college-readiness workshops and college tours to the student cohorts and general high school/community college student population. Scholar Chapter programming at the university is also available to the Peer Counselors in order to promote positive retention rates and increased graduation rates of Latino students.