Cal State Fullerton has stepped up to a U.S. Department of Education call to assist students displaced by the closing of Corinthian Colleges, a for-profit postsecondary education provider.
CSUF’s Center for Research on Educational Access and Leadership (C-REAL) is leading the California State University system effort, in partnership with the nonprofit Beyond 12 and the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, to provide an independent volunteer advising corps to help Corinthian’s former students navigate their education options.
“C-REAL addresses problems in education — and we see this call to action as being responsive to a public education problem,” said Dawn R. Person, director of C-REAL and professor of educational leadership. “This collaborative response will make a difference for those who are feeling discouraged, frustrated and distraught.”
Person and her students, May graduate Jahvry Bailous and graduate student Giovanni Rodriguez, are directing the effort to organize a corps of education master’s and doctoral students, faculty members and alumni to serve as volunteer advisers. Cal State Long Beach’s educational leadership program also is assisting in recruiting advisers.
“We’re not only giving Corinthian students advice in considering their next steps in their higher education path, but we’re also giving them resources, guidance and support,” said Rodriguez. “We hope that the work we do will have a positive effect on the students and on our communities — and that’s our driving force.”
Bailous, who earned his master’s degree in education-higher education, added that through a personalized, individualized advising approach, the goal is to get students back on track with their educational goals.
“It’s all about giving these students another starting point so they can finish their higher education,” Bailous said.
The CSUF education leaders also are providing training. So far, 25 volunteers have been trained, and C-REAL will monitor the effectiveness of the advising program. Corinthian students can connect with an adviser by signing up online at Next Steps EDU.