University Advisor recognised for mentoring programme aimed at increasing access to higher ed
By Communications Department
In addition to supporting UWCSEA students through university admissions and career guidance, many of our University Advisors are active in professional associations and special projects aligned with the College’s mission.
Joan Liu, University Advisor on East Campus, was presented with the Rising Star Award by the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC) at its national conference in Columbus, USA in September for her leadership of the Scholar Mentor Program. The mentor programme enriches the International ACAC Scholar Program, which promotes access to higher education for high-achieving, low-income students around the world by supporting the counselors who work with them. The International ACAC Scholar Program provides much-needed professional development to high-impact but under-resourced counselors and leaders, which in turn allows them to better support these talented students.
Joan, who serves as the Vice President for Inclusion, Access, and Success on the International ACAC Executive Board, was looking for a way to extend the learning and support for the ten counselors in the International ACAC Scholar Program each year. What began as a conversation with Pamela Kelly Wetzell, Head of University Advising at UWCSEA East, soon developed into the Scholar Mentor Program which pairs veteran counselors with members of the scholar cohort.
In presenting the award, NACAC President Phil Trout stated, “The Scholar Mentor Program was born from the desire to increase the capacity, and subsequently - the impact of the scholars. The Scholars return home from the program with more professional resources and personal friendships than when they arrived. But the added level of mentorship and support brought about through the Scholar Mentor Program ensures that they will continue to grow in transformational ways.
“The scholar mentors provide ongoing support over a 12-month window, including sharing resources, contacts, and best practices; creating and revising school transcripts and profiles; writing effective letters of recommendation; finding information about financial aid and scholarship opportunities; and building relationships with other professionals.
“Additionally, the program…has impacted hundreds of students in the home countries of the scholars."
Joan Liu is pictured second from left above. Photo reprinted with permission from the National Association for College Admission Counseling, 2016.