MCAC advisers come from all majors, backgrounds and types of institutions and they serve in a wide variety of schools and community contexts. Despite these many differences, being a MCAC adviser is almost always a defining life experience, personally and professionally. Although most advisers do not have a background in education, over 70 percent of alumni stay in the field through positions or graduate studies in K-12 (teaching, counseling and administration) or higher education (advising, retention services, college access programming and student affairs). After more than 10 years of service to the state, MCAC has over 130 alumni who are now experienced professionals working in positions throughout Missouri, the nation, and the world. Read about a few of our alumni below and if you are an alum, please share your story with us, sign up for our newsletter, and stay in touch.
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Emma McIntyre (2015-2017)
High school served: Central High School, Springfield
Current position: Admissions Representative, University of Missouri
“I learned so much during my two years of service! First and foremost, I was constantly reminded of the need to meet students where they are. Whether they have extensive college knowledge or none at all, whether they’re a fourth-generation college student or first-generation, each student is unique, and has their own strengths and fears when it comes to their post-secondary career. I also learned that building relationships is the key to being successful not just as a college adviser, but throughout your career. Building partnerships with all types of stakeholders enables you to do the best job possible, and to reach out to your connections when you need help. Finally, I learned that you can’t take yourself too seriously, especially when working with high school students! I try to remember this in my current role and have some fun (and remember what I was like in high school!) when working with students."
“I’m currently working as an Admissions Representative for Mizzou! I’m based in Columbia, and also travel in Southeast Missouri, to recruit future Tigers. Being a College Adviser was excellent preparation for my current role! A lot of my job is building relationships with students and families in order to help them through the college going process. Having previous experience with college planning, and with Mizzou, made for a smooth transition. I’m also able to answer a broad range of questions for families about not just admissions, but also paying for college, best match and fit, and more, because of my experience with MCAC."
Darius Whitaker (2011-2013)
High school served: Gateway STEM High School, St. Louis
Current position: Coordinator, Office of First Year Experience & Orientation, Ohio State University
“Serving as a College Adviser changed my life. I enjoyed having the opportunity to assist and build relationships with students who had a very similar background and faced many of the same systematic barriers to success. Those relationships are still present today. My experience as a College Adviser amplified my passion for working with underrepresented populations. The role taught me a myriad of skills of how to advocate and support students who are often unheard. These transferrable skills and more such as data management, public speaking, and event planning has assisted me in my roles after MCAC. I served as the Recruitment and Diversity Coordinator for the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri and presently as one of the Coordinators in the Office of First Year Experience & Orientation at The Ohio State University. Without the skills and the foundational knowledge about higher education and college access I learned while serving as a College Adviser, I would not be where I am right now."
Jeff Perkins (2014-2016)
High school served: African-Centered College Prep (Southeast High School) – Kansas City
Current position: LGBTQ Intercultural Specialist, Ohio State University
“During my time serving as an adviser, I didn't know what I was getting myself into and it was definitely a job I didn't expect to do after graduating from Mizzou. But it was the absolute best job I've ever had. I feel like I'm always going to say that, no matter what I end up doing. I took from my experience as an adviser to see education as a tool for liberation for marginalized communities. Working in the schools that MCAC partners with, you have many students who are facing some of the same challenges, but are also very different in their own ways. Often, society lumps them together and creates these deficits about their capabilities or potential which can be harmful. But I've seen my students defy what society says about them through applying to college, getting accepted, getting amazing scholarships, and recognized for their brilliance. One thing being an Adviser taught me was that every student, no matter the GPA or test score, deserve the opportunity to have and define success for themselves. That's what my students taught me about my own life as well. I can't believe I am about to have students who are graduating college this year! Being adviser taught me to see things beyond myself and truly give students the tools they need to succeed in college or any postsecondary path."
"MCAC prepared me for the role that I have now, by teaching me what serving students looks like. Being an educator can be hard work, even a little bit isolating. It is a constant battle of trying to support students, but also working with higher education institutions to understand the nature of your work. When people ask me why I chose to study higher education in graduate school, I always tell them my former students decided for me. I saw their needs and experiences, some of them quite similar to my own experiences getting to and through college, and wanted to do everything I could to support them. I believe my time in MCAC helped me give students the tools to define their own success, find community, and develop a strong sense of self-advocacy for themselves as well."
Katie Meyer (2014-2016)
High school served: Van Horn High School
Current position: College Admissions Specialist and Graduate Student (M Ed in Secondary School Counseling), University of Missouri – St. Louis
"When I became an MCAC adviser, I knew that I wanted to go into my school and change students’ lives. What I didn’t know was the impact that they would have on my life. Since the school that I served at was a very diverse school, I was introduced and exposed to many cultures. These experiences and moments with my students make me the well-rounded person that I am today. MCAC changed my life. While every adviser dreads the month long training over the summer, it really did prepare me more than any class that I have ever taken in my graduate program to assist students with their post-secondary transition. I wish that more high school counselors had the opportunity to attend a training that is solely focused on the ins and outs of the college admissions processes."