- Krystal L. Clemons, Assistant Professor, Liberty University
- Fallon K. Dodson, School Counseling Manager, D.C. Public Schools
- Bianca M. Gregory, School Counselor, Norfolk Public Schools
- Tangela Dupree, First Vice President & Programs Chairman, Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
- Renae Feacher, #CAP Chairman, Gamma Theta Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
FCAN host: LaVerne Handfield, Programs Coordinator
Many students struggle to navigate through the college admissions process. In Florida, college applications are down 14.5% throughout the Florida College System (FCS) and up throughout the State University System (SUS) by only 0.6%. The largest decreases in FCS applications have been among first-time-in-college, Black, Hispanic, male, and part-time students.
On March 25, FCAN welcomed representatives from Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated (AKA), the nation’s oldest African American sorority building Black women leaders. The sorority has committed to providing a hands-on approach to support students throughout the college-going process through its College Admissions Process initiative, #CAP.
What is #CAP?
#CAP is Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated’s College Admissions Process program. It is the sorority’s signature program for the 2018-2022 sorority administration to help high school students navigate the enrollment process by providing a step-by-step, hands-on approach that includes all aspects from researching various colleges to completing the application process.
The #CAP program utilizes the STEPP process:
- Search: Research schools and scholarships that meet the students’ needs.
- Test: Identify ACT/SAT resources to help students prepare and take the required admissions tests.
- Evaluate: Evaluate the application process for each school being considered.
- Punctuality: Create a timeline to include completing and submitting applications, essays, financial aid forms, and other required materials to ensure important deadlines are not missed.
- Positive Attitude: Keep a positive attitude and be optimistic about their future.
College & Career Readiness and School Counseling
#CAP aligns with the four components of the American School Counselor Association national model (define, manage, deliver and assess) and the eight components of college and career readiness counseling to help students become college and career ready and close the gap for college access and admissions in all counseling programs. The #CAP program focuses on high school juniors and seniors, but there are aspects of the college-going process that can be discussed throughout the K-12 grades.
AKA, Florida, and #CAP
Florida is one of three states that make up a significant portion of AKA’s South-Atlantic region with 40 graduate chapters and over 10,000 members. In Tampa, the Gamma Theta Omega (GTO) chapter houses a very robust #CAP program with 314 members who have a rich career background, including educators, which they pull resources from within the chapter.
In 2020, the Gamma Theta Omega chapter had over 50 participants from 36 different high schools in Hillsborough and surrounding counties. Since the pandemic, GTO adapted its program to a virtual environment. Some virtual workshop topics included financial aid (“Don’t Fumble Your Financial Aid & Scholarships” facilitated by Jameshia Jefferson, Financial Aid Counselor at Hillsborough Community College and member of GTO), scholarships (“Scholarship Searching”), essay writing (“Get Ready to Score” facilitated by Ms. Phyllis Walters, Middle School Counselor at Ferrell Girls Preparatory Academy), and an ACT/SAT Boot-camp facilitated by a parent volunteer and two students from Blake High School. All sessions are recorded and sent to students in the program to review as needed.
GTO also introduced a virtual college tour series at the end of 2020 highlighting Florida Memorial University and the University of Florida. Admissions representatives presented to students and showed videos of virtual tours. They continue to do these once or twice a month so students can be exposed to colleges they are unable to visit.
Implementing on a local level
#CAP is operated at a community level. If school counselors or college access professionals identify students who need extra assistance with the college-going process (i.e. they don’t have the support at home, or are on the cusp of not finishing), they can reach out to a local chapter who might be able to provide targeted support.
The #CAP Toolkit is available as a resource for students to implement strategies to help them during the college admissions process. It includes information on tasks for juniors and seniors such as financial aid, application tips, ACT/SAT resources, an admissions checklist, and a calendar with monthly action items for the student to complete. Although the program is focused on juniors and seniors, all middle and high school students are invited to attend the local chapter’s programs.
Since the pandemic, the #CAP application has gone virtual and can be accessed by visiting http://bit.ly/GTOCAPAPP.
FCAN thanks the following for their generous support of this webinar:
To learn more about implementing AKA CAP in your school or community — or to view the webinar and download the presentation — take advantage of these resources:
Plan It Florida — Make a Plan!, Choose Your Path!, The More You Learn, The More You Earn!
Plan It Florida — College and Career Readiness Guide (also available in Spanish and Haitian Creole)
Be sure to visit our Past Webinars page for access to recordings and downloadable material from FCAN’s previous presentations.