For high school juniors and seniors, the pandemic has been a significant source of uncertainty and anxiety as students plan for their educational and professional futures. Concerned about the gaps in college advising and application assistance during this period, Christine Chapman founded The College Axis Project (CAP) in May 2021.
Unlike many other college guidance programs, CAP is designed to serve students of all socioeconomic backgrounds and does not target specific populations. “We are a blended program,” Chapman explains, “so those who can afford our services and those who require financial assistance receive the same high-quality product in small-group settings. This also facilitates the sharing of diverse experiences and ideas.”
CAP’s programs include college process workshops and boot camps that cover everything from applications to resumes, personal statements and essays. The nonprofit also offers a two-night college application retreat in Vermont and is getting ready to launch a college counseling online course with videos and guided tutorials. In addition to its paid programs, CAP delivers popular free resources like college profile review meetings with a professional college counselor and an online resource library for students and parents.
The quality of its instruction is another aspect that sets CAP apart, Chapman says. “The people delivering the program include my colleagues, who are seasoned educational consultants, educators and professionals who have spent years working in college admissions and college or guidance counseling settings, and me,” Chapman says. “Together we represent more than 100 years of experience in the field.”
Chapman notes that the college admission process has grown increasingly stressful and competitive, while at the same time, guidance counselors at public and private schools must manage overwhelming caseloads. CAP offers students much-needed personalized guidance that they might not have sufficient access to at their schools, Chapman says.
Describing the process of working with students on their college essays, Chapman remarks on how participants are not accustomed to the high level of attention that CAP provides. “It’s powerful because our process allows for connection and vulnerability to happen so a truly authentic piece can evolve,” she says. “That’s the stuff that lights my soul on fire when I think about the work that I do and being able to offer that to anybody and everybody.”
Since launching, CAP has provided more than 100 free college profile review opportunities and granted more than $2,000 in financial aid in the form of tuition assistance and courses. Chapman is committed to the philosophy that these services should not be a luxury. “I’d like to give every high school junior and senior the guidance and empowerment that they should have as they get ready to transition into an undergraduate education or a vocational path or whatever it may be,” she says. “That is what drove me to get College Axis off the ground.”
Chapman lives and works in Hopkinton, but CAP also is registered to provide services in California, Florida, New York and Texas.
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