Advise TX could easily be likened to the “Teach for America” of college advising. These ‘near-peer’ advisers are placed in high-risk Texas high schools with the singular mission of building a college-going culture at that school and helping students find the best fit for their career aspirations. Four universities recruit highly talented recent graduates, provide them with six weeks of intensive training, and provide supervision and professional development throughout the year.
In 2016-17, a total of 231,361 students were enrolled in the 112 high schools served by Advise TX. Eric Bettinger, a nationally known economist from Stanford University, annually conducts evaluations. His studies have found that, in comparison to control high schools, students served by a near-peer adviser are 42% more likely to apply to a postsecondary institution, and 67% more likely to be accepted to a college/university.
Recent studies have indicated that the passage of House Bill 5 in 2013 has led to declining college readiness and college-going rates. It is critical for Texas to reverse this trend. Texas is home to some of the largest high schools in the country, yet most schools have only one advisor on campus. The near-peer advisers simply cannot connect with all the students at the 112 high schools currently served by Advise TX.