UT Tyler College Readiness program aids high school students in college prep

Liz Romo • Staff Writer


College Readiness Coach Grace Motley, second year graduate student (Clinical Mental Health) assists Longview High School students.”
College Readiness Coach Grace Montley, second year graduate student (Clinical Mental Health) assists Longview High School students. Photo courtesy of Angela Copeland.

The University of Texas at Tyler College Readiness Program helps high school students prepare for college in multiple different facets.


This can encompass helping with ApplyTexas, FAFSA, scholarship applications, major and minor exploration, student life, student government, career exploration, how to become engaged on campus and more.


Students are able to be paired with a college readiness coach to help them along every step of the way.


Last year, the program was implemented on a smaller scale with 2 coaches and 4 high schools in East Texas. This year, the program has expanded to 9 coaches and 30 high schools all over East Texas, from Longview, Tyler surrounding area, Jacksonville and Rusk.


The goal is to expand, but proves to be difficult the farther it grows from Tyler.


“We are trying to accommodate as many schools as possible.” said Angela Copeland, the Director of College Readiness.


Student coaches are used so that high school students are able to connect with someone closer to their age. Relatability is implemented, making students potentially more comfortable asking questions that they would not be comfortable asking an admission counselor.


The goal is to be able to help students from the very beginning of the college application process through the end. Coaches answer questions and help them navigate through college applications. They even go as far as helping them register for orientation, housing and Swoop Camp.


College Readiness Coach Grace Motley, second year graduate student (Clinical Mental Health) assists Longview High School students.”
College Readiness Coach Grace Montley, second year graduate student (Clinical Mental Health) assists Longview High School students.

Students do not have to be applying to UT Tyler in order to receive help. Although it is encouraged that they do, it is not required.


However, the program offers benefits for the students that are or planning to apply to UT Tyler. Those that apply through a coach get the $60 application fee waived, and are offered additional assistance in resolving holds and completing checklist items specific to UT Tyler.


Additionally, Angela Copeland the Director of College Readiness may help contact other staff on campus to get holds off accounts.


Grace Montley, a graduate student of Fruitvale works with students at Longview High School every Wednesday.


Montley helped a student who had no intention of going to college. That was until April when he received a track scholarship to college. However, he was discouraged since he had no idea where to start.


The student went to Grace and they were able to complete his application, FAFSA, and to do items. All he had to do after Montley’s help was go to his orientation.


“This is a really fulfilling job, just being able to open kids' eyes to opportunities they would have never expected or thought about. I just love being able to see that lightbulb in their head and see their excitement whenever they meet with me.” Montley said.


Montley encouraged students who are passionate about UT Tyler, who enjoy building relationships with people and who want to help build the reputation of UT Tyler apply to become a coach. She encourages upperclassmen to apply, but this is not limited due to their training sessions.


There will be a job opening posted for a coach in the near future, so keep your eyes peeled!


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