With each passing day, there are new ways to connect with each other and new ways in which we can inspire each other to strive for greatness. It used to be, unfortunately, that if you were unable to make the geographical move to a certain area, you would be completely left out of the educational ranks. As an honor society, we contemplated the ways in which we could help the academic community and decided to show students how they could better prepare themselves for life beyond high school. With the help of volunteer members and partner institutions, we lead by example. The Planning to Achieve Collegiate Excellence (PACE) program is and has always been about encouraging those who wouldn’t have felt the drive to commit to their education. In line with our core values, NSCS will continue to work for scholars everywhere!
For our chapter officers, we offer a variety of resources on the NSCS portal to help guide your chapter. From letters to sample March 2 College Day™ schedules, you will find everything you need to have a successful PACE program within the NSCS portal, and if you don’t, the members of the National Leadership Council and the NSCS team are always available to assist. This year, the NSCS team has even put together a Social Media Kit your chapter can utilize to streamline the marketing portion of your program.
Thanks to technology, we are now able to encourage students who formerly wouldn’t have been able to pursue an education to do so remotely. Knowing that the landscape of education is constantly evolving – neck and neck with technology – we encourage our online scholars to share their experiences with others so that they can, in turn, also become the embodiment of scholarship, leadership, and service.
One of the ways an online chapter can form a PACE assembly program for students is by hosting a webinar. By featuring members of your network or community who can speak about the value of higher education and other topics relevant to pursuing a college degree, you can remotely encourage future scholars to continue along their educational path. Alternatively, you might choose to collaborate with a nearby brick-and-mortar chapter. Through collaboration, chapters can come up with educational videos and resources that can aid the traditional PACE programs at the local schools.
COMMUNITY COLLEGE CHAPTERS
Like online students, our community college students can use PACE to introduce middle or high school students to a college experience that they may not have seen before. Community college PACE programs should highlight the unique benefits of a community college education. For instance, many PACE mentees will say that they cannot or do not want to start college right after they graduate from high school. Community college members – often full-time workers, parents, or returning students – can show PACE students how they juggle competing responsibilities or waited several years to start college. You can also encourage students who might think college would be too hard for them by sharing all the different resources available on campus and any free perks students get, such as free tutoring. Be sure to point out any financial aid your college provides to nontraditional students.
Community college chapters can also emphasize to PACE mentees that they can get an equally good education at a community college. For students who are unsure of what they want to study, you can explain how they can gain educational momentum and save some money by taking general classes at a community college until they decide what they want to pursue. For advanced students, many community colleges have an honors college, which allows them to get the attention they deserve and helps them strengthen their leadership and academic skills. Furthermore, once they graduate with an Associate’s degree from their local community college, they can apply to many universities in the country without taking any standardized tests. You can also talk to these students about any specific clubs and honor societies, such as NSCS, that your community college hosts and show them that there are many ways they can be actively involved in campus activities as well as in the community.
NSCS is always working to expand the reach of the PACE program, and will continue to evolve the way that we connect with our members and support our chapters. It’s all about keeping up the PACE! Does your chapter have a unique PACE idea that has worked? Let us know by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
Valentina Dertlieva is the Community College Liaison for the NSCS National Leadership Council as well as the Chapter President of the NSCS Chapter at Miami Dade College.