College Mentoring & Volunteering

College Positive Volunteers:  Meeting students where they are at

How can I help students see themselves as college potential? There are many occasions where interactions between K-12 students and volunteers, mentors, or professionals occur that could be teachable moments about post-secondary education.  While many of these occasions will happen in high school settings, we can’t underestimate that it can happen anywhere and at any given point in time in a student’s life. It is essential to connect with students and understand that conversations about college and career will be different for every student. The community needs to have a shared language in order to make progress in their efforts to create a college-going culture in the region.


College Positive Volunteering Toolkit: can be incorporated into your program, camp, or outreach!

College Positive Volunteers (CPVs)

CPVs are any trained college student, faculty or community member who plans to work with K-12 youth through different sectors such as volunteerism, service learning at college, and programs in any nonprofit or educational organization working with underrepresented youth or adult learners. Ultimately, CPVs are a resource to help students learn how to navigate and prepare themselves for post secondary education.

There are two resources for implementing CPV:  Training and the Toolkit.  CPV training is typically offered by colleges active in the Michigan Campus Compact.  CPV partners can access training via Youtube ( ), a downloadable powerpoint, during a webinar, or during regular trainings at conferences and AmeriCorps VISTA orientations. Students and faculty receive the CPV training before being deployed as volunteers with K-12 students in the community.  The CPV Toolkit is the companion to the training offering basic college knowledge about college preparation, paying for college, career navigation, and financial resources. The most important tool for CPVs are the ready-made activities that can be used and adapted for students at each school level: elementary; middle; and high school.

The 2012 College Positive Volunteerism toolkit was written and edited by Dr. Paul Hernandez, Ph.D. and Karla Loebick, based on previous work by Kim M. Davis, Ph.D. (Source: Michigan Campus Compact, 2017).

Fostering CPV in our community

College Positive Volunteerism (CPV) can provide any volunteer who works with young people with the training, tools and knowledge that will enable them to become ambassadors of higher education to the K-12 youth and adult learners they serve. CapCAN has taken the CPV resources to another level by providing the training and toolkit to its organizational partners.  CPVs acting as tutors, mentors, and active community members can have a profound impact on how young people view the possibility of going to college.  CapCAN utilizes the CPV curriculum to train adults to promote a college-going mindset among youth they serve, expose them to community resources for post-secondary navigation, and help them pursue higher education. 

CapCAN has utilized CPV with faith communities, nonprofit organizations, athletic organizations, and businesses to ensure that anyone who talks with a child is on the same page about the messages, information, and tools they give to help the student understand that post-secondary education is for them. AmeriCorps VISTA members with CapCAN conduct the CPV training for community partners in the region. 

Quote: “Through completing the CPV training, our service- learners develop the skills necessary to talk to youth about attending and paying for a post- secondary education.  The service-learners subsequently use these skills to help prepare and inspire the youth to attend college.”  – Dr. Erika Carr, Western Michigan University


CapCAN Workshops, CPV Training and consultation services

Please contact Michele Strasz at to schedule a training or consultation session.

Click HERE for a copy of the College and Career Workshops flyer.