Nicole Farmer Hurd '88 Awarded Honorary Degree by Franklin and Marshall College

Hurd received the degree for the creation and ongoing leadership of College Advising Corps.

During the Franklin and Marshall College commencement on May 12, 2018, Nicole Farmer Hurd '88 received an Honorary Degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, from Dan Porterfield, alongside Senator Cory Booker. The college presented the degree for her conception and ongoing leadership of College Advising Corps (CAC). 

While working at the University of Virginia in 2004, Hurd first became aware of concerns about college advising. During a meeting with local business leaders and representatives from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, she learned that there was a critical shortage of high-school guidance counselors in the United States, with the average counselor being assigned nearly 370 students, and the average student receiving about 20 minutes of counseling each year.

Hurd then brainstormed an idea where recent University of Virginia graduates could stay with the University as college advisors for area high schools. The Cooke Foundation became interested in the idea and a year later offered grant money for a pilot program with a mission to provide low-income high schools with college counseling services with a goal to increase the number of first-generation, low-income, and underrepresented students who apply, enter and complete college.

Now College Advising Corps has grown into the largest college access program in the country, serving 200,000 students and 646 under-resources high schools. CAC draws new college graduates from 24 partner colleges in 14 states.

In 2012, CAC received the National Service Impact Award from the Corporation for National Community Service. In 2016, Nicole was honored as a White House Champion of Change for College Opportunity and named to Washington Monthly's list of The 16 Most Innovative People in Higher Education. She received the 2013 Excellence in Education Award from the National Association for College Admissions Counseling, the Executive Leadership Award of Excellence from the National College Access Network in 2012, and the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship in 2011.


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