Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative

About the Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative (MPAI)

The Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative is designed to ensure all high school students, particularly those in rural communities, have an advisor exclusively focused on helping them achieve success following graduation. The program, supported by federal COVID relief funding, will award up to 135 grants to eligible schools over three years. 

Advising Model

Due to the challenges the pandemic has created for high school students, school counselors have increased demands on their time. This new initiative is designed to increase available resources for and ease the workload of high school counselors. College and career advisors will be placed in rural schools, working alongside counselors and district leadership, to grow the number of students who enroll in postsecondary education and training options. 

Advisors will support students’ postsecondary pursuits by: 

  • Developing, updating, and implementing Individual Career and Academic Plans (ICAP) for postsecondary education and training;
  • Identifying opportunities to secure financial aid, including completing the FAFSA;
  • Supporting students as they work to enroll in college, earn a workplace credential, and/or enlist in the armed services; and
  • Coaching students through the transition from high school to lifelong success.

Advisors will receive ongoing training and support from Ozarks Technical Community College.

Contact Information

For information regarding program details, contact Chrissy.Bashore@dese.mo.gov

For information regarding funding, contact Chris.Neale@dese.mo.gov

rootEd Alliance 

The Missouri Postsecondary Advising Initiative is designed and supported by rootEd, a collaborative philanthropic effort that connects high school students in rural America with college and career opportunities. rootEd Alliance has worked in Missouri high schools for three years, serving more than 2,200 students. In partner schools, postsecondary enrollment increased by up to 10%, even as enrollment fell across the state in response to the pandemic. Additionally, 80% of students in partner schools completed postsecondary applications, and 78% of students received at least one acceptance.


For information regarding the 2023 rootEd Missouri Conference Reimbursement Program, please go here. Information can be found under the Missouri Postsecondary Advising initiative tab.