The Urban Assembly Postsecondary Access team works to build the capacity of Urban Assembly College Counselors and support them in their counseling and decision making, while also collaborating with schools to develop systems that strengthens their postsecondary going culture to ensure all UA students make informed decisions and successfully navigate their postsecondary lives.

The Urban Assembly Postsecondary Access program consists of two programmatic approaches:

Postsecondary Access Counselors’ Community: Through a professional learning community, UA supports our Counselors (UACCs) to better their practice of counseling and supporting students. Aspects of the community include:

  • Monthly PLC meetings for UACCs
  • Access to UA’s Postsecondary Access Resource Collection
  • Weekly Update emails
  • Access to a UACC hotline and email listserv for postsecondary access troubleshooting
  • Customized data sheets of student outcomes and progress post-graduation
  • Membership to city, state and national membership organizations
  • Access to funding for conferences.

College Counselor Coaching: In-depth coaching for college counselors and school communities on every facet of the college and financial aid application process, including but not limited to:

  • Development of school college-going culture
  • Development of college lists
  • Cultivation and editing of student essays
  • Connection to non-college postsecondary options
  • Set-up, maintenance, and enhancement of the college office
  • Tracking and completion of opportunity program applications
  • Tracking and completion of financial aid applications
  • Feedback and advising around financial aid packages
  • Counseling in challenging student situations (undocumented students, dependency overrides, etc.)

College is life. It gives you the chance to step out of your comfort zone, find yourself and your passion.

Phalisty, Bronx Academy of Letters Alumnua and UA Bridge To College Coach

Team Members

  • Ayinde is the Postsecondary Access Manager at the UA. He previously served as the Director of College Counseling with the CollegeBound Initiative at Williamsburg Prep HS, focusing on equitable counseling practices, college access and ensuring college success. He earned his BA in Sociology from Concordia University in Montreal and his MA in Educational Leadership, Politics and Advocacy from NYU in 2019. Ayinde has been working in various areas of education for over a decade. He started his career teaching a summer school Social Studies class in San Francisco for two years, and then developed an after school literacy program that used hip-hop as a medium to encourage creative writing and the exploration of identity for high school students in Montreal. He transitioned into working as a Case Manager for young people in the foster care system, but eventually returned to focusing on the higher education landscape as a college success counselor, ultimately furthering his commitment to ensuring that our young people complete their post secondary education.

  • As Deputy Director of College Access, Robyn works to support and develop the college counselors across the UA's network of schools. A New York native, Robyn has provided college access support to NYC non-profit organizations for over 10 years. Prior to coming to the UA, Robyn was the Director of College Counseling as part of an inaugural team of educators at a 6 – 12 public school in the Bronx. Robyn works to ensure students not only have access to higher education, but the skills needed to succeed and graduate. Robyn earned a BA in Journalism and a Masters in Higher Education from the University of Maine. Robyn is also an active member of CACNY, NYSACAC and NACAC.

  • Cassie Magesis has been at the Urban Assembly since 2012 and serves as UA's Director of Postsecondary Access. She comes to UA from the Options Center at Goddard Riverside Community Center where she served as an Educational Counselor and Trainer for the Options Institute. She is the President of the New York State Association for College Admission Counseling. Cassie is a graduate of Hamilton College (BA) and Baruch College (MPA).