College Horizons is thrilled to introduce a new summer program that will launch in 2017! The College Horizons Scholars Program is a three-week writing academy that will service college bound Native students as they graduate from high school and immediately prior to entering college. We are very pleased to announce that our inaugural class of scholars will be hosted by Lawrence University in Appleton, Wisconsin in 2017 and then at Amherst College in 2018. A generous grant of $650,000 over the span of three years has been awarded to College Horizons in partnership with Lawrence University from The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation in order to make this new program possible.
(A photo of small group 5 students and faculty from College Horizons at Lawrence University in 2016. Participants pose for photo while standing on stairs and wearing matching t-shirts stand in front of a campus building)
This culturally relevant and rigorous program will serve to sharpen students' writing, reading and discussion skills in order to boost confidence and make the transition to college smoother for students as they begin their freshman year. Students at the program will experience college-level instruction and receive techniques and strategies for navigating the academic and social challenges inherent to transitioning into a college environment. Furthermore, students will receive ongoing advising and support once the program concludes and throughout their undergraduate career. The program will aim to address the unique challenges and strengths that Native American students bring to their higher education experience.
"Many of our students stand to benefit from bridge programming in order to better prepare them for a college environment. Particularly, Native students from first-generation, rural or low-income homes and communities," states Carmen Lopez, Executive Director of College Horizons. "Even students who may have excelled in and exhausted their high school curriculum can be very challenged as they enter a rigorous college environment – in addition to the academic and financial hurdles, many Native students can feel uniquely isolated as they live away from family, culture and homelands for the first time. This program is designed to ease that transition. We don't just want to see our students admitted to college – we want them to thrive, graduate from college, and then be prepared to earn a graduate or professional degree. This pipelining work is critical to our mission at College Horizons and Graduate Horizons."
To head this new initiative, College Horizons has selected a Director of Scholars Program who will oversee the planning and implementation of the Scholars Program. Mikaela Crank Thinn M.Ed. (CH '02 and GH '07) has been selected to head the new initiative in the coming months. She joins the College Horizons team from her previous position at Stanford University's Office of Undergraduate Admission. Read more about Mikaela and her new position here.
For more information about the Scholars Program, read the Mellon Foundation's announcement here and check back with the College Horizons website in the coming months as we announce more information.