The Power of Near-Peer Mentors in the Pursuit of College


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Today’s students, especially those who will be first in their family to go to college, crave advice and support from near-peers who can provide invaluable first-hand accounts of what college is really like and why it is important. This session will explore the powerful role that near-peers play in motivating and guiding students to and through college. We will provide examples of how current upperclassmen, enrolled college students, and recent college graduates can offer support, candor, and motivation to see the “light at the end of the tunnel”, particularly for boys who oftentimes lack positive male role models.

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The Power of Near-Peer Mentors in the Pursuit of College

  1. 1. The Power of Near-Peer Mentorsin the Pursuit of College and Persistence to Graduation<br /> Candace Browdy, Executive Director, Schuler Scholar ProgramSarbeth Fleming, Senior Assistant Dean, Davidson CollegeIrvin Gomez, Dartmouth College, CSO Opportunity Scholar, and Schuler ScholarMatt Rubinoff, Executive Director, Center for Student Opportunity<br />
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  3. 3. Mission<br /> The Schuler Scholar Program (SSP) prepares under-resourced, high potential students to succeed at the most competitive private colleges and universities.  Schuler Scholars are typically first generation college bound, come from under resourced families or communities and will need financial assistance in order to attend college. Many Scholars are from a population that is under represented on college campuses.<br />We believe that if high potential but vulnerable students have access to academic and enrichment programs while in high school, are well informed of college options, receive support from family, friends, teachers and mentors, are motivated, and secure financial assistance, they will be successful in obtaining a college degree.<br />
  4. 4. Schuler Scholars Class of 2010 College Matriculation Data<br />The SSP rates schools in 5 categories:<br /> The Most Competitive (includes the Ivy’s, Stanford and the top ten small liberal arts colleges)<br /> Highly Competitive<br /> Very Competitive<br /> Competitive<br /> This year 63% will be attending schools that are Most Competitive. 24% will attend Highly Competitive schools and 13% will attend Very Competitive schools. <br />The average selectivity (Princeton Review) of Schuler colleges:<br /> 2007 - 87<br /> 2008 - 91 <br /> 2009 - 92<br /> 2010 - 95<br /> Schuler Scholars matriculating in 2010 received $1,854,000 in scholarships and grants. The average non-loan financial aid award was $37,000/per scholar/year. <br />
  5. 5. Schuler Scholar Program<br />As of the end of the 2009-2010 School Year<br />287 Schuler Scholars in High School<br /> 35 college graduates<br />160 in college<br />Approximately 75% of students from the Class of 2010 admitted to the program remained in the SSP through high school graduation. The retention rate for subsequent classes is on the rise due to a more rigorous selection process.<br />Approximately 90% of college scholars remain in the program for all four years of college. <br />Five high school partners:<br />Waukegan High School (2001)<br />Round Lake High School (2006)<br />Warren Township High School (2008)<br />Highland Park High School (2009)<br />Maine East Township High School (2010)<br />
  6. 6. Schuler AmeriCorps<br />Every year the Schuler Scholar Program recruits recent college graduates to serve as AmeriCorps members in each Schuler partnership high school.  The members, called Scholar Coaches, provide one-on-one support to the Schuler Scholars and deliver a wide range of programs throughout the year. <br />Additionally, Scholar Coaches develop programming, plan and execute exposures, assume leadership roles within the organization, and receive on-going in professional development.  Coaches serve as tutors, mentors and role models for the students and Schuler staff members provide the same support for the Coaches.<br />Scholar Coaches are highly motivated college graduates who commit to serve 1-2 years with Schuler so that they are better prepared for graduate school and/or professional pursuits.  They are usually interested in education, education reform, social services, youth development, social justice or a related field.  Coaches possess a desire to work with under resourced young people and families and an appreciation for the value of a college degree from a highly competitive or selective college or university.   <br />
  7. 7. Schuler Scholars Class of 2010 <br />Matriculation List<br />Amherst College (2) Lafayette College (3) <br />Augustana College Lake Forest College <br />Barnard College (2) Lehigh University (2)<br />Beloit College (2) Macalester College<br />Boston College University of Pennsylvania <br />Brown University Pitzer College (3) <br />Carleton College Pomona College (2) <br />Columbia University University of Richmond (2) <br />Cornell College (3) Scripps College (2)<br />Dartmouth College (4) Skidmore College <br />Davidson College Smith College <br />Denison University Stanford University <br />DePauw University (3) Tufts University<br />The George Washington University Union College (2)<br />Harvard University Wesleyan University<br />Illinois Wesleyan University (2) Williams College (3)<br /> Wellesley College<br />
  8. 8. S.T.R.I.D.E. ProgramStudents Together Reaching for IndividualDevelopment in Education<br /> Implemented by the Dean of Students Office in 1992, the Pre-College Enrichment Program was a summer pre-orientation experience for incoming students of color. The impetus of the program came from former students in reflecting on their initial experiences at Davidson and felt that a pre-orientation program was needed to bridge their transition from high school to college.  STRIDE is a support program purposed to assist first year ethnic minority students with their adjustment to Davidson College. A series of designed experiences offer academic, cultural, and social support as well as vital information to aid students in understanding and working effectively within the college community.<br /> <br />
  9. 9. S.T.R.I.D.E. COMPONENTS<br />Pre-College Enrichment<br />Peer Mentoring<br />Monthly Enrichment Programs<br />Mid-Year Check Up<br />Year End Celebration<br />
  10. 10. Pre-College Enrichment<br />Pre-College Enrichment is intended to acclimate students to college life at Davidson. To this end, students are introduced to coping strategies to better manage academic and social pressures through such activities as time management, stress management and goal setting workshops.<br /> <br /> Second, Pre-College Enrichment makes every effort to help students get acquainted with campus resource persons. Students have the opportunity to meet and interact with Davidson faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni. In addition, students have opportunities to bond with their peers through teambuilding activities.<br /> <br />Third, Pre-College Enrichment exposes students to important concepts in writing and study skills. Over four days, students receive tips from Davidson faculty and staff that will enhance their abilities in these areas.<br /> <br />
  11. 11. Peer Mentoring<br />As an important part of the STRIDE Program, ethnic minority students will be assigned an upperclassman as a mentor for their first year. Peer Mentors assist in the facilitation of the Pre-College Enrichment program as well as serves as a resource for first year students. <br />Monthly Enrichment Series <br />The Monthly Enrichment Series is a monthly program series that addresses issues relevant to first year ethnic minority students at Davidson College. The programs will provide opportunities for academic, social, and cultural enrichment for ethnic minority students. <br />
  12. 12. <ul><li>MID –Year “Check Up”
  13. 13. The Mid-Year “Check Up” is a retreat for all first year ethnic minority students scheduled at the beginning of the spring semester. The purpose of this gathering is to bring students together to evaluate their first semester as well as give students who were not able to participate in the Pre-College Enrichment program an opportunity to make additional connections with their peers.
  14. 14. Year End Celebration
  15. 15. The End of the Year Recognition Program will provide an avenue to recognize the participants of the S.T.R.I.D.E. program for their accomplishments as a first year student as well as their participation in the program.</li></li></ul><li>Center for Student Opportunity (CSO)<br />Mission <br />To empower low-income, first-generation college students to and through college by providing information, guidance and scholarships. <br />
  16. 16. Opportunity Scholars <br />Opportunity Scholars<br />A FREE program, students can: <br /><ul><li>Connect with colleges recruiting first-generation, low-income, minority students on
  17. 17. Receive monthly newsletters, college admissions guidance and support
  18. 18. Apply for CSO’s $2,000 four-year renewable </li></ul>Opportunity Scholarships <br />
  19. 19. Opportunity Scholars Blog<br /><br />Opportunity Scholars Blog <br />Opportunity Scholars Blog is an engaging, <br />student-friendly peer-to-peer platform highlighting remarkable journeys of students who beat the odds to become first in their family to attend college.<br />
  20. 20. Opportunity Scholars Bloggers<br />
  21. 21. Opportunity Scholars Blog <br />
  22. 22. Opportunity Scholars Blog Post<br />
  23. 23. Opportunity Scholars Blog Post<br />
  24. 24. Contact Us<br />Candace Browdy, Executive Director, Schuler Scholar Program(773) 320-0302,,<br />Sarbeth Fleming, Senior Assistant Dean, Davidson College(704) 894-2752,, www.davidson.eduIrvin Gomez, Dartmouth College, CSO Opportunity Scholar, and Schuler Scholarirvin.a.gomez@dartmouth.eduMatt Rubinoff, Executive Director, Center for Student Opportunity<br />(301) 363-4222,,<br />