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Elon, ABSS receive award from College Board for “Go 4 College” project

The College Board has awarded Elon University and the Alamance-Burlington School System a 2009 College Board Greenhouse Program Award to fund their new “Go 4 College” program, which will assist Cummings High School students who plan to visit campus in the coming months for college-access programs and experiences.

The $10,000 award supports six campus visits for Cummings students – three in the fall, and three in early 2010.

According to a recent Pell Institute report, Straight from the Source: What Works for First-Generation College Students, three crucial steps help prepare first-generation students to make a successful transition to college: raising aspirations for college, navigating the college admissions process, easing the initial transition to college.

The majority of students at Cummings High School in Burlington, N.C., have never been on a college campus. An Elon tour is a first step in raising aspirations. Students will also experience college life by eating lunch in a campus cafeteria, participating in university classes with professors, and talking with university students.

Educational sessions are also being scheduled. Sessions will demystify the higher education experience and may include: Taking appropriate courses in high school, study skills, choosing the right college and financing an education, among other topics.

Cummings students will be encouraged to take one or more courses through Elon University’s Credit Bank classes, Alamance Community College’s dual enrollment program courses offered at the high school at no charge, and online iSchool courses.

“This past spring a group of 9th graders from Cummings were brought to Elon to pilot this program. The responses were overwhelmingly positive,” said Deborah Long, coordinator of civic engagement and director of the Elon Academy. “It was the success of that visit that inspired us to apply for this grant. We want to ensure that all students who aspire to go to college get the support needed to make that dream a reality.”

The College Board’s Greenhouse Program support local projects that target low-income or disadvantaged students that “focus on student academic development, professional development, guidance, assessment or financial aid services,” according to it web site.

Eric Townsend,
5/19/2009 9:13 AM