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“Go 4 College” program helps teens earn college credits at Elon

Eight students from Cummings High School in Burlington will be earning college credits this spring at Elon University through a program funded by a $10,000 grant from the College Board.

The College Board Greenhouse Program Award supported the “Go 4 College” project, a partnership between Cummings High School, Elon University and several community partners, including Alamance Citizens for Education, the Alamance County Chamber of Commerce and the Alamance-Burlington School System.

The eight Cummings students took courses at no charge through Elon’s Credit Bank classes. The grant covered scholarships, textbooks and transportation for the eight students.

The Greenhouse Program supports local projects that target low-income or underserved students.

”Bringing our Cummings High School students to campus has not only helped these students realize that a college education is within their reach, it has also raised awareness among our faculty, staff and students about the need for Elon to continue supporting our local schools and deserving students in our community,” said professor Deborah Long, coordinator of civic engagement at Elon.

Elon and the Alamance-Burlington School System received the award in spring 2009. And the college credits were one part of the overall “Go 4 College” program.

Nearly 200 Cummings High School students, counselors, and teachers toured Elon’s campus this year and sampled college life by eating lunch in a dining hall, participating in university classes, and talking with university students. A “Pathways to College” session shared tips for students on how to navigate their way to college and keep counselors apprised on college admissions requirements.

The first four “Go 4 College” visits involved the top 42 students from each class at Cummings. The fifth and final visit, held on April 21, engaged community leaders in conversations over lunch with the top 10 students from each class.

Community leaders shared what goes on behind the scenes to support educational efforts while students shared the most pressing challenges they face in their high schools and as future college students.

Student reaction to the program was positive, according to comments from feedback surveys.

“For most of our students, this was the first time anyone in their family has been on a college campus,” said Bonnie Roane, assistant principal at Cummings, “The welcome students felt throughout the day helped them to visualize themselves on a college campus and in a college classroom. Students loved their classroom visits.

"The Elon professors and students in the classes were genuinely welcoming to our students, which made a huge impression on them.”

Eric Townsend,
5/5/2010 11:06 AM