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Program Overview

The Elon Academy is an intensive, three-phase college access program based on academic strengthening, leadership development, college-going knowledge and culture, service, and family involvement.

Phase I: College Access Program

The College Access Program is a high school program. Each year, a new cohort of ninth graders is selected to join the Academy. The year-round program combines three intensive 4-week summer residential experiences at Elon University prior to the 10th, 11th and 12th grades with a monthly Saturday Academy during the academic year. The residential component of the program mirrors college life, providing exposure to academic classes, co-curricular, service and cultural experiences, as well as college planning and college visits. In addition, families and scholars meet with a college planning staff person during each summer program. University faculty, high school teachers and community members teach classes while college students serve as teaching assistants and mentors. Classes integrate reading, writing, speaking, and critical thinking skills and emphasize collaborative, organizational, study, and time management skills to increase potential for success in both high school and college. Mentors live in the residence halls with scholars. LabCorp provides paid internships for many of our scholars during the second half of the summer and during the school year, helping to develop work and leadership skills. 

The year-round program includes a monthly Saturday Academy that includes SAT preparation, college selection, essay writing, service,and college, grant, and scholarship information and guidance. Since family involvement is crucial, parallel programs are offered for family members four times per year.

Each year scholars are assigned a College Access Team (CAT) Mentor (Elon University students who have been trained by our staff) who meets with them face-to-face and virtually to answer questions and provide support and encouragement between Saturday programs. We advise our scholars to take a rigorous high school curriculum including honors and AP classes. To ensure success we provide Elon University Academic Coaches (at no cost) on an as-needed basis. Counseling services and referrals to community agencies are available to both scholars and their families. Transportation for scholars and families is provided, on request, for all activities to remove any barriers to participation.

Phase II: Transitions to College Program

The Transitions to College Program is designed to prepare scholars for the financial, academic, personal and social challenges in transitioning to college. This phase of the program includes an intensive three-day summer retreat. Peer leaders (scholars currently enrolled in college) are an integral part of this program by serving as facilitators during the transitions retreat and as mentors during the academic year.  

Phase III:  College Success Program

The College Success Program is designed to ensure college completion for scholars once they enter college. In this phase of the program, Academy staff visit scholars on their campuses to provide scholars with additional academic, social and mentoring/advising support, as well as assistance in securing additional financial aid. Through a career transitions and graduate school retreat, graduating college scholars are supported in developing plans for life after college. The impact of the program is expanded when Elon Academy college scholars return to the campus and the community to inspire and support Elon Academy Phase One scholars who also dream of a college education by serving as mentors and teaching assistants during the residential summer program.