Program Overview

The Elon Academy is an intensive, three-phase college access and success 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. 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.

The monthly Saturday Program 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. Transportation for scholars and families is provided on request.

Each year, scholars are assigned a College Access Team (CAT) Mentor (trained Elon University students) who meets with them 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) as requested. Counseling services and referrals to community agencies are available to both scholars and their families.

Picture of people at Peacehaven Community Farm

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.

Group Picture from Elon Academy

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. Elon Academy college scholars sometimes return to the campus and the community to inspire and support Elon Academy Phase One scholars as mentors and teaching assistants during the summer residential program.