Elon Academy hosts first Tri-Area College Access Summit

Elon Academy staff hosts first ever Tri-Area College Access Summit; a gathering of college access professionals from neighboring cities.  

When college access professionals gather together, greatness is in store. On Thursday, Jan. 31, the Elon Academy staff hosted over 20 College Access Professionals from neighboring cities to our campus for the first-ever Tri-Area College Access Summit.

The Summit, an idea stemmed from an introductory meeting with partner organization Student U-Durham, aimed to build partnerships and engage attendees in conversation surrounding college access. Organized by Elon Academy Assistant Director of College Success Princess King, this initiative aimed to provide a space for local college access professionals to share experiences and resources for improved support for first-generation college students and their families.

2019 Tri-Area College Access Summit Attendees

Modeled after the Ed Camp “un-conference” format, summit participants engaged in small-group conversations around six topics selected by attendees including: recruitment and retention, supporting second- and fourth-year college students, mental health support, building alumni networks, supporting families, and college partnerships. The “Un-conference” model is driven by spontaneity, minimal structure and organic dialogue.

Among those in attendance were representatives from the following college access organizations: Emily K. Center, Student-U Durham, Education Talent Search & Upward Bound at NC A&T State University, TRiO Programs of UNC Greensboro, Say YES Guilford, Crosby Scholars Program (Iredell County), LatinxEd (Chapel Hill), and Wake Forest Pre-College Programs (Winston Salem).

Summit-goers left energized, inspired and motivated to implement future programmatic ideas. The summit encouraged potential co-sponsored programs between several organizations including a combined Transition to College Retreat with Elon Academy, Student U, and the Emily K. center to take place in summer 2019.

“My goal was to produce an event that provided local college access professionals an opportunity to work together, share ideas, and build collegial relationships between organizations; I hope this is something we can continue on an annual basis,” King said. The Tri-Area College Access Summit was an immense success and tentatively scheduled to be hosted by the Emily K. Center of Durham in 2020.