Thursday, July 21, 2011

Countdown to College runs through Aug. 6

Saint Mary’s is conducting its second annual Countdown to College through Aug. 6. This two-week program for students from under-resourced communities will be offered to students each year for four years, beginning just after they complete eighth grade and continuing until they reach college age — helping to assure each student is prepared for a successful college experience.

The camp is completely free to student participants from San Miguel and Nativity Schools, their parents (who come the first weekend) and teachers from their schools, who co-teach with SMU instructors, and help prepare SMU instructors on how to effectively work with this growing population of students. Twenty-five students participated last summer. In addition to welcoming back these 25 participants, SMU also welcomes 25 new incoming ninth-graders. Each group of 25 is here for two weeks, and they overlap on campus one week.

This is one portion of Saint Mary’s First-Generation Initiative, a program designed to offer academic, financial and personal support to first-generation students as they transition into higher education.