Westminster, MD (Vocus) April 28, 2010
A select group of 250 rising high school seniors from Washington, D.C., will participate in a four-week academic enrichment program at McDaniel College in partnership with the District of Columbia College Success Foundation. The program has a theme-based curriculum that taps into Common Ground on the Hill to help raise students’ awareness about the interconnectedness with the world in which they live and to establish a framework for a positive college experience.
With offices in Washington state and in the District of Columbia, the College Success Foundation works with six D.C.-based high schools in Wards 7 and 8 – three public and three charter – to identify students who show significant promise of becoming future leaders in their communities.
In partnership with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the College Success Foundation has boosted high-school achievement levels of economically disadvantaged and underrepresented students by providing mentoring and offering scholarships essential to gain acceptance and transition into college and fulfill their potential.
“We know our students possess the drive and desire to go to college but many lack a strong academic foundation,” said Kya Dixon, assistant college programs officer for the College Success Foundation. “Through the Summer Academic Enrichment Program at McDaniel College our students will strengthen the skills that they will need to be successful in college and complete a baccalaureate degree. We are so excited that we are partnering with McDaniel to provide our students with this amazing program.”
McDaniel’s student-centered enrichment program, titled “Taking Care of our World House: An Integrated Approach to College-Level Literacies,” is designed to show students how diverse academic subjects are interrelated and will strengthen their reading, writing, mathematics and technology skills. Students who complete the program qualify to earn two academic credits.
Field trips will provide hands-on learning for students to integrate those skills with real-life experiences.
For example, a language arts lesson on “how food unites people” celebrates the connection of food to identity. Students will also learn about how food is produced and distributed as well as the economical differences between large-scale agri-business versus community-supported agriculture. Using flip cameras, students will visit an organic farm and record their impressions that will later launch class discussion and writing lessons.
“This partnership and the summer enrichment program are every educators’ dream,” said Lisa Breslin, academic director for the program and director of McDaniel’s Writing Center. “We have had the thrill of creating a curriculum that gets students away from their desks and into the world. We will have students who demonstrate the promise and possess an eagerness to learn. And we have no doubt that we will learn as much from them as they will from us.”
The program, which will enlist McDaniel professors as well as teachers from high schools and colleges throughout the region, calls for 27 teachers and a staff of peer tutors for mathematics, English and technology. Foundation staff members and peer mentors also will be involved.
McDaniel College, a private four-year college of the liberal arts and sciences, was founded in 1867 as Western Maryland College. Students pursue more than 60 programs of study, including dual majors and student-designed majors. The 1,700 undergraduates and 1,300 graduate students receive personal attention and take advantage of leadership opportunities in the close-knit community, where the average class size is 17 and professors are dedicated mentors. The 160-acre campus is located in Westminster, Md., 30 miles northwest of Baltimore and 56 miles north of Washington, D.C.