Rutgers University’s Future Scholars Program Sends 100 Low-Income Students To College…For Free
What began as an educational experiment five years ago is now making a big difference in the lives of low-income New Jersey students.
In 2007, Rutgers University dreamed up its Future Scholars program, a rigorous 5-year college preparatory course that would target kids from families living at or near the poverty line. It would accept up to 200 of those students as 7th-graders and provide tutoring, mentoring and specialized classes in the hope of putting them on the right track to a university education.
If students kept up with the program and were admitted to Rutgers, they would receive a donation-funded scholarship and be able to attend free of charge.
Of the 183 students who were a part of the Future Scholars inaugural class, which graduated this June, 163 will attend college, 98 of them with full scholarships to Rutgers, according to the New Jersey Star-Ledger.
"It even beats the state graduation rate," Courtney McAnuff, Rutgers’ VP of enrollment management, told the paper. "It’s just been phenomenal."
Barbara Andrews is one of the program’s first graduates. She will be attending Rutgers this fall with a five-year full ride. Like many other Future Scholars, Andrews is a first-generation college student who thought affording university tuition would be impossible. She told the New Jersey Press, “This program honestly helped me believe that I could do anything that I want to do.”
The program currently accepts 50 students from four cities — New Brunswick, Piscataway, Newark and Camden — but the university is hoping to bring the idea to communities around the nation. Rutgers will host a national conference in November to help develop similar programs elsewhere, the Star-Ledger reports.
“Ultimately, it’s about transforming lives, whether it’s the scholars themselves or people who are inspired by our students,” program director Aramis Gutierrez told the New Jersey Press. “These young people should take much more credit because they are resilient and they just needed some guidance to point them to their goals. They’ve done all the work, and we’re lucky to be a part of it.” [x]
Great Lakes resident about to get her bachelor’s degree at 14
Thessalonika Arzu-Embry and her mother, Wonder Embry, get up at 5 in the morning most weekdays to go to school together.
Unlike most 14-year-olds, however, Thessalonika isn’t off early in the morning to the local high school. She’s going to Chicago State University.
Thessalonika is putting the finishing touches on a college career that started three years ago at College of Lake County and will end next month with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Chicago State.
"My college experience is a traditional college experience for me — it is just that I have completed it faster," Thessalonika said. "I am very excited about joining others in having the opportunity to contribute to society in a significant way."
The American Indian College Fund is the recipient of a $50,000 grant for Native student scholarships from the Ford Motor Company through the company’s Blue Oval Scholars Program and an additional $10,000 to support the American Indian College Fund’s Flame of Hope Gala on October 10, 2013, which raises money for student scholarships.
A summer school is due to open at the University of Bath to attract autistic students into higher education.
Issues which may put off prospective students will be covered such as stress and anxiety and how to build social skills while living away from home.
Dr Mark Brosnan said: “It can be very anxiety-inducing this transition of being at home in a structured environment to going to university.”
Thirty places will be available at the summer school which opens in September.
"We are particularly targeting those who are thinking of going to university so we are talking about the higher-functioning end of the spectrum," said Dr Brosnan, who is running the course.
"There are some very specific needs there - they can be extremely academically gifted and would do extraordinarily well on the academic side but may need additional support on the social side," he added.
The two-day course will be free to those who have been diagnosed with an Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD).
Dr Brosnan hopes to expand the summer school and hold it every year, if funding can be secured.
When he was 14 years old, gang members destroyed his Cleveland home because he refused to join their group. He and his siblings were then split up, because his mother couldn’t afford to buy a new house and he ended up spending many nights sleeping on park benches.
But now? David Boone is Headed to Harvard.
Morehouse Whiz Kid is Causing a Stir: 13-Year-Old Dominates College
At thirteen years of age, Stephen Stafford is causing quite a stir at Morehouse College. Stafford has a triple major in pre-med, math and computer science. Though he loves playing video games and playing his drum set, he is no typical teenager. He is exactly the kind of student I had in mind when I wrote the book, “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about College,” because he shows the power of the black male mind when we put our energy into things that matter most. Over the 17-years I’ve spent teaching at the college level, I have never seen anything more impressive, nor more reflective of what black men represent.
"I’ve never taught a student as young as Stephen, and it’s been amazing," said computer science professor Sonya Dennis. “He’s motivating other students to do better and makes them want to step up their game.”
Stafford began his college career at the age of 11, after being home-schooled by his mother. Stafford’s mother said that when Stafford began to teach her instead of being taught by her, she knew he needed to be in a college environment. Since that time, he has excelled in his classes and continues to grow intellectually.
Colleges offer veterans classes to ease transition
The students in the Saturday morning class trickle in and, as they introduce themselves around a table, reveal far more intimate biographies than just name and hometown.
One confesses to demons he struggles to control. Another says he’s here to find a community. “Forgive me,” an Iraq war veteran begins haltingly. “I have to use notes. I have a brain injury.”
The students are participants in a veterans writing seminar atGeorge Washington University, where for two days they immerse themselves in the basics of the craft and learn how to plumb for therapeutic and creative purposes their experiences in places likeIraq, Bosnia and Vietnam. The class is a non-credit weekend seminar open to veterans and their relatives, but the university plans to soon adapt the model into a for-credit semester-long course for student veterans.
The seminar is part of a trend of veterans-only courses offered atcolleges and universities, part of a concerted effort to cater to a population that tends to be older, more experienced and farther removed from the classroom than traditional undergraduates.
Institute of American Indian Art Turns 50 on Saturday
The world’s only four-year fine arts college dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts is celebrating a historic milestone Saturday.
The Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) will celebrate its 50th anniversary on October 13 with panel sessions on IAIA’s impact on creative writing, museum studies, Indigenous studies and studio arts with astute alumni and faculty. Creative Writing Chairman Jon Davis, who is also Santa Fe’s poet laureate, and award-winning poet Joy Harjo, Muscogee Creek Nation, will be part of Saturday’s discussion. Other panelists include award-winning artist Tony Abeyta, Navajo, and Pojoaque Pueblo Governor George Rivera.
Other events include campus tours, garden and greenhouse tours, art demonstrations- some using state of the art equipment- and student films and art exhibitions.
“As IAIA celebrates its 50th anniversary, we are proud to be the birthplace for contemporary Native art,” IAIA President Dr. Robert Martin, Cherokee, said. “We all continue to be inspired by the vision, originality and achievements of our alumni and current students.”
As part of the anniversary events, the IAIA campus will dedicate a sculpture by alumnus Craig Dan Goseyun (San Carlos Apache) at 4 pm on Thursday, October 11. Goseyun donated his 17,000 pound Italian marble senior thesis project to IAIA after completion in September. ‘Follows the Mountain’ now sits at the roundabout on Richards Avenue and College Drive at one of the Rancho Viejo subdivision entrances.
Offering degrees in studio arts, creative writing, new media arts, Indigenous liberal studies, and museum studies, IAIA is the only college in the nation dedicated to the study of contemporary Native arts. It is the only college in New Mexico with National Association of Schools of Art and Design accreditation. Accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges, the school began as a high school for Native Americans in 1962 and now serves nearly 400 Native and non-Native American college students from across the nation.
The panel sessions and the keynote speaker, Gerald McMaster, a 1974 alumnus and co-artistic director for the 2012 Sydney Biennale in Australia, will be streamed live over the Internet starting at 11 am. Saturday. The panelists will answer questions live via chat from the Internet audience. For those wishing to view the sessions or take part in the Internet discussion, go to Anniversary Livestream.
For more information about IAIA’s 50th anniversary or to view a schedule of events, go to www.iaia.edu/50th.
To read more about the sculpture dedication and artist Craig Dan Goseyun, go to Sculptor’s “Follows the Mountain” to be Dedicated.
Seventeen leading universities in the U.S. and abroad will start offering free cyber courses through the online education platform Coursera, the company said Wednesday.
The announcement by Mountain View-based Coursera underscores the rapid expansion of so-called MOOCs, or massive open online courses, that are reshaping the higher education landscape.
Coursera, a for-profit company started by two computer science professors at Stanford University, will now offer more than 200 courses from 33 institutions that are open to anyone with Internet access. Officials said the website has registered 1.3 million students around the world.
The new Coursera partners include Brown, Columbia, Emory, Vanderbilt and Wesleyan universities, as well as Berklee College of Music and Mount Sinai School of Medicine. The foreign universities added are Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of British Columbia, University of London, University of Melbourne, and Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Coursera said.
The new additions include five public institutions: Ohio State University, the University of Florida, University of Pittsburgh, University of Maryland and University of California, Irvine.
"As boundaries and limitations begin to disappear in the world of higher education, Coursera is clearly an up-and-coming player on the global stage and we look forward to partnering with them," University of Florida President Bernie Machen said in a statement.
EdX, a competing online platform founded by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, announced this month that it will start giving students the option of taking proctored final exams, which will allow them to earn independently validated certificates to show potential employers or educational institutions.
In a report issued last week, Moody’s Investors Service said the growth of the online courses could help participating universities generate new revenue, increase brand recognition and become more efficient.
However, the Moody’s authors warned that such courses, which can reach an unlimited number of students worldwide, could hurt for-profit education companies and less selective nonprofit colleges that could see reduced student demand.
Kalamazoo man collecting college degrees has 29, would like to get to 34
Every June, students all over the country don their caps and gowns for graduation. Whether it’s from high school, college or graduate school, most people could easily count their own graduations on one hand.
But not 71-year-old Michael Nicholson of Kalamazoo, Mich. Nicholson has earned 29 degrees and is now pursuing his 30th.
"I just stayed in school and took menial jobs to pay for the education and just made a point of getting more degrees and eventually I retired so that I could go full-time to school," Nicholson told ABCNews.com.
"It’s stimulation to go to the class, look at the material that’s required and meet the teacher and students. It makes life interesting for me," he said. "Otherwise, things would be pretty dull."
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PICTURED ABOVE: (from L-R) MIT Provost L. Rafael Reif , MIT President Susan Hockfield, Harvard President Drew Faust, MIT’s Anant Agarwal, and Harvard Provost Alan Garber.
Harvard and MIT create EdX to offer free university courses to the world
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Meet Dawn Loggins, an 18-year-old who went from a homeless dropout to a full ride at Harvard.
The journey for the 18-year-old began last summer when her mother and stepfather abandoned her. They dropped her off at a prestigious six-week summer school program and just never came back.
Loggins figured all she could do was go home to Shelby, N.C., for her senior year at Burns High School. Friends took mercy, letting her sleep on their couches. She hit the books hard, even enrolling in advanced placement classes. And she took a job at school as a janitor, cleaning before and after class.
“I’ve known I wanted to go to college ever since I was like 12,” she told The Daily. “I just made a decision to myself that I was not going to live like my family.”
Hell yeah, this is my hero of the day and for the rest of the semester. What a great story of perseverance right?
Remember that Dawn Loggins is one among thousands of homeless teenagers in the United States.
Heartwarming Tearjerker of the Day: Senait’s family came to the U.S. from Eritrea, Africa, in 1993. Watch as she finds out that she’ll be the first in her family to attend college.
Organizers of an online Mideast peace movement say they are launching the Internet’s first university for Israelis and Arabs across the Middle East.
Former Israeli peace negotiator Uri Savir, founder of the Yala Young Leaders movement, says the group’s “Online Academy” will offer students courses in government, social networks, communications and skill development.Savir said on Thursday that the new academy, set to go live in September, “can revolutionize relations between young people of the Middle East.”
The Yala Young Leaders group has attracted nearly 85,000 members on Facebook since it was launched a year ago. Savir says more than a quarter are young Egyptians.
For the third year running, an all-male charter school with students from Chicago’s roughest neighborhoods is sending its entire senior class to college.
Urban Prep Academy reports that all 85 seniors graduating from the all-male preparatory school have been accepted to four-year colleges or universities, the third consecutive year an entire senior class has gotten acceptance letters along with their diplomas.
This year’s class also has some standout stars, like Vernon Cheeks, 17, who was accepted to 14 schools, according to CBS Chicago.
"It taught me how to be resilient. It also taught me how to be accountable for my own actions," he told the station of his experience in the standout high school program.
Urban Prep’s success is unusual in its West Side neighborhood, which sees disproportionately high rates of violent crime so severe that parents requested heightened protection for academy students earlier this year, amid concerns that gang territories were advancing on the school.
"[In] this volatile, violent area, these are like lambs surrounded by wolves, and that shouldn’t be,” the grandmother of a student told ABC Chicago.
The school’s success has grown exponentially since its founding in 2006, when only four percent of the school’s first freshman class was reading at grade level when they entered.
In 2010, the school sent all 107 graduating seniors directly into college or university programs for the first time.
"No other public [school] in the country has done this," Urban Prep Academy Founder Tim King said at the time. Continuing that success in 2011 and 2012 makes the school’s performance even more remarkable.
The school also boasts an impressive “persistence” record this year—83 percent of 2010 Urban Prep graduates who went on to college have stayed there, compared to a national average of 35 percent among African-American males, according to the Chicago Tribune.