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ERIC Number: ED555841
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Aug-1
Pages: 61
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
Being Smart Is Not Enough--Easing the Way on the Long Hard Journey from Urban Poverty to College Graduation
Hare, Mark
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The RocCity Scholars Program was developed to establish the efficacy of replicating the Rosen Scholars Program (ERIC #ED451789). Both programs were offered in inner-city environments, (New York City and Rochester) and both targeted the same under-served populations: college-bound academic achievers who were culturally, socially and financially disadvantaged. Further, both programs incorporated a new community-based cohort designed to provide group guidance rather than one-on one mentoring. The RocCity Scholars Program set out to identify four 10th grade, academically gifted students each year at Rochester's East High School (a low performing inner-city school), and then to provide these students with developmental supports that would enable them to gain admissions to top-tier colleges. The Program committed to engaging with the Scholar through the freshman year of college. RocCity Scholars developed a cohort of volunteer "scholar guides", mentoring students as a group and individually. The RocCity Scholars Program was designed as a developmental program that responded to the individual students' unique goals. In addition to the Scholar Guide support, the cultural arts community was enlisted to engage the scholars in the development of their critical understanding of the arts. Of the six Scholars admitted to the program, two graduated in June 2013. One Scholar is currently completing his junior year at St. Lawrence University. A second Scholar was admitted to the University of Rochester, but was unable to continue due to health reasons. The RocCity Scholar experience has corroborated the Rosen Scholar experience regarding the application of a cohort approach to mentoring. Though the two programs differed in environmental characteristics, both demonstrated a need to apply developmental strategies to the social and cultural gaps these students experience when compared to their academic peers in the greater population. Further, both Programs demonstrated the need to provide guidance beyond the freshman year of college. The experience of both Programs, in the selection process and academic supports identified, demonstrated the fallacy in depending upon grade point average in the selection process due to the prevalence of grade inflation. Upon the completion of a four year pilot program, the Board of Directors of the RocCity Scholars Program has concluded that the program model--a collection of interpersonal, academic, social , and cultural supports for disadvantaged college-bound academic achievers, can be highly effective. However, the commitment to each student is labor-intensive and expensive. It cannot be sustained by a small cadre of volunteers. The students profiled in these two programs suffer from being underserved in terms of receiving the supports needed for them to develop their skills so that they may compete successfully with their national peers, become aware of their options, and succeed in their academic pursuits. A revived RocCity Scholars Program, or a successor program would require increased program capacity such as an institutional home to assure sustainability of financial resources. One possibility would be to engage college and university local alumni groups in efforts to prepare promising college-bound scholars. This would enable top-tier colleges to engage a more diverse student body without compromising their academic standards. The following are appended: (1) RocCity SCHOLARS Program: College Prep, Search, Selection and Application Curriculum; and (2) RocCity SCHOLARS Program.
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Secondary Education; High Schools; Grade 10; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York