The New Jersey SEEDS (Scholars, Educators, Excellence, Dedication and Success) College Preparatory Program will return to campus on June 29. For a seventh year, students from Orange High School and Trenton Central High School will reside on campus for two weeks of rigorous academics and leadership development. There will be 76 rising sophomores, juniors and seniors attending the CPP Summer Collegiate Experience.
The students, all high-achieving and from low-income backgrounds, will take advanced academic courses and explore residential higher education. They will meet with members of the Colleges’ faculty, eat in the Saga Dining Hall, and stay in residence halls.
“The summer experience is the first time most of our students will be part of a community of achievers, a community where academic excellence is supported and rewarded,” says Ronni Denes, president of SEEDS, who notes the residential component of the program is as important as the academic. “We are preparing these students to leave home, deal with the social interaction that comes with living with other students, monitor their own study habits, know how to take care of themselves, and use the available resources on a college campus.”
Their schedule will include classes in math (algebra, algebra two, pre-calculus or calculus), logic, grammar and writing, and critical reading, many of which will be taught by HWS faculty. Assistant Professor of Philosophy Rodman King and Assistant Professor of Philosophy Brett Caloia will each teach logic; Associate Professor of English Laurence Erussard and Assistant Professor of English Vinita Prabhakar will each teach critical reading; and Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric Elizabeth Wells will teach grammar and writing.
The students will also take “Human Behavior,” a proprietary element of SEEDS’ curriculum which integrates intellectual inquiry with experiental learning. The aim of the course is to train students to subject their own emotional judgments to rigorous analysis so that they can increase their level of effectiveness in life. They will also be able to choose from among four elective classes developed by NJ SEEDS: Theater Arts, Visual Arts, Forensic Science, and The History and Social Importance of the Hip Hop Generation.
The program has received a great deal of support from HWS faculty and alums alike. HWS Trustee J. Paul Hellstrom Jr. ’64 has been an advocate for NJ SEEDS since its beginnings at the Colleges. Hellstrom was the driving force in bringing together SEEDS and HWS and has contributed to the program’s continued success.
“We keep coming to HWS every year because the campus is wonderful. Everyone is more than accommodating and interested in what we are doing,” says Denes. “They show a real caring for our students and a desire to see some get engaged with the HWS community, and interested in applying to the Colleges.”
Many SEEDS students go on to enroll in some of the nation’s best colleges and universities, including Hobart and William Smith. There are three CPP alums currently attending Hobart and William Smith, and another will begin her first year this fall.
For more information on the program, visit the organization’s website at http://www.njseeds.org/.