Entering its eighth year, the New Jersey SEEDS (Scholars, Educators, Excellence, Dedication and Success) College Preparatory Program will return to campus on Monday, June 29. The CPP Summer Collegiate Experience welcomes high-achieving high school students from low-income families entering their junior or senior years to campus for a two-week intensive academic experience that prepares them for their future college endeavors.
This summer, 52 students, from either Orange High School or Trenton Central High School, will be fully immersed in campus life as they take a full schedule of courses, interact with members of the Colleges’ faculty, eat in the Saga Dining Hall, and live in residence halls.
“SEEDS as a whole really does change lives,” says Anthony Jones, dean of the College Preparatory Program. “For most of the students, when they arrive at HWS it’s the first time they’ve ever been on a college campus. Having the students live on campus really helps students prepare for college. The freeness of it too – being able to go to the gym, walk along the lake and eat in the dining hall – is one of the most influential aspects of the program.”
The students’ schedules will include classes in math, science, English and art, as they can choose from courses such as algebra, chemistry, forensic science and theatre art. As rising juniors and seniors, they will also be required to take College 101, a course that prepares them for the college application and financial aid processes, as well as navigating the demands of college. New this summer are the program’s English/writing classes where juniors and seniors will be mixed together in three cohorts of about 17 students each. The course material will focus on writings by Malcom X, Sherman Alexie, and Anne Lamott.
The courses will be taught by HWS professors as well as faculty from Ithaca College and SUNY Geneseo. Adjunct Instructor of Writing and Rhetoric Elizabeth Wells and Visiting Assistant Professor of English and Comparative Literature Vinita Prabhakar will teach courses for the program. Representatives from admissions and financial aid will visit the College 101 course to offer insight on navigating the college application process.
Jones says the academic environment — interacting with college professors and maintaining a full course load — is instrumental to the program, and notes that the life-long relationships created in the process are irreplaceable for many of the students.
“For our students, being at HWS is an experience they remember,” says Jones. “Actually living in dorms and taking classes with professors allows them to bond as a learning community. They have a lot of ‘firsts’ at HWS.”
The program is made possible each year in large part due to the continuous participation of HWS faculty and endorsement by alums. HWS Trustee J. Paul Hellstrom Jr. ’64 has been an advocate for the program from its start, playing an integral role in connecting the SEEDS program with HWS and ensuring its success year after year.
The Summer Collegiate Experience is just one component of the College Preparatory program. Students are required to attend the summer program at HWS each year beginning with the summer they enter their sophomore year of high school, as well as to take classes every Saturday during the school year and participate in other leadership and college preparatory activities. Each year, many SEEDS graduates go on to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation, including Hobart and William Smith.
For more information on the program, visit the NJ SEEDS website at: http://njseeds.org/