Many students, especially those who face the daily challenges of understanding how school applies to them and impacts their own lives, write off the college experience as unattainable and irrelevant to their future. One part of overcoming that challenge is that they have little to no context in which to understand the college experience.
What if students had that opportunity to live on campus and experience college classes first hand. What if college weren't a mystery, but place they had been many times before and want very much to try and reach again.
What if for three weeks every summer these students had a chance to live in the dorms, eat in the dining hall, attend a sporting event, join a club, and take classes from a college professor?
It's been done before.. and it works.
Some schools such as the University of Richmond host "College Student for a Day" programs
Other organizations such as First Star (with programs stretching from UCLA to Washington DC) go further and create a support program for students who have faced domestic violence. Their program not only includes a month long on-campus college experience for their students, but also includes monthly mentorship meetings with a mentor and peer advisors all year long.
What might we learn from that program in demystifying college and helping build the success traits that can get kids there!