On Friday, the university hosted a welcome mixer for 68 high school students newly admitted to the Dean’s Future Scholar program. Since its foundation in 2000, the program has established an educational model resulting in a 90 percent high school graduation rate for those enrolled. The program has traditionally recruited students during their sixth grade year and mentored them all the way through middle school, high school and then college. But, this newest cohort is comprised of high school freshmen and sophomores from Hug, North Valleys and Washoe High Schools.
“The Nevada System of Higher Education, through their federally funded College Access Grant, is sponsoring this group of students in a pilot program, DFS (Dean’s Future Scholars) EDGE,” said program director Robert Edgington. “Because of the success we have had with the kids we start working with as sixth-graders, we want to see what we can do starting with students early in high school.”
The DFS EDGE program requires students to meet with a college-student mentor every week to review grades, establish goals, fulfill high school graduation requirements and plan for college opportunities. The program also includes a six-week summer session that provides students with math credit courses, helps them with other academic skills, introduces them to college life and fosters college success skills. Throughout the program, the students can access free tutoring, internship and job opportunities, help with exam preparation, and a student lounge with computers, printers and a writing station.
The DFS EDGE program is funded through this summer, but Edgington hopes the students’ progress will result in continued funding throughout these students’ high school years and into college. The program currently has about 250 high school students and 100 middle school students participating.