ECSU summer programs contribute to college enrollment

Kesha Williams
August 29, 2008

Elizabeth City State officials say their summer school programs successfully contributed to the academic advancement of participating youths and college students. First, the Virginia-North Carolina LSAMP program brought 38 high school students to the campus for an intensive, four-week residency. The University of Virginia, under the National Science Foundation's Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation (LSAMP), leads a consortium of eight institutions that are charged with increasing the number of minority graduates in the fields of science, mathematics, engineering and technology over the next five years. For decades, educators have used various strategies to assure this country produced the number of professionals needed in math, science, engineering and technology. Producing African-Americans in those fields is another tier of the challenge now being met with the help of several Historically Black Colleges/Universities. Of the 38 students who attended the program this summer, 34 enrolled at ECSU. The North Carolina Department of Transportation's Summer Transportation Institute collaborated with faculty in the Technology Department to bring 17 high school students and three college interns to a program that promoted careers in the transportation industry. Many of those careers call for strong skills in math, science and technology. Area youths applied for the program and were selected based on grades and their interest in science and technology. The high school sophomores, juniors and seniors completed research projects, field experiments and class projects. This program has been offered up to nine years and usually leads up to 50 percent of participants to enroll at ECSU. Grooming area students for academic success is the main goal for the university's summer programs. Warren Poole is the interim director of Summer School and its summer programs. He says ECSU's summer programs are impacting dozens of youths like those in the federally funded Upward Bound. That program targets high school youths from six nearby North Carolina Counties and provides academic challenges that supplements those offered in schools. * They attend classes year round and have a summer session. The Mathematics and Science Education Network (MSEN) Pre-College Program brings students in grades 6 to 12 to campus on Saturdays and summers for a curriculum that prepares them for careers in mathematics and the sciences. The 2008 CReSIS summer program brought middle school youths to ECSU to learn about earth sciences. Other summer programs offer ECSU students and visiting college students additional research opportunities. "ECSU summer programs help middle and high school students adapt to the academic demands of college. The schedule of classes, instructional formats, program designs, faculty and staff office hours have been conveniently established with our students' best interests in mind. Many of them will go on to enroll in college," Poole said. "For college students participating in a summer research program, they complete academic research projects similar to those required of the nation's scientists. Whether it's the Ronald E. McNair Postbaccalaureate Achievement Program, the Summer Institute in Computational Science or the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets, college students are making the most of their summer months at ECSU."