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Starting the Dream

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SCOPE: Students of Color Opportunities for Postsecondary Education

Judith and Secondary Education Class
UMD Secondary Education students in class

The program is called SCOPE. The idea is to connect future teachers with high school students from underserved backgrounds, and it has turned into a strong and unique program.

“I knew a program like this could affect the lives of future generations and their interest in receiving a higher education,” said Joyce Strand, the education department head.

Strand and Brenda Fischer, a UMD instructor, partnered with AmeriCorps volunteers and organized the program. The main goal was to introduce the idea of college for students who might not consider college as an option.

One of the highlights of the first few months of the program was an evening at UMD where the students and their parents were invited to the campus for a dinner and a tour that included the dorms in 2010. The evening was a success with parents and students many asked if UMD planned to schedule another evening in the future.

“The SCOPE program was developed to provide attending support to local students of color in their pursuit of entering college,” Fischer said. “We had 21 kids who are historically underserved. Ten students were from the Central-Denfeld area and ten were from East Duluth. The students began the program as ninth graders and will continue through the remainder of their high school careers.”

In 2010-2011, UMD students in the Secondary Education Program served as tutors to high school students. One of the benefits of the SCOPE program is that it provides UMD secondary education students an opportunity to connect with high school students. By the end of the first year, both the high school and college students were excited about their part in the program.

In 2011-2012, the college students will move into mentoring roles. High school students will have the opportunity to visit UMD and meet with professors, attend various art, music, sports and drama events and essentially "shadow" college students. The hope is that the high school students will see themselves as future college students and pursue the necessary steps to attend college themselves.

“We’re giving high school students a chance to see the campus, to know that they can receive a higher education when they graduate,” said Strand. “After the dinner and tour, one student said ‘I belong here.’ It was a good moment. We knew then that the message was getting through.”


Written by Christiana Kapsner, 7/12/11

























— written by Christiana Kapsner


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