Since 2010, the Center for Access and Attainment has hosted a summer program called College Connect for high school juniors and seniors from Chicago's neighborhood public and Catholic high schools.
This intensive five-week program of academic enrichment, cultural exploration and career awareness experiences targets students with college potential and the motivation to succeed but who often face difficulties navigating the road to college.
College Connect provides participants with an opportunity to take a college-level class during the summer on DePaul's Lincoln Park campus, and helps students to explore the "why" and "how" of going to college after high school graduation—information that many students lack.
Past courses included Religions in Chicago
, a course which examined the richness and diversity of religious traditions and communities in the city; Social Injustice
, a course that explored enactments of social injustice across several Chicago paradigms; and Mission (Im)Possible
, a course that introduced students to ethnographic inquiry. See Summer 2017
for this year's course line-up.
In addition to introducing students to college-level academics, the program places emphasis on college readiness—namely social, cultural and financial competence. College Connect aims to expand students' predisposition toward college by strengthening their belief that college is a place where they belong and can be successful. The program is designed to build students' confidence by introducing them to a college environment and college-level expectations for class performance, group projects, writing and critical thinking. At the same time, the program helps to build a viable pathway to enrollment at DePaul. Through the fall of 2016, 75 percent of College Connect alumni applied to DePaul with approximately 84 percent receiving acceptance to the university.
Admission in the program is based on counselor recommendations and academic achievement, as well as evidence of college preparatory work. College Connect coursework is non-college credit bearing. The program is free to students.
For more information, contact Kate Agarwal, Assistant Director of Community Outreach.