BSC Office of Communications

Your News Source for the Hilltop

April 29, 2002

Birmingham-Southern's first 'Camp College' designed to increase number of first-generation college students in Alabama

BIRMINGHAM, Ala.-As many as 50 Alabama high school students who dream of becoming the first members of their families to attend college will get a head start on making those dreams come true at the first-ever Camp College on the Birmingham-Southern College campus July 24-26, 2002.

Funded by a $17,500 grant approved by Gov. Don Siegelman, Camp College 2002 will bring up to 50 high school students from 12 central Alabama counties to the Birmingham-Southern campus for three days of learning what it takes to get into college and then how to pay for it once they get there.

"This could be the most important summer camp experience of their lives," said DeeDee Barnes Bruns, vice president for admission and financial aid services at Birmingham-Southern. "We'll give these young men and women a taste of college life, while at the same time providing them with the information, incentive, and tools they need to become the first members of their families to attend college."

Bruns said that she believes Camp College, which will mirror similar programs already under way in Tennessee and North Carolina, will be the first such summer camp of its kind in Alabama. "The goal is to increase the number of first-generation students who will attend and graduate from college, as well as to broaden the diversity of student populations at all Alabama institutions of higher learning," explained Bruns. "We especially encourage minority first-generation college prospects to apply."

To be eligible to apply for the first Camp College, students must be potential first-generation college goers, reside in the 12-county Region 2020 area, be completing their sophomore year of high school during spring 2002, have a cumulative grade-point average of 3.0 or better in core courses, and exemplify leadership qualities and self-motivation. The Region 2020 counties include Bibb, Blount, Calhoun, Chilton, Cullman, Etowah, Jefferson, Shelby, St. Clair, Talladega, Tuscaloosa, and Walker. Region 2020 is a citizen driven, regional visioning project begun in 1996.

"We hope that with continued and additional future funding we will be able to expand this program to high school sophomores statewide," said Bruns.

During Camp College, the participating students will learn about the academic options available to them after high school; how to use various resources, including the World Wide Web, to search for the right college; all about the admission process including how to apply online, techniques for writing application essays, and skills needed for admission interviews; how to pay for college, including information on financial aid and scholarship opportunities available; and what college life is all about by living in a residence hall, meeting in classrooms, visiting a college library, and interacting with faculty and students.
Camp College participants also will be partnered with a volunteer from the Birmingham business community who will mentor them during Camp College and in future years about educational and career choices.

Off-campus events also are planned so that the campers can experience the culture and history of the city of Birmingham and surrounding areas.
Camp College 2002 is free to invited participants.

Eligible students who wish to apply for Camp College 2002 may do so by contacting Birmingham-Southern College's Office of Admission at 800-523-5793, extension 4696 (toll-free); 205-226-4696; or Printable application and nomination forms, along with other Camp College information, are available online at

Students also may be nominated by their high school guidance counselors or teachers. The application/nomination deadline is May 15, 2002. The first Camp College class will be announced in June 2002.


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