FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 29, 2002
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Printable application and nomination
forms, along with other Camp College information, are available
online at www.bsc.edu/admission.
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.