For the second straight year, members of the Franklin & Marshall community are preparing to welcome more than 200 exceptional juniors from rural Pennsylvania high schools to campus for a daylong introduction to the liberal arts experience.
The students will visit campus Feb. 20 for F&M College Summit, a program hosted by the College in association with the National College Advising Corps-Keystone Region (NCAC). The students will tour the F&M campus, meet current students and faculty members, eat in the dining hall, and receive an overview of the college-application and financial-aid processes. The NCAC works to increase the number of low-income, first-generation college and underrepresented students who enroll in and graduate from college.
The summit's co-organizers are F&M alumni Shawn Jenkins '10, special assistant to the dean of the College for strategic projects, and Jessica Fegely '10, assistant director of NCAC-Keystone Region.
"It's exciting to have these students visit F&M because, for most of them, this will be their first time on a college campus," Fegely said. "They'll get to see what college looks like, and what a college education is all about."
Fegely spent the 2011-12 academic year as an adviser for NCAC at Manheim Central High School in Lancaster County. Each year, the NCAC-Keystone region hires recent graduates of four partner colleges -- Dickinson, F&M and Gettysburg colleges, and Millersville University -- to help underserved students from the central part of the state.
"Working as an adviser at Manheim Central was rewarding, and now it's exciting to help plan an event that we hope will allow these juniors to see themselves as college students," Fegely said.
Twenty-six F&M faculty members will participate in the College Summit, introducing students in small groups to academic disciplines across the full spectrum of the liberal arts. Students will hear from professors in the departments of anthropology; art and art history; biology; business, organizations and society; chemistry; classics; computer science; earth and environment; economics; English; history; mathematics; physics and astronomy; psychology; public health; public policy; religious studies; theatre, dance and film; and foreign languages.
"Meeting F&M professors will allow students to envision themselves at an institution of higher education," Jenkins said. "They'll have the chance to interact with faculty members whose research and teaching is the lifeblood of our campus."
The College Summit is part of F&M's larger effort to improve access to higher education for students from the full range of backgrounds. During the summers of 2011 and 2012, the College hosted F&M College Prep, a three-week, pre-college immersion program designed to transform talented rising seniors into college-ready students eager to discover their intellectual passions and develop their leadership skills. In 2012, the program included 61 students from the NCAC, Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), Uncommon Schools, Mastery Charter Schools and Achievement First programs.
"We want to help students participating in College Summit develop a mindset that is college-aspirational," Jenkins said.