Tuesday, May 16, 2006
KCP program celebrates successful year
|King-Chavez-Parks mentors help motivate underrepresented middle and high school students to go to college.|
By Rebecca Wyatt, OU Web Writer
Oakland University’s King-Chavez-Parks (KCP) program brought more than 1,000 middle school and high school students to campus during the 2005-2006 academic year as part of the College Day event, capping one of the program’s most successful years. The KCP mentors are gearing up for more than 100 students participating in KCP’s Extended College Day program this summer and finding ways to motivate the students to focus on school so they can get into college.
“The program’s goal is to inspire the underrepresented populations of students in the area, including African Americans, Latinos and Native Americans, to go to college,” said Reginald McCloud, coordinator of Pre-College Programs.
The State of Michigan provides 50 percent of the funding for the KCP program and OU provides the other half. Currently, OU targets students from Detroit, Pontiac and Oak Park schools.
“”They get off the bus and they have these scowls on their faces, but by the time they leave they are asking the mentors to call them and e-mail them, and they really have had a great time,” said McCloud. “We can see we have had an impact on them.”
Students visit OU for four hours and participate in workshops led by Students in Free Enterprise, learn about college life and tour the campus.
“We set records this year for the number of students who visited the campus and we are looking forward to setting records for our summer program as well,” said McCloud.
KCP will hold three summer camps in the month of July for students in grades 9-11. The students will stay in OU’s residence halls and participate in workshops by OU faculty on the first-year college experience, the reality of college athletics, careers, fields of study and cultures.
“This year, we have also partnered up with OU's Student Technology Center to teach the students some technical skills,” said McCloud. The students will be able to use the digital cameras, video cameras and learn new software in the lab.
The students will also take field trips to education venues, including the Cranbrook Institute of Science and the Chrysler Museum at DaimlerChrysler.
Students who participate in KCP also are eligible for a number of scholarships including the McCree Scholarship and the Compact Scholarship.
“The success of the program is largely due to the groups of OU students who serve as KCP mentors,” said McCloud.
The 10 student mentors serving the Extended College Day program this summer are required to have leadership skills and a grade point average of 3.0 or above, but McCloud said OU’s mentors exceed the qualifications.
“When I took over the program, I raised the minimum GPA to 3.0, but our mentors have an average GPA of 3.2 and three of the 10 are members of The Honors College,” said McCloud.
The student mentors help get the students excited about coming to college and explain that they need to work hard in middle and high school to get there. They share experiences with the students and answer any questions they have.
During the summer, the students mentor the overnight campers in the same way and also participate in activities with them during the week.
In the future, the Department of Learning Resources and Pre-College Programs would like to develop OU College Days and Extended College Day programs and offer the services to more students in the area.
“We’re working on a number of different initiatives for the future to help all students, from elementary school through high school, get excited about coming to college and OU,” said McCloud.
For more information on the KCP program or other pre-college initiatives, contact McCloud at (248) 370-3203.