Flash Forward - Partners in College Prep
Kent State University continues to advance its partnership with the Akron Public Schools through the following two key programs.
Firestone Community Learning Center
Three new college and career academies that will bear Kent State’s name—the Kent State University Academy of Design, the Kent State University Academy of Performing Arts and the Kent State University Academy of Advanced Technology and Comprehensive Engineering—will open at Firestone Community Learning Center in 2019.
In May, more than 200 Firestone ninth-grade students came to the Kent Campus for a two-day event, during which they watched brief presentations from colleges and programs, including the College of Aeronautics and Engineering, the College of Communication and Information, the College of the Arts and the College of Architecture and Environmental Design, as well as the Design Innovation program.
Approximately 20 students (now sophomores) from the group elected to return to campus in July for a week-long camp—an immersive experience that included staying in residence halls, having meals in the dining halls, sampling various Kent State colleges and schools and exploring potential careers in the above fields. The program—sponsored by the Akron Community Foundation and the Sisler McFawn Foundation—also provided college readiness and transition information for students and their parents.
“We are excited to provide these students with comprehensive hands-on collegiate experiences focused on design, innovation, technology and the arts,” says Justin Hilton, senior administrator for community outreach for Kent State.
During the week, the Firestone students flew drones, learned to operate a television camera and practiced producing a television broadcast. Among other activities, they also built virtual 3D models, handled priceless art artifacts and sat in on a stage rehearsal of Rogers and Hammerstein’s “Oklahoma!”
View a video of the Firestone students’ visit to the Kent Campus at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K7cy0-2fy6A.
LeBron James Family Foundation
Kent State also has teamed up with the LeBron James Family Foundation (LJFF) to provide students from the foundation’s I PROMISE program with resources to help prepare them for college.
As an integral part of the collaboration, Kent State will provide specialized programming to help I PROMISE students remain on target to graduate from high school so they are eligible for the college scholarships they have been promised by the foundation.
To help with the students’ academic needs, Kent State hosted a three-week Flash P’ACT summer program in June, to help students prepare for the ACT college entrance exam.
During the camp, the students lived on the Kent Campus from Monday through Friday, for a true college experience. They received rigorous preparation in math, reading, college readiness and personal development during the day, and afterward took part in university-sanctioned recreation and wellness opportunities, along with on-campus volunteering and hands-on, community-engaged learning.
“By immersing these students in the college experience while simultaneously boosting their academic preparation, they will be set up for success to eventually transition from high school to college,” says Melody Tankersley, Kent State’s senior associate provost and dean of graduate studies. “These relationships are key to ensuring that the high school students not only see themselves on a college campus someday, but that they also see themselves succeeding and earning a degree.”
The university’s efforts with LJFF students will continue in spring 2019 as KSU students become I PROMISE mentors and pair with I PROMISE tenth graders for weekly one-on-one mentoring sessions to help the high school students set college and career goals and work toward achieving them.