I’m First, Opportunity Knocks

For students who don’t have a family history of higher education, college is your opportunity to become a step closer to achieving your dreams!

I’m First‘s Opportunity Knocks features campus programs and opportunities for first-generation college students. Below are highlights of Pre-College Prep & Outreach opportunities at 13 of our College Partners.

Visit I’m First to join our community and discover your college opportunity!

Cornell University
Ithaca, NY
Let’s Get Ready!
Cornell’s Let’s Get Ready! program mobilizes those who live and work around disadvantaged students to actively support education. It provides free SAT preparation courses and college/financial aid advising to underserved high school students, and it involves families, schools, churches, and businesses in offering these services. Read more

Franklin & Marshall College
Lancaster, PA
National College Advising Corps – Keystone Region
Based at F&M, this organization provides underserved, rural high schools in Pennsylvania with trained college advisers to help low-income, first-generation students make the transition from high school to college. Advisers assist students with the college search and application process through both individual and group meetings. Read more

Gwynedd Mercy University
Gwynedd Valley, PA
Upward Bound
The Upward Bound program is a comprehensive pre-college preparatory program designed to aid students who are interested in attending college. Program offerings include: academic instruction, tutorial and counseling services, PSAT/SAT workshops, financial aid information, visits to colleges, and cultural and social activities. First generation students who are enrolled in grades 9, 10 and 11 at one of the designated Diocesan city high schools are eligible. Read more

King’s College
Wilkes-Barre, PA
Hispanic Outreach Program
The King’s College Hispanic Outreach Program’s focus is to create an organized framework for the purpose of building strong relationships between the Latino Community and King’s College, as well as to assist in addressing the needs of Latino community members and their families. Read more

Lehigh University
Bethlehem, PA
Students That Are Ready (S.T.A.R) Academies
A partnership between Lehigh University and local schools, businesses, and parents, the Students That Are Ready Academies provide local middle and high school aged students with access to two unique programs: a year-long academic success & mentoring program for students in sixth through twelfth grades, and a three-week summer program in math, science and technology for students entering sixth through ninth grades. STAR also offers a Summer Eighth Grade Experience (SEE) that helps current academy students transition into high school. Read more

Linfield College
McMinnville, OR
First CLAS
Before their peers even set foot on campus, first-generation and underrepresented students with First CLAS (Community, Leadership, Action and Service) can gain leadership skills and begin making friends during a week-long service immersion program. First CLAS gives new students an opportunity to engage with the community through volunteer outreach, and participants can help lead a service event held later in the year. Read more

Mount Holyoke College
South Hadley, MA
Focus on Diversity & Experience Diversity
Yearly, Mount Holyoke College sponsors Focus on Diversity (fall) and Experience Diversity (spring) — two programs that allow students who are particularly interested in and committed to issues of diversity to visit Mount Holyoke, experience the college’s tight-knit and dynamic student body, and dialogue about these issues. Focus on Diversity occurs in the fall for prospective students, while the Experience Diversity program takes place in the spring for accepted students and their families. Both programs have fly-in and bus-in travel arrangements for students. Read more

Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ
Educational Talent Search (ETS)
Educational Talent Search is a year round pre-college program that provides services to low income and potential firstgeneration middle and high school students in Northern Arizona. Talent Search’s goals are to increase educational and career awareness among its participants, increase the number of students who complete high school and encourage our participants to continue and enroll in post-secondary education. Read more

Roger Williams University
Bristol, RI
Discovery Series
Each year, the University hosts a series of college discovery events for students from local school districts, many of whom are first-generation and from under-represented communities. Annual events include 5th Grade Day, a program that brings local fifth graders to campus for tours and student presentations; the FIRST LEGO League Robotics Competition, which brings young minds to campus to inspire their curiosity in technology and engineering; and a statewide Girl Scout event, a collaborative, interactive engineering exposition for outstanding young women interested in science and technology education. Read more

Saint Vincent College
Latrobe, PA
Pathways to Success
Pathways to Success empowers underserved local middle school and high school students. Saint Vincent students act as mentors during the year-round program and provide participants with support structures and ongoing educational opportunities. With special attention to academic development, cultural awareness, community service and personal development, the program tailors educational content and methods to complement both the goals of cooperating schools and Pennsylvania’s academic standards. Read more

Trinity Washington University
Washington, DC
Ensuring Smooth Transition
Trinity works closely with the DC College Success Foundation, the DC College Access Program (DC-CAP) and other programs to ensure a smooth transition from high school to college. Read more

Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Blacksburg, VA
Pre-College and Pipeline Initiatives
The Student Success Center is pleased to collaborate with the academic colleges, high schools and pre-college programs throughout the Commonwealth for college information sessions and summer day camps. These programs are designed to promote college attendance and vocational training after high school. The target populations are: first-generation, low-income, TRIO Program participants and groups under-represented in higher education. Read more

Willamette University
Salem, OR
Willamette Academy
Willamette Academy reaches out to historically underrepresented communities by empowering youth who have the desire and potential to advance to higher education. This academic program is designed to address a number of factors that may discourage certain students from attending college or otherwise impede their academic progress. We are committed to helping our students achieve at a level that will enable them to attend the four-year college or university of their choice. Read more

Lincoln Area Spring College Fair



 Don’t miss the opportunity to meet with representatives from colleges across the state and region during upcoming College Fair in  Lincoln.

 If you’re a senior,  take one more look at schools  before selecting a college. If you’re a junior or sophomore, this is a great way to start your college search process!

 Lincoln Area College Fair
Sunday, April 13
1:00-3:00 p.m.
Southeast Community College –  Lincoln

 Admission is free.

 Before you attend a College Fair, register for a barcode at NebraskaCollegeFairs.org.  Print and take the barcode to the fair so that college representatives can scan your demographic information.

 To stay updated on details, follow EducationQuest on Twitter and Facebook.

13th Annual Latina Summer Academy

The College of Saint Mary in Omaha is currently accepting applications for the 13th Annual Latina Summer Academy to be held June 22-27, 2014.

 The Latina Summer Academy is a five-day educational symposium whose goal is to enhance a young woman’s self-esteem, provide an in-depth view of higher education, and motivate them to opt for a college education. CSM faculty and bilingual staff will closely supervise students.


This year’s theme is “Food Matters: The Science of Nutrition and Exercise” with a focus on art, science and computer technology. Students will stay in the residence halls, have lunches with Latina community leaders, go on educational field trips, use technology to document projects, and engage in healthy outdoor activities such as swimming, self-defense training, and Zumba. All activities will be bilingual.


Through hands-on activities, students will explore:

* The science of “slow food” vs. “fast food”
* Healthy/unhealthy foods and safe practices
* “Hungry Planet” – global, economic and environmental impact of food production
* Nutritious food choices across cultures
* Body, Mind & Spirit: connect health and wellness


Latina Summer Academy begins Sunday afternoon and ends Friday evening with a family picnic and graduation. The deadline for registration is May 10.

Chinese Language & Technology Summer Academy

The Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education in the College of Education and Human Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) has secured a STARTALK grant that will provide funding to support a 14-day Chinese Language, Culture and Technology Summer Academy for 25 Nebraska high school students interested in learning Chinese. This experience will not only enable students to be immersed in the Chinese language and culture, but will also allow them to become proficient in using iPads as a language learning tool.

The dates of the STARTALK Academy are July 6-20, 2014 and will be held at the Kauffman Residential Center on the UNL campus. All expenses related to the Academy are covered including housing, meals and supplies. Computers (iPads) will be provided during the 14-day Academy for student use. Students will be housed in residential suites; each student will be living in a double occupancy suite in which they will have their own bedroom, and will share a bathroom with another student.

We will introduce the LinguaFolio, a learning tool designed to enhance student achievement through systematic goal setting. The LinguaFolio contains student-led activities identifying language knowledge, study skills, cultural understanding and proficiency level, and is designed to enhance student self-assessment and analysis of learning. Each student will be able to track his or her language progress via an online version of LinguaFolio.

Space is limited in the 2014 STARTALK Chinese Language, Culture and Technology Summer Academy to 25 students. This year we are specifically targeting the Academy to students who have no or very little knowledge of the Chinese language. The sessions will be designed for individuals who understand and speak no or very little Chinese. If you are interested in attending the Academy, or know someone who is, please follow the procedures outlined on the application form under the link at left: “How to Apply.” The application must be postmarked no later than May 1, 2014. A selection committee will review all submissions, and the 25 accepted applicants will be notified via e-mail by May 15th. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions. We look forward to hearing from you soon.

We have a website with more information at https://sites.google.com/site/startalkchineseacademy2013/.

Insurance Professionals of Lincoln, Inc.’s 2014 Youth Award

The Insurance Professionals of Lincoln, Inc. is offering its Insurance Professionals 2014 Youth Awardto three eligible LPS students who exhibit excellent leadership skills and contribute to the community in a positive manner. Students should also be of high moral character and demonstrate traits of perseverance, integrity, and a commitment to serve others. If you are interested in being nominated for this award, please contact your counselor. Deadline is March 28, 2014.

I’m First, Opportunity Knocks

For students who don’t have a family history of higher education, college is your opportunity to become who you want to be!

I’m First‘s Opportunity Knocks newsletter features campus programs and opportunities for first-generation college students. This edition highlights Summer Bridge & Orientation opportunities at 13 of our College Partners.

Visit I’m First to join our community and discover your college opportunity!

Amherst College
Amherst, MA
Access to Amherst
Matriculated students from disadvantaged backgrounds who are interested in the sciences are eligible for the Summer Science Program, while those interested in the humanities and social sciences are eligible for the Summer Humanities and Social Science Program. The two three-week courses occur before first-year orientation. Approximately 20 members of the incoming class participate in each program and gain assistance transitioning between high school and college. Participants in the science program gain further assistance in learning various approaches to math and science while those in the humanities and social science program develop writing and study skills as well as other skills aimed at achieving success. Read more

Brown University
Providence, RI
Fall Pre-Orientation Programs
Among the Fall Pre-Orientation Programs is an intensive, five-day writing program offered to selected incoming students who would benefit from additional orientation to Brown’s academic culture. The program includes five classes taught by distinguished Brown professors from a range of academic disciplines. Students complete reading and writing assignments and work with staff at Brown’s Writing Center. Brown’s Multicultural Center hosts a community-building event for entering students that promotes interracial understanding. The program helps all students identify and increase their awareness of issues encountered by minority students at Brown. Read more

College of Charleston
Charleston, SC
Speedy Consolidation and Transition Program (SPECTRA)
Through the Office of Multicultural Student Programs and Services (MSPS), the College offers this challenging transitional summer academic program for students from underrepresented populations and first-generation students who will attend the College full-time in the fall. During a five-week, on-campus experience, students learn to develop successful academic and social networks; bridge the gap between traditional, stereotypical barriers that students of color face on predominantly white campuses; and understand the academic rigors of college life. Read more

Elmhurst College
Elmhurst, IL
Direct Connect
Specially designed for students who are the first in their families to attend college, Direct Connect is a pre-orientation program that aims to link newcomers to the people and resources they need to succeed in undergraduate life. Participants meet other first-generation students, get an advanced glimpse of campus life and learn how to find the people who can answer their questions. Read more

Grinnell College
Grinnell, IA
Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program
Once students deposit they are invited to participate in the Peer Connections Pre-Orientation Program (PCPOP), operated by our Office of Diversity and Achievement. PCPOP introduces students to the variety of services available at Grinnell College, such as the Writing Lab, Reading Lab, Math Lab, Science Lab and other tutoring opportunities and pairs PCPOP participants with a currently enrolled student mentor and a faculty or staff mentor. Read more

Missouri University of Science and Technology
Rolla, MO
Hit the Ground Running
Hit the Ground Running is a three-week summer learning program that offers new students an exciting opportunity to sharpen and enhance their academic skills, work with teams on design projects, make new friends, develop leadership skills and learn about college-level coursework expectations. This program is intended to prepare students for college life by letting them know what to expect from their college experience. Read more

Occidental College
Los Angeles, CA
Multicultural Summer Institute (MSI)
Occidental College chooses 50 admitted students each year to participate in a co-curricular program called the Multicultural Summer Institute. A four-week summer program taking place before students begin their first year at Occidental, the Institute prepares students for their academic career by acquainting them with the campus experience. In preparing participants for college life, students participate in academic courses, community service, diversity training and other programs. Read more

Rice University
Houston, TX
Urban Immersion
Urban Immersion is an intensive, service-oriented program that introduces incoming Rice students to the urban issues, social needs and cultural diversity of Houston while having a good time meeting other students. Each day of the program will allow the participants to serve with two different Houston non-profit agencies. Participants will also have short readings about the agencies and social issues and have opportunities to meet local experts and staff from the agencies for group discussions. Read more

Texas Christian University
Fort Worth, TX
Frog Camp
Frog Camp is all about you finding your place at TCU; whether that place is line dancing in the Fort Worth Stock Yards, on top of the tallest climbing wall in Texas, rafting down Colorado’s Taylor River, or building a house with Habitat for Humanity. Each camp is unique, but every camp you’ll make friends, discuss college issues, and prepare for life at TCU. Scholarships are available to those who demonstrate financial need. Read more

University of San Francisco
San Francisco, CA
Muscat Scholars Program
The Muscat Scholars Program (MSP) is a transition program for incoming first-generation first year students who would benefit from an intensive, two-week structured program that provides both an academic and social preparation for the rigors of the First Year and beyond at the University of San Francisco. The program provides participants with two units towards graduation as well as an orientation to the University and the City of San Francisco. Read more

Washington University in St. Louis
St. Louis, MO
Freshman Summer Academic Program
The Freshman Summer Academic Program (FSAP) gives first-year students admitted to Washington University an introduction to the undergraduate academic life at the University. The intensive five-week academic program provides students the opportunity to earn six college credits, make friends, become familiar with the campus and surrounding neighborhoods, and register early for fall courses before other freshmen. Read more

Western Illinois University
Macomb, IL
Minority Student Orientation
The purpose of Minority Student Orientation is to give incoming students of color the opportunity to obtain additional assistance in their transition from home to Western and the Macomb community; meet various staff, faculty, administrators, students and organization leaders at Western Illinois University; obtain information on various departments and services; and get an early start on becoming familiar with the campus. Students and their families will get tips on being successful inside and outside the classroom and will get answers to questions about Western and the Macomb community. Read more

Williams College
Williamstown, MA
Summer Science / Summer Humanities and Social Sciences
About 40 incoming first-year students participate in Summer Science, and Summer Social Sciences & Humanities at Williams, special orientation programs during the month of July. Priority for admission is given to first-generation students. Participants take four courses and engage in research, allowing for an academically enriching experience that familiarizes students with campus life before the fall semester. Students participating in the program will also have the opportunity to meet current Williams students who are doing science research at the college over the summer. Read more