I am honored to have received an award from Undergraduate Studies for my work to create a mentorship program between Digital Cultures and Creativity and Pre-College Programs. They only give one award to a graduate student per year, so this is truly an honor. This program would not be here without Pre-College Programs – specifically the hard work of Emily Rizzo and Annie Foster-Ahmed. And, of course, the DCC mentors are all amazing, insightful, hard working, and fun!
About the DCC – Pre-College Mentorship Program:
The DCC -Pre-College Mentorship program is a collaboration between Digital Cultures and Creativity and Pre-College Programs to cultivate independent thinkers and problem solvers at both the high school and university level.
As a truly interdisciplinary program, DCC challenges traditional divisions of knowledge and expertise, and DCC mentors develop monthly lesson plans and presentations for workshops, as well as events and (next semester) field trips for innovative co-learning with Pre-College high school students. Through these activities, DCC mentors emphasize the values of collaboration, sharing, building and learning together. In addition to being recognized for mentoring and leadership, DCC students gain experience and skills in idea creation, project planning, teaching, and participate in a different kind of learning.
Pre-College high school students experience first-hand what an honors program does, and get an understanding of critical thinking through digital cultures. They also meet and learn with current honors students and build meaningful relationships with them. Students quickly realize that they are capable of doing this kind of work, and therefore know to look at and apply to honors programs when they look at colleges.
In its pilot year, the demand for this program has been tremendous. There were approximately 35 high school students who have expressed an interest in working with DCC, yet we were only able to accommodate half in our first year. We plan to expand the program for next year, both in numbers of students coming to DCC, but also to expand the program to other Living-Learning programs in the Honors College. As an indication of how well this is working, two of the 16 high school students in the current program were recently accepted into the Honors College and so far one has committed to DCC and the University of Maryland for the Fall of 2012. We are certain that many other high school students from this mentorship program will follow in subsequent years of this program.
Link to undergraduate studies award info: