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Exploring College

Exploring College is a four-year enrichment program that prepares high school students with high academic achievement and low-income backgrounds for admission and success in college

Exploring College provides:

  • Academic and financial aid information
  • Tutoring, mentorship by Vassar students
  • College entrance exam preparation
  • Exposure to social and cultural events on campus and in the surrounding areas.

Exploring Colleges services are provided on campus once a week in efforts to familiarize scholars with Vassar College and foster stronger ties between the College and Poughkeepsie High School. Programming also takes place at Poughkeepsie High School 1-2 times a week. 

Launched in the fall of 2009, EC has grown from an initial group of 20 Poughkeepsie High School students to welcoming students from Arlington High School, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and surrounding high schools.  From its inception the objectives of Exploring College have been to improve academic readiness, increase the number of students who attend college and build relationships between Vassar College and school districts in the surrounding area.

Info for HS students

High school students interested in enrolling in Exploring College must complete the programs application, submit teacher recommendations, proof of income and a personal essay. For more information on applying to Exploring College and for a copy of the application please e-mail abromero@vassar.edu or call 845-437-5928.

The schedule for the 2017-2018 academic school year is as follows:

Tuesdays from 2:45- 4:45 PM in Room 113 @ PHS we will be providing tutoring and ACT/SAT mini lessons every week. Exposing students to mini lessons on various sections of the SAT and ACT weekly introduces them to standardized testing for college admission.

Wednesdays from 2:45- 4:45 PM in Room 113 @ PHS we will alternate between workshops for juniors + seniors and community building activities which are open to all grades. Workshops will further provide insight into the college application process, financial aid requirements, factors to consider in the college search and the importance of time management and goal setting.

Thursdays students will come to Vassar and work in one of the campus computer labs on personal research, applications, SAT/ACT prep, essays, scholarships, etc. Mentors will be on site to assist students. At the beginning of each session students are given a small task to complete like compiling a short list of schools they have researched or are interested in.

Vassar students interested in volunteering or work-study opportunities through EC should have an interest in education, college readiness and experience in tutoring. Volunteers and work-study students will be responsible for planning community building activities, designing and presenting SAT and/or ACT mini lessons, organizing collaborations with Vassar organizations and developing workshops for high school students. For more information on volunteer and work-study opportunities please e-mail abromero@vassar.edu or call 845-437-5928.

Exploring College Summer Intensive (ECSI)

In July, Exploring College hosts a two-week residential experience at Vassar for rising high school juniors. EC, an important point in helping to prepare students and their parents for college, enrolls  scholars  in courses and workshops team-taught by Vassar/PHS faculty. Scholars live in residential halls with Vassar student counselors who assist with coursework, writing, and other academic and social issues. In addition to courses and workshops students go on fieldtrips, participate in a community service trip and  community building activities. Vassar students serve as counselors for the ECSI program and can apply via JobX.

For a glimpse of the past ECSI programs

2016 Summer Intensive
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CXCQmA8umSg&feature=youtu.be

2017 Summer Intensive
https://youtu.be/z2J1q-iuNe4

A special thank you to the Dyson Foundation for funding Exploring College and supporting our program’s mission to increase access to resources, information and provide mentorship for low-income and/or first-generation high school youth in pursuit of higher education. 

High School students who have been part of EC have gone off to colleges like Bard, Ithaca, Pomona and even Vassar College. EC alums who have been admitted to Vassar have worked for the program as summer counselors and mentors.