This newsletter was compiled by Jillian Quale, a DCS Cohort One alumnus, student advisor, and a rising senior at Albright College.
The sixth summer of Delaware College Scholars is off to a great start!
June 2019 has featured the start of the sixth cohort, the graduation of our fourth group of scholars, and other exciting events.
What is a Cohort?
A cohort is a group of students in our DCS program, each group being 40-60 students. The residential program services rising juniors through rising college students, so there are three major cohorts that participate in the program at once. This year, we are welcoming our sixth cohort of students into DCS, and have witnessed the graduation of four cohorts thus far.
Our advisors were hard at work while students arrived on June 13th. For the first time in DCS history, advisors moved two cohorts onto St. Andrew’s campus and one cohort onto Delaware State University’s campus. We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with both schools to host our students this year, and we could not be more thankful for their support. Move-in day was an exciting experience and a success for all cohorts.
Every cohort has gotten off to a great start with DCS’s rigid academic curriculum. Through hard work, reaching out to our wonderful teachers, and connecting with advisors, students have been proving exactly why they’re in the program.
Before their graduation, students of Cohort Four focused on college preparation courses. The curriculum includes an emphasis on health and identity, campus life, and the many college resources available to students. These classes provide the graduating cohort with useful advice and practices that can be applied to both college life and the real world.
Cohort Five and Six have been focusing on Humanities and Test Prep. The Humanities classes feature round-table discussions and debates, encouraging every student to develop their own interpretation of the readings and make an argument for it. Test prep courses also develop these skills, but primarily contribute to students' understanding of algebraic concepts and problem solving in order to succeed in the Math portion of the SAT. Cohort Five is also participating in a college essay class in which they are developing their voice and studying the ins and outs of college supplement essays.
In addition to these academic skills, Cohort Five and Six also participate in advisory sessions with their student advisors. These sessions cover the entire college process, as well as inform students about the colleges they visited during their trips. Not only do students get to know their advisors better during these sessions, but they also learn about the many important steps needed to find the right college for them. Of course, the college process doesn’t end at acceptance, so these sessions also cover how to succeed and what to expect in college once accepted. The firsthand experiences of the advisors contribute to the students’ growing understanding of this intricate process.
The DCS curriculum is well known for being a rigorous, heavily involved program that requires ample concentration and diligence. Our scholars have been performing well beyond our expectations, and we are excited to watch them develop their skills and further their knowledge.
On Sunday, June 16th, we saw our fourth cohort off to begin their college journey. After a week of college-prep classes and nights of hard work, our students were gifted with lifelong advice from Dr. Alleyne and keynote speaker Susan Bunting, Delaware’s Secretary of Education. Both speakers encouraged students to shine and persevere through future challenges. In addition to her diploma, Talley Ridgeway, an exceptional student from Cohort Four, was granted the very first Paul Harrell Leadership Award. This award, in honor of founding DCS board member, Paul Harrell, is given to a student who exemplifies leadership, dedication, and focus throughout the duration of the program. Congratulations to Talley and all of the scholars for completing their DCS journey. We wish them luck in their future endeavors!
Cohorts Five and Six have had the opportunity to visit several acclaimed colleges during this summer’s session, including a trip to Washington, D.C. Cohort Six visited Princeton, Washington College, Georgetown, Howard, and American. Cohort Five visited Loyola, Lafayette, Dickinson, and Franklin and Marshall. These trips have all been very successful, and many of our students reported a desire to apply to and involve themselves with these schools after their tours and info sessions.
Cookout and Fun Activities
Before students arrived on campus, student advisors at St. Andrews made “polaroid” signs for their scholars, welcoming them to the program and congratulating the recent high school graduates in Cohort Four. Lots of hard work and love went into making our scholars feel welcome.
At St. Andrews, we held a cookout on Sunday, June 23rd. Students were able to enjoy homemade food, participate in many games and activities, and enjoy the beautiful weather while taking a break from academics. At DSU, advisors held a S’mores and Rita’s Water Ice night to unwind with students after classes. Overall, our advisors have taken the initiative to ensure a balance between work and play for our scholars.