“Rollins students do so much to make these programs successful. Some have work-study positions to tutor in math or science or languages. Some are summer RAs, so they live in the residence halls with the Upward Bound students. Some are studying mental health and offer career assessment to Upward Bound students, helping them figure out what path might work for them, so Rollins students are not only mentors, they’re also getting valuable work experience.”
Pre-Collegiate Programs Coordinator
The Rollins Educational Talent Search program offers an on-site college preparatory advising program for 700 middle school and high school youth in Orange and Osceola Counties. This open access US Department of Education TRiO program offers services to students at no cost, targeting students with limited family income and the potential to be the first generation in their families to achieve a four-year degree from the college of their choice. The program provides a personal focus on academic advisement and mentoring, college and career exploration, standardized test planning and education services designed to improve the financial and economic literacy of students and the financial aid process. Rollins Educational Talent Search reports directly to the Office of Community Engagement who supports the program, staff, and students in their mission. The Office of Community Engagement also works to connect Rollins students to the unique opportunities presented by this program.
Talent Search counselors go out into the community to meet students one on one, or in small groups to provide a detailed curriculum focus each month. Strong partnerships with several departments on the Rollins campus have enhanced the program tremendously over the past few years. The Office of Multicultural Affairs invited our high school students to campus for a shadow day where they got to meet a Rollins student, sit in on a college class and have lunch at the Campus Center. The Office of Financial Aid has provided the staff and students with up to date information each year regarding grants, loans, scholarships and tips on obtaining each. Rollins provides the program access to campus classrooms throughout the year to provide workshops including Financial Aid, College Goal Sunday, Transition to High School, Transition to College and Senior Boot Camp to name a few. The students are continuously on the Rollins campus working with the Rollins staff and students as they are educated about the tremendous investment of a college education.
The Rollins Upward Bound program offers a more concentrated structure and curriculum-based program on the Rollins campus throughout the academic year and summer months. This program provides services to 65 high school students residing in underserved areas of Orange County who have the potential and desire to earn a college degree. Since Upward Bound is a federally funded TRiO program, there is no cost to participate. Participants attend twenty-five Saturday Sessions throughout the academic year where they are challenged by certified teachers from the Central Florida area in four main subject areas including Math, English, Science, and Foreign Language. Rollins Upward Bound reports directly to the Office of Community Engagement who supports the programs, staff, and students on their mission. The Office of Community Engagement also links Rollins students to opportunities in Upward Bound activities.
Upward Bound works closely with the Office of Multicultural Affairs, the Mental Health Counseling graduate program and Campus Safety. These departments are integral contributors on a regular basis providing support and a variety of opportunities for campus involvement. Participants are also provided with an opportunity to live on campus for 6 weeks during the summer, where they take high school courses that provide them with a head start to their next academic year. The summer component also prepares students for life on a college campus including living in a dorm, eating meals on campus, access to the college library, computer labs, campus pool, gymnasium, and cultural events. As well as being academically prepared, students who complete the Upward Bound program have the knowledge and experience to be successful in college.