There are three weeks during each July at Mason that student traffic is rife and enthusiasm is visible on the faces of 500+ middle & high school students. Running concurrently on the Fairfax and Prince William Campuses, the Early Identification Program’s (EIP) Summer Academy provides first-generation college-bound students with academic and student development access opportunities to thrive in their pursuit of post-HS college and career aspirations.
As the foundation of Summer Academy, public school teachers from seven school divisions throughout Northern Virginia facilitate academic instruction in math, science, English, government, writing, and computer technology. All core academic courses follow the Virginia Standard of Learning (SOL) guidelines. The intent is to provide students a preview of the academic material that they will encounter during their fall semester. Accordingly, these courses are the muscle that strengthen our students’ preparation to be active class participants, equipping them to think critically, and thus, further sparking their academic success, as witnessed by several graduate student teacher observers, a component of our longstanding collaboration with the College of Education and Human Development and its Graduate School of Education.
Further, anchored by EIP’s “LEAD-Learning Empowerment to Advance & Develop” and “TRACE-Tailored Readiness for Academic & Career Excellence” Activities, students also participate in a series of EIP Special Activities throughout Summer Academy, including SAT/College Prep, résumé preparation, and Arts, Career, and Professional Shadowing Days hosted by various internal/external partners. This past July, Dr. Linda Monson from Mason’s School of Music, United Way Worldwide, Detective K.W. Taylor from University Police, and Northrop Grumman were just a few of the hosts to spark our students’ professional development and engagement. And to support our 2013 theme of “iEmbody”, Mason Recreation helped to support our goals for personal, social, and leadership development by creating a sense of commitment to health, mind, and fitness amongst the students. Its evidence through our pedometer challenges and the such is visible via the #iEmbody and #EIPSummer hash tags that flooded the Twitterverse over the last few weeks. And with visits from President Cabrera and our University Life VP Rose Pascarell during this past Summer Academy, we continue to welcome all campus stakeholders to drop in on one of our ongoing sessions next year (2014 Summer Academy will be held July 7-25) to catch a glimpse of the student impacts that have become second nature for EIP and its staff.
Summer Academy is a snapshot of the various academic and support services that EIP provides throughout each academic year. If you can’t wait until next July for a taste of what we offer to our students, volunteer or register to participate in our next event on Monday, September 23rd, the 17th Annual University Life Diversity Scholarship Golf Classic, at the South Riding Golf Club in South Riding, VA. In partnership with the corporate community, funds are raised to provide scholarship monies for EIP Alumni that transition to Mason, which to date, has raised more than $100,000 to support our students. For additional information on the Golf Classic and to stay abreast of the excitement that is EIP, please visit the website at eip.gmu.edu, “Like” us on Facebook (Early Identification Program), or follow on us Twitter at @MasonEIP.