Next summer, the University will host College Horizons, a week-long program that directs college admission resources to Native American high school students. College Horizons works with Native American students every summer at partnered universities to provide college counseling, which includes preparing for standardized tests, completing college essays and researching schools.
The organization aims to increase the number of Native American students who continue on to postsecondary education. “The Native American high school graduation rate is 51 percent. Of those, approximately five percent proceed directly to four-year colleges and only 10 percent of those students graduate in four years,” according to the program’s website.
Each summer, College Horizons partners with 45 to 50 schools across the country; every campus typically hosts 80 to 120 students, said Brown Admission Officer Tiffiney George ’08.
During the week, the program provides “workshops and teaching sessions about the college application process and the financial aid process,” George said.
Dean of Admission Logan Powell pointed out that the emphasis of the program is educating students about the overall college process, rather than encouraging them to apply to Brown. “Our hosting of College Horizons is about a general commitment to college access for these students,” he said. “It’s not intended as a point-A to point-B pipeline to enroll these students at Brown.”
Raelee Fourkiller ’22, who attended a College Horizons program before coming to the University, agreed that the program “exposes Native students to what an Ivy League (school) is like,” she said. “As a high schooler, I had no idea that I met the qualifications for a student that could go here.”
Other than the educational and advisory aspect of College Horizons, the program also provides an opportunity for Native American students to find community. “There’s this sense of empowerment and resisting the oppression that we face within this country,” Fourkiller said.
The University originally planned to host College Horizons in the summer of 2018 but deferred due to construction conflicts. “It would have been less than optimal,” Powell said. “The students would have been a little more spread out, and the accommodations wouldn’t have been as up to par as they are now.”
With the right resources in place, Powell is excited to bring the program to campus this summer. “To be able to host College Horizons is a tremendous honor,” he said. “It’s not just an important statement, it’s the right thing to do.”