Franklin and Marshall College’s Campus Action Project: College Connections
Franklin and Marshall College, Lancaster, PA
College Connections: A Partnership between Franklin & Marshall College and Columbia High School
The Franklin and Marshall College CAP Team in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, paired 20 college students with 20 ninth graders in mentoring relationships which include attending seven half-day sessions on campus on Saturdays to help the students understand more about college and college life.
This CAP team paired 34 college students with 20 ninth graders in a low income/high minority population area. The main objectives of the mentoring program were to make the students aware of college as an option, let them know what college has to offer them, and help them if they decide they’d like to attend. Seven half-day sessions on campus on Saturdays (with transportation to campus provided) were designed to help them understand more about college and college life. The CAP team mixed fun activities, like a campus tour, a women’s basketball game, a movie, swimming and a craft project, with informative presentations to engage the girls and make their visits enjoyable experiences.
In the final report, the CAP team said that while they faced challenges working with the high school students, notably scheduling conflicts and lack of parental support, overall the program was a great success. Originally they only planned to have 20 college mentors but due to overwhelming interest on campus, they narrowed 60 applicants down to 34, so some mentees had more than one mentor. Feedback from the ninth graders was very positive and the high school and school board were pleased with the program and asked Franklin & Marshall College to hold it again next year. They reported that the students were now talking about careers and college and they were sharing details about the College Connection program with their classmates. Several long-term friendships developed between many of the mentors and mentees.