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College of Human Ecology

K-State opens doors to careers for Kauffman Scholars

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

MANHATTAN -- This summer, faculty, staff and students at Kansas State University are doing their share to keep a group of Kansas City area kids on track to successful college careers.

Four "residential institutes" for Kauffman scholars have been taking place this July; the last one, for students entering eighth grade, will run from July 30 to Aug. 1.

"Our program exposes the scholars to a variety of career alternatives through activities in the colleges of Agriculture; Architecture, Planning and Design; Business Administration; Education; Engineering; Human Ecology; Veterinary Medicine; and K-State at Salina's technology and aviation programs," said Judith Lynch, director of K-State's Academic Assistance Center.

The Kauffman Scholars program begins in middle school with the goal of preparing urban students to become college graduates, and it continues to support them through high school and college. Scholars are divided into classes based on grade, with 200 to 300 scholars in each class. Each scholar has an academic coach and a life skills coach.

During summer, scholars attend a residential institute at a college or university, with the length of the institute increasing as the scholars progress through grade levels.

K-State is in its second year of hosting such residential institutes, Lynch said. The scholars stay in a residence hall and participate in full days of programs tailored by each college. Activities include such things as observing a racehorse on a treadmill, seeing service dogs in action, designing a teen center for the city of Manhattan and field trips to the Konza Prairie.

"They first have the opportunity to explore their own job-related interests and abilities," Lynch said. "Even though they will have some perceived preferences with regard to future careers, we want to broaden their list of choices by introducing them to new experiences."

The food science portion for future 11th-graders, for instance, has a section on making sausage. In the College of Business Administration, the same students will design a new product and develop a marketing plan for it.

Students also get a chance to unwind through activities at the K-State Challenge Course, the Peters Recreational Complex and the K-State Student Union. Fourteen K-State students serve as youth leaders, staying with the scholars at the residence hall and accompanying them during campus activities.

The 19-year, $70 million Kauffman Scholars initiative -- the largest and longest commitment in the history of the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation - began in 2003. It hopes to assist more than 2,000 low-income students in Kansas City, Kan., and Kansas City, Mo. The scholars program grew out of Project Choice, a dropout prevention project that showed a dramatic result: Almost a third of participating high school students went on to complete college degrees.

Source: Judith Lynch, 785-532-6492, judylync@k-state.edu
News release prepared by: Andy Badeker, 785-532-6415, abadeker@k-state.edu

The Kauffman Scholars' Justin Hall sessions will be Friday, July 27, 1:30-3:30 p.m. in room 150 and Monday, July 30, 12:30-2:30 p.m. in room 149.

This article was posted on Tuesday, July 24, 2007, and is filed under College News.