Loyola program to aid low-income students

March 22, 2007|By Liz Bowie | Liz Bowie,Sun Reporter

With the help of a $1 million grant, Loyola College is launching a program to provide advice about college to low- income students in nine Maryland high schools.

Loyola's education department will select eight to 10 spring graduates to work full time as advisers to high- achieving students who might not be considering going to college, according to Courtney Jolley, a Loyola spokeswoman.

"I am extremely excited about it," said Victor Delclos, chairman of Loyola's education department. "We have been talking over the year about ways we can get more involved in Baltimore City and working with students who are disadvantaged in terms of educational opportunities. It seemed like a natural way to continue that trend and interest."

The grant to Loyola is part of a nationwide College Advising Corps funded with $10 million from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation as an effort to boost the number of low-income students in two- and four-year colleges. The foundation hopes to break down the barriers that prevent high-achieving students from applying to college.

Loyola has chosen various high schools, from the high-scoring Western High School in Baltimore to schools with a wider range of academic achievement, such as Annapolis High School in Anne Arundel County. Jolley said the Loyola graduates will work with high-achieving students who need intensive guidance in applying to college and getting financial aid that the regular school staff may not have time to provide.

The College Advising Corps will provide one-on-one advising to 7,400 students over the four years of the program. Loyola College is providing $1.3 million to the program.

Each year of the initiative, Loyola will train another group of its graduates to be part of the College Advising Corps.

Structured like the AmeriCorps and Teach for America programs, Loyola graduates who enter the program will make a commitment to stay at a school for one to two years.

Teach for America has put thousands of college graduates, many from the top universities and colleges, in urban schools nationwide.

In addition to Western and Annapolis high schools, the Maryland schools chosen for the initiative next year are: Glen Burnie High in Anne Arundel County; Reginald F. Lewis and W.E.B. Dubois in Baltimore; Milford Mill Academy and Randallstown High School in Baltimore County; High Point High School in Prince George's County; and Wicomico High School.

liz.bowie@baltsun.com

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