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CollegeFirst Summer Academic Institute

An Advanced Placement tutoring and mentoring initiative

Supporting the belief all willing and academically motivated high-school students deserve an opportunity to succeed in rigorous, college-level experiences and the advantages they bring, CollegeFirst: An Advanced Placement Mentoring Initiative trains college students to implement a Pre-AP summer academic enrichment program for high-school students.

The CollegeFirst Summer Academic Institute partners college students with Pre-AP high school students for three weeks of tutoring during Summer Term I. UA students choose to serve in Tuscaloosa, Birmingham or Huntsville for the duration of the course, and spend an initial week learning how to be instructors/tutors. Instruction also includes examination and discussion of issues related to educational disparities and creative education reform initiatives. The following three weeks are spent tutoring high school students planning to take AP calculus, AP chemistry or AP biology in the upcoming school year. Afterwards, college students prepare a written reflection connecting issues raised in the classroom with their experience in the community.

Why AP?
Research shows students who pass an AP exam are three times more likely to earn a college degree than students who do not. In 2008, Alabama ranked 43rd nationally in AP exams taken and 45th in exams passed, according to the College Board. Furthermore, Alabama students consistently rank below the national average in science and math achievement. CollegeFirst and its partner A+ College Ready are responding to Alabama students’ declining stature in math and science by heightening expectations of Alabama high school students, challenging them to cultivate their skills and abilities and exposing them to the content knowledge they will need to succeed in college. In two years, A+ College Ready increased the number of AP courses offered in Birmingham, Montgomery, Huntsville, Madison County and Jefferson County schools from 80 to 144 and the number of students enrolled from 2,087 to 5,448. AP teachers say many of these students need better preparation for AP course work. CollegeFirst fills this need.

CollegeFirst Course Credit Options: 3-credit Honors independent study with a writing (W) designation. With permission, course credit can be applied to the summer session or fall semester for scholarship credit and/or billing purposes.

Eligibility Requirements: Students must demonstrate proficiency in biology, chemistry or calculus (a grade of B or higher in a college course in one of these subjects OR a professor recommendation if this qualification is not met).

To apply for the 2012 class, submit an application here.

For more information, contact CESR at cesr@ua.edu or 205-348-6495.