Posted on Aug 9, 2001

About 60 minority high schoolers from the Capital Region will get a taste of college life at “Camp College” this weekend at Union College.

“There are
so many minority and underprivileged students in the Capital Region who simply don't think of college as an option,” said Kelly Herrington, associate dean of
admissions at Union and organizer of the camp. “If we can get at least a few of these students to think about college it will be worth it.”

Students arrive Friday afternoon (Aug. 10) and stay through Sunday afternoon for a weekend that includes sessions with professors and college admissions counselors; simulated classes in arts, science, music and engineering;
stargazing in the College's observatory; and demonstrations by dance and music

But the
most valuable part of the weekend may come during the informal chatting in the
dorms or at meals, said Herrington. “The real advantage of an overnight camp
like this is that it fosters the kind of interaction between the students that
will make them feel comfortable in a college setting,” Herrington said.

The 60 students in grades 9 through 11 are evenly divided between the Schenectady, Albany and Troy communities.

“We want to show these students that if they work hard,
this is the light at the end of the tunnel,” said Herrington, himself a graduate
of Union. “We are telling them, 'You are college material and we'd like to see
you in college.'”

The weekend was made possible in part by grants from the national and state Associations for College Admission Counseling. 
Herrington worked with a number of community service organizations to
recruit and transport campers. “I felt it was important to use these community
organizations to identify candidates for this camp,” Herrington said. “Often,
it is the minister, mentor or social worker who best knows the students we
should be reaching.”

colleges like Union, competing for talented students from under-represented
groups is an institutional priority. “It's important to target this group at a
younger age and plant to seed to ensure an applicant pool with greater numbers
of these students,” Herrington said.

A schedule
of events is attached.

For more
information, call Kelly Herrington at 388-6585 (where he can be reached
throughout the weekend.)