When students transition into high school, they continue to attend Summer Academy in ninth and tenth grade. Their classes are also academic, but are more project-based and focused on enrichment – classes like marine biology, screen writing, psychology, the history of Durham, and Latinx Studies. In eleventh and twelfth grade, students participate in internships and academic summer camp opportunities in Durham and around the country in order to learn about and pursue their passions.
Summer student enrichment includes:
During the summer, we are proud to partner with the NCDPI through the USDA Summer Food Services Program to provide healthy meals at no cost to our students.
During the school year, high school students are supported by in-school and community Advocates. In-school Advocates are teachers or guidance counselors employed by Durham Public Schools, and community Advocates are people in the community interested in supporting students through their high school experience. Students meet with their Advocates weekly, and students' families and teachers communicate regularly with their Advocates. Students also receive individually tailored academic improvement plans based on their progress. All students and Advocates at each individual high school gather monthly at Cluster meetings to allow students to build college-ready skills and engage with the Student U community. Advocates communicate with program staff regularly and work to connect families to resources when necessary. During the year high school students are also able to connect with small group or one-on-one tutoring twice a week after-school at The W.G. Pearson Center from 6:00 - 8:00 PM.
Year-Round student support includes:
Over the course of the school year, high school students work closely with Student U’s Associate Director of College Advising and Success. Students are exposed to a wide range of programming designed to help families plan, apply, and pay for college. Students participate in college tours, monthly College Bound 101 workshops, a college fair, and individual conferences to meet students’ needs.
The earlier curricula for ninth and tenth grade students focus on academic preparation (e.g., learning at Summer Academy, building community service experience/leadership, preparing for standardized tests such as the ACT/SAT), while curricula for eleventh and twelfth grade students focus on the college application process (e.g., writing college essays, choosing the “best fit” college, applying early to a wide range of schools, applying for scholarships/grants, and financing higher education).
College Prep student support:
I can compare each of Student U’s high school graduates to astronauts in training. Graduating high school, like graduating from space school, is not what we are going to be remembered for. Similarly, success at Student U isn’t simply graduating. The success of Student U is truly measured by the impact students are creating outside of the Student U community. Student U will have our own Yuri Gagarin, our own Neil Armstrong, and our own Buzz Aldrin. We will have students who will be the first in the world to do something incredible. We will have students who, like astronauts, will be remembered forever for making their fearless dreams come true.”
– Francis DeLa Cruz, UNC-Chapel Hill School of Nursing Graduate