Summer 2019

Results of the funded programs


Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program (Berks)

The Aspiring Scholars Summer Bridge Program aims to assist program participants (primarily African American and Hispanic/Latino, first-generation, and/or low-income) in their transition from high school to college. The purpose of the program is to introduce and acclimate students to campus and the college environment in a way that encourages success in the classroom, on campus, and in the community. This is accomplished through a one-week residential summer bridge program during which participants become familiar with the campus and surrounding community, learn about campus resources and policies, as well as interact with university professionals. Students receive classroom-based instruction focused on academic skills, self-reflection workshops, and interactive team building activities all of which help build self-awareness, self-confidence, communication, decision making, problem solving, academic skills, and goal setting abilities. The assumption is that through summer bridge program participation, students will be more successful and more likely persist in higher education.

Community Diversity Conference (University Park)

The Community Diversity Group (CDG), with support from Penn State’s Finance and Business Department and Education Equity’s EOPC funding, and in partnership with the Borough of State College (the Borough) wish to provide a third all-day Community Diversity Conference, a needed educational opportunity for those directly involved with shaping the overall cultural climate for the increasingly diverse population enjoyed by our community due to its location near Penn State. Penn State is ranked 10th by the Institute for International Education “Open Doors” for its number of international students, and in the top 25 “gap closers” for graduating minority students (top 6 in United States for closing the graduation gap for African American and Hispanic Students) by The Education Trust, ranked in the top 100 nationwide in African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American undergraduate degree producers by Diverse Issues in Higher Education. Penn State recruits many talented and successful employees and their families – this conference aims to improve and enhance the present environment for existing residents and provide a more welcoming climate for newcomers so they decide to stay and make our community their home.

DC Social Justice Fellowship (University Park)

This fellowship develops critical pedagogical and equity-oriented advocacy skills both in theory and in practice. Through study of social justice topics, students are invited to interrogate personal bias, examine causes and symptoms of structural oppressions for purpose of positively affection campus community and beyond. PSU students participate in a 2-semester long program, exploring social justice and educational equity in Spring and teaching high school students in Washington, DC in Maymester. While in DC, students study diversity and social justice competencies at Georgetown Law and collaborate with various stakeholders in the D.C. area to gather feedback on civic action plans they create.

Resiliency in Engineering Education (University Park)

Re·sil·ience: the capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness. Gender diversity represents a unique challenge for engineering academic institutions and industry; recent calls for greater representation of women in STEM fields has brought to light many characteristics that make STEM educational environments less desirable or even hostile for women [1-3]. The ELD and Design programs propose the creation of a summer course aimed at building resiliency in women within the college of engineering. The course will provide an experiential learning environment in which women students are exposed to challenging experiences designed to help them thrive and lead in the field of engineering. Specifically, this course is designed to support a woman-led Maker program.

Summer Transformative Excellence Proven (STEP) Program (Abington)

In 1965, Lyndon Johnson proclaimed “ is not enough just to open the gates of opportunity. All our citizens must have the ability to walk through those gates.” Today, with a minority white undergraduate population (45% white, 16% Asian, 13% Black, 11% Latinx, 12% international and 3%two or more races), Penn State Abington has—opened the gates—provided access for historically underserved and minoritized peoples. The Summer Transformative Excellence Proven (STEP) Program (Appendix A) presents an environment where students author and embrace their efficacy. STEP ensures students’ first steps—through the gates—toward success are fortified with (1) academic achievement; (2) cultural growth; and (3) belonging.