Beacon College faculty and staff have been working on developing summer programs that will extend the College’s reach nationally and even internationally. Beginning in the summer of 2015, Beacon College will introduce two new pre-college educational programs specifically designed for high school students with learning disabilities or ADHD. These inaugural programs will be piloted employing the proven model of academic success developed at Beacon. The interest and attention being generated as the College’s short-term summer program partnerships are being announced suggest that these pre-college offerings will be made available to a wider student audience in succeeding years.
In partnership with The Cottage School, located in suburban Atlanta, Beacon College will introduce its first off-campus educational program to rising high school juniors and seniors preparing for entry into competitive undergraduate programs nationally. Designed around Beacon’s core course, College Composition, “Write into College” provides students who meet the College’s program admissions criteria and who successfully complete the three-week course of study with three (3) academic credits eligible for transfer to an institution of the student’s choice. The Program embraces three important student-driven goals: (1) mastering and strengthening essential writing skills demanded of the collegiate experience, (2) exposing students to the standards and expectations of an undergraduate curriculum and culture, and (3) reinforcing in participating students a confidence that their talents and abilities are equal to their ambition to pursue an undergraduate degree.
This three-week (June 22nd-July 9th) course of study will be offered on The Cottage School campus by two experienced Beacon College faculty: English professors Dr. William Nesbitt and Dr. Caroline Le. Participating students will attend a three-hour College Composition class each morning and, after a lunch and recreation break, will take part in a two-hour workshop designed to work on concepts and skills introduced in the morning. The workshop is outcome-based for the students, with each participant preparing a series of competitive essays appropriate for inclusion in the student’s college application materials.
Students will be guided through each morning’s College Composition session utilizing a multimodal approach to the instruction of the fundamentals of college writing. This classroom instruction shall be followed in the afternoon by the introduction in a workshop format of thematic assignments and individualized attention by professionally trained specialists to address areas of specific student need.
In the summer of 2015, Beacon College will inaugurate a new on-campus core offering with an international emphasis. The COMPASS Program will be a five-week (June 13th-July 17th) intensive residential educational program for rising high school junior and senior students from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Conducted in partnership with the Prince Salman Center for Disability Research in Riyadh, Beacon will welcome ten young Saudi men to the Leesburg campus to participate in a program tailored specifically to assess and address in a traditional American collegiate environment the students’ individualized learning styles and differences. COMPASS has been collaboratively and purposefully designed by the Prince Salman Center (PSCDR) leadership and Beacon to be a total immersion experience… academically, culturally, and linguistically. Employing a metacognitive curricular foundation, the Program elicits in students a deeper understanding of and appreciation for their individual learning styles, strengths, and challenges, as well as the learning strategies that are most supportive of and beneficial in achieving academic success.
The Saudi student delegation will be accompanied to Beacon by at least one representative from the PSCDR; in addition to the active involvement of Beacon faculty and staff, five Beacon students will be selected to both acclimate our international students to American campus life and aid faculty and staff in the delivery of the curricular, co-curricular, and cultural dimensions of the COMPASS Program. Following the summer Program, two educational specialists from Beacon associated with the assessment and educational components of the COMPASS initiative will visit Saudi Arabia to meet with the Program participant’s families to discuss individual assessments of learning styles, academic progress, and educational pathways for the future.
The Beacon community understands that we have, over our history, created a model of teaching, learning, and support that uniquely fosters the academic success of students with learning disabilities and ADHD at the undergraduate level. In keeping faith with the College’s distinct mission, we will continue to support our core operation by extending our influence, reputation, and good work to current and new audiences in tangible ways.
At Beacon College, we have created a model of teaching and support that guarantees the academic success of students with learning disabilities and ADHD, and it is time for this proven method to reach beyond our campus. In the years to come, we will continue to strive for stronger regional and national attention, while remaining committed to the student body that makes Beacon what it is. Developments to the campus and continued improvements to established academic and support programs aim to further enhance the Beacon experience. As the reach of the College expands, the strongest priority will be to meet the academic and social needs of the student body population that calls Beacon their academic home.