June 10, 2011
Colorado State University and the College Horizons Program will host 100 Native American students from across the country June 12-17.
The annual, nationwide pre-college summer program will bring to campus Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian high school students.
College Horizons, founded in 1998, is a pre-college program for Native American high school students (open to sophomores and juniors). The mission of College Horizons is to encourage and facilitate the education of Native American youth.
Each summer, students work with college admissions officers, college counselors, essay specialists and other educators in a five-day "crash course" on the college application process.
The individualized program helps students:
• Select suitable colleges to research and apply to;
• Complete winning applications, resumes, and write memorable essays;
• Learn test-taking strategies, information, and resources on the ACT and SAT;
• Navigate the financial aid/scholarship process, complete a preliminary financial aid form known as FAFSA and learn about the Gates Millennium Scholarship Fund;
• Develop relationships with admissions officers by attending a college fair, informational sessions and through one-on-one and small group class time;
• Learn tips and strategies on the application process and get advice on how to succeed in college as a Native American student;
• Understand what turns an applicant into an admitted student.
Colorado State University offered admissions to 10 of last year’s College Horizons participants.
More than 1,800 students have attended College Horizons with 50 Tribal Nations represented from more than 20 states. The College Horizon program has been held on partner campuses across the country such as St. John's College, Washington University, Whitman College, Dartmouth, Harvard, Carleton, Oberlin, Westmont Colleges, University of Puget Sound, Rice, Stanford, Duke and Lawrence Universities.
“College Horizons is proud to be hosted by Colorado State University and we are excited to showcase the academic and residential facilities as well as such resources as the Native American Cultural Center to the Native American students attending the program this summer,” said Carmen Lopez, executive director of College Horizons and citizen of the Navajo Nation. “The College Horizons students are bright and talented young people, eager to achieve and hopeful about their college future. It is a privilege to work alongside the dedicated faculty of the program and to mentor these college-bound students who will transform their Native communities and Nations through higher education. College pride, Native pride - that is what we hope to inspire at College Horizons.”
The Native American high school graduation rate is 51 percent. Of those, about 5 percent proceed directly to four-year colleges and only 10 percent of those students graduate in four years.
Of the 1,800 Native American high school students served by College Horizons, 99 percent have been admitted to college, 95 percent matriculate on to a four-year institution, and 85 percent have graduated college in four or to five years.
CSU’s Office of Admissions and Native American Cultural Center are co-hosting this year’s College Horizons program at the university. The NACC serves as a home away from home for Native American students on campus, providing academic support and programming throughout the year. Recently, CSU’s Office of Admissions and NACC collaborated to create a full-time position geared at increasing the recruitment and retention of Native American students on campus.
For more information on the College Horizons program at CSU, please contact Leslee Lovato, assistant director, Office of Admissions/Native American Cultural Center at Colorado State University, at Leslee.Lovato@colostate.edu.