The Monmouth Future Scholars program, an academic mentoring partnership between Monmouth University’s School of Education and the Long Branch Public School District, has begun its 8th year. The program aims to increase the numbers of low-income, first-generation students graduating from high school and assists students in accessing higher education and entering careers in education or human services to become agents of social change.
Under the leadership of program faculty co-coordinators, Alyson Pompeo-Fargnoli, Ph.D., and Professor Cindy O’Connell, the past several weeks have consisted of small groups sessions facilitated by graduate student interns from the educational counseling program in the School of Education. Initial sessions involved the program’s student scholars discussing what they would like to accomplish throughout their time in the program and participating in activities to build relationships. Other sessions have ranged from providing lessons on how to handle stressful situations at home and school, discussions of college and career hopes and goals, and group meditation and self-care exercises.
The program is aligned with the College, Career, and Life Readiness (CCLR) Framework. According to Pompeo-Fargnoli, at the middle school level, much of the focus of the groups has been on themes such as self-awareness, learning styles, study skills, school transitions, and preparing for life in high school. At the high school level, the focus has leaned more toward identifying interests, career goal setting, post-secondary goal setting, paying for college, college applications, college searches, and creating resumes.
Students at both the middle and high school will take a trip to Monmouth University this coming spring, where they will be immersed in college life for a day.
Additional information about the Future Scholars program is available online.