Lawrence University welcomes 73 Native American high school students to campus June 26-30 for a five-day, pre-college workshop coordinated by College Horizons, a New Mexico-based non-profit organization.

Lawrence is one of three host institutions in the country for the 2010 workshop. The University of Hawaii hosted a similar program last week while the University of Puget Sound will conduct a similar program at the same time as Lawrence.

College-Horizons_webNative American students from as far away as Plantation, Fla., and Battle Ground, Wash., representing 24 states and 38 tribes, will participate in an “academic crash course” designed to assist them in the college search process.

As part of the 13th annual program, a bevy of college and high school counselors, admission officers, essay specialists and other educators will be on hand to work individually with students and lead small group sessions on topics ranging from “Overview of the ACT/SAT,” “Financial Aid & Scholarships: How Can I Afford College?” and “Native Students and College.”

The goal of the workshop is to assist Native American students in developing a list of appropriate colleges to consider, prepare a winning application, write a memorable essay, maximize their ACT or SAT scores and navigate the financial aid/scholarship maze. At the end of the program, students leave with a completed college application and a list of colleges with which they are likely to be good matches.

This is the second time in three years the program has been hosted by Lawrence.

“I think College Horizons accepted our bid to host again this soon because they had such a great experience two years ago when they were here and they wanted to come back now that the Warch Campus Center is more than a construction site,” said Steve Syverson, vice president for enrollment and dean of admissions and financial aid. “This program gives Lawrence some great exposure to Native American students and we’re delighted that this year we will have three College Horizons graduates in our student body.”

In addition to admissions personnel from Lawrence, representatives from more than 30 colleges and universities, including Brown, Harvard Princeton, Stanford and Yale will be available to assist the students. Following Native American tradition, an Elder from the Menominee Nation in Wisconsin will be present through the duration of the workshop. Several prominent educators from the College of Menominee Nation will be participating as well.

Since its inception, more than 1,550 students have attended College Horizons and the results have been nothing short of spectacular. Ninety-nine percent of the participants of the program have gone on to post-secondary education, including 95 percent of them to four-year colleges, with 85 percent earning their bachelors degree within five years of starting college.

Syverson noted Lawrence’s participation in the College Horizons program harkens back to the college’s founding.

“In establishing Lawrence University in 1847, Amos Lawrence stated that he wanted to provide ‘gratuitous advantage to the Indians and Germans of both sexes,’ so our involvement with College Horizons affirms part of our original mission,” said Syverson.