With College Summit gearing up to begin this summer, the program will use Yale space, but not Yale students, to accomplish its goal of promoting a college-going culture in New Haven.
College Summit, which has grown to serve 50,000 students annually in 12 states, helps students in the Elm City through the college application process by providing a peer leader program and a summer camp for rising seniors. Both programs are designed to help New Haven students with essays, the common application, financial aid and other steps in the college application process. Though the program is now accepting applicants who wish to be writing and college coaches at the summer program, these positions will likely not be filled by Yale students.
Yale students are not recruited to be writing or college coaches at the summer camps because the writing coaches must have a bachelor’s degree and the college coaches must have a formal background in college counseling, said Veronica Delandro, the executive director of College Summit for the Connecticut region. Occasionally the program utilizes students from Yale or Quinnipiac to talk to students but those instances are “few and far between,” Delandro said.
Although College Summit does not regularly employ Yale undergraduates, the program still has a strong connection to Yale. The founder and CEO of College Summit, J.B. Schramm ’86 is a Yale alumnus and the University lends College Summit space for their summer program with participants spending nights in the dorms, Delandro added.
And despite the lack of Yale student participation in College Summit, other programs working throughout New Haven Public Schools do regularly involve Yale students. Boost!, which pairs New Haven schools with community volunteers to create additional programs for students, has over 200 partners, and many of them are affiliated with Yale, Boost! Director Beth Pellegrino said. She noted that Yale Model Congress, the School of Management and Dwight Hall all have relationships with New Haven Public Schools.
Students interviewed expressed mixed views about whether they would be interested in helping New Haven students through the college application process, even if New Haven Public Schools specifically asked for Yale students. Those interviewed cited their heavy course load as an impediment to volunteering in the Elm City.
Evan Linck ’15 said that while he tutored in high school and believes tutoring is important, his workload and life on campus makes it difficult to volunteer in New Haven.
“I think part of the Yale experience is interacting with the New Haven community, but many people find it hard to devote a large portion of their time to that relationship,” Linck said. “I’ve been off campus in the last month maybe twice.”
There is no deadline for when College Summit will stop accepting applications for potential writing tutors; rather, applications will close when the all spots are filled, Delandro said.