The Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion oversees two academic success programs: the Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program (KEEP) and a peer mentoring program, Recognizing Each Other's Ability to Conquer the Hill (REACH).
The Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program (KEEP) is one of the newest program in the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. KEEP was developed out of elements of the Silverweed Expository Writing course through a grant from the Silverweed Foundation and an HHMI grant that provided funding to develop a quantitative reasoning course. The program was piloted during the 2006-07 academic year with the first class of twelve scholars arriving in June 2006. In October 2006, the Board of Trustees approved a fully-funded program and in 2012 doubled the program to twenty-four. Watch the video for more information or continue reading below.
The KEEP program offers courses in two, three-week intensive summer sessions before participants’ first year. Other elements of KEEP include a supportive peer group, dedicated faculty and mentors, and networking opportunities. Activities during the academic year include experiences such as resume-building workshops, social gatherings, and regular one-on-one meetings with the assistant director of multicultural affairs.
KEEP scholars represent a broad range of curricular and co-curricular interests and also possess strong academic and social leadership potential. KEEP is a selective four-year academic enrichment program that brings together a group of first-year students whose aim is to become campus leaders. KEEP scholars get a head start on their college careers while forming personal connections on campus and enjoying the fellowship of a diverse, motivated group of friends.
KEEP's goal is to provide participants with support and a strong academic foundation, while building a core group of leaders who will promote a culture of excellence throughout the Kenyon community by inspiring, challenging, and energizing fellow students. The program selects 24 students from the first-year class who possess strong academic abilities, leadership potential, and a desire to see others succeed. KEEP scholars typically come from diverse ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds and represent a broad range of curricular and co-curricular interests.
The six week program is first and foremost academic; scholars attend two credit-bearing courses, one in expository writing and one in data analysis. The courses focus on practicing and solidifying foundational leadership skills: verbal communication, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and effective teamwork. KEEP supports the cost of air travel to and from Kenyon for students who live outside of Ohio.
Outside the classroom, scholars also learn more about the College and begin making personal connections with the community. They meet the staff and faculty who make the College a special place and people who can offer valuable insights into strategies for academic and extracurricular success. The scholars also have experiences both profound (such as visiting the Underground Railroad Freedom Center) and fun (amusement parks and shopping excursions), as well as free time to relax, hang out, and organize their own activities.
Although the most important benefits of KEEP are the experiences and opportunities, scholars will receive funding as well. KEEP scholars receive a stipend over the course of the summer, contingent upon successful completion of the Summer Experience. Throughout the first year, scholars receive two additional stipends to be used towards books, which is dependent upon their active participation in KEEP. In subsequent years, programs, workshops, employment or graduate school advising, and networking opportunities are also provided to further leadership development.
While KEEP is a selective program, only open to 24 students each year, there are workshops and outings open to other students during the school year through the REACH Mentoring Program. We encourage any interested students to sign up during the student activity/involvement fairs.
If you have any questions or would like more information please contact Monique Jernigan, Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and KEEP Program Coordinator, at 740-427-5897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenyon's mentoring program is titled Recognizing Each Other's Ability to Conquer the Hill (REACH). Consistent with the best practices in the area of minority peer mentoring programs, REACH recognizes the need to assist first-year and second-year minority and first-generation students in adjusting academically, emotionally, and socially to Kenyon College. Difficulty in adjusting can very easily have a negative effect on a student's academic performance and social acclimation. The first semester is a critical one for students in transition. Most first-year students decide within the first six to eight weeks whether a college is a good fit for them and whether they intend to stay and complete the semester. Evidence from researchers in higher education suggests that peer support may be extremely important for the academic adjustment of college students. The REACH Mentoring Program provides support and stability while addressing issues facing first and second-year minority and first-generation students.
The overall goal of the program is to retain targeted students by providing them with support and guidance from mentors who are able to offer support, insight, and positive reinforcement. The program's specific goals are to:
Through its second component, the REACH Tutorial Program, mentees, mentors, and sophomores receive peer or professional tutoring in courses for which they are under-prepared or in which they are experiencing academic difficulties. Student tutors are approved by the dean of academic advising.
The Sophomore Experience Program (SEP) is the third component of REACH Sophomores are usually faced with developmental and academic issues. The purpose of the SEP is to assist sophomore students in transitioning from their sophomore year to their junior year, essentially helping them avoid the "sophomore slump." The specific goals of the program are to:
If you're interested in participating in REACH or have questions, please contact Monique Jernigan, assistant director of the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and REACH Program Coordinator, at 740-427-5897 or email@example.com. You may also contact student coordinators via the REACH email account, firstname.lastname@example.org.