CC Launches Third College Access Initiative with Stroud Scholars

Colorado College is launching a new program, Stroud Scholars, in its continuing effort to increase accessibility and help students from communities historically excluded from higher education forge a path to college.

The program will prepare students for higher education by working directly with high-promise students in the Pikes Peak region who aspire to attend college but face a range of barriers to college acceptance and success. Stroud Scholars seeks to provide academic preparation, mentorship, and guidance navigating admissions and financial aid processes to Colorado College and beyond.

"An outstanding college education should be within reach for highly talented students in our own backyard who simply need opportunity and support," says Colorado College President Jill Tiefenthaler. "Through the Stroud Scholars program, we will work with area schools to identify high-achieving students and prepare them for success in college and beyond."

The goal of the Stroud Scholars program is to offer a developmental pathway starting the summer after a student's first year of high school and ending with the successful transition into Colorado College or another college or university of the student's choice. For three summers, at no cost to the students or their families, CC will host participants on campus for a three-week summer academy.

During this time, students will take classes with Colorado College faculty focusing on quantitative reasoning and writing skills to ensure they are academically prepared for a selective academic environment. Participants also will engage in programming designed to help them prepare for the college admissions and financial aid processes. Students successfully completing the three-year program will earn admission to Colorado College and receive a comprehensive financial aid package.

Application information for Stroud Scholars will be available beginning Nov. 15. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, 2020, with the program launching in July 2020 with a class of 25 students from the Pikes Peak Region.

Stroud Scholars is the third recently announced Colorado College program aimed at increasing accessibility and diversity in higher education. It joins CC's Colorado Pledge, a pilot program aimed at supporting Colorado families with adjusted gross incomes below $200,000 (increased to $250,000 in August 2021) and CC's test-optional policy, in which applicants can choose whether to submit standardized test scores as part of their admission application.

The program is named in honor of siblings Kelley Dolphus Stroud and Effie Stroud Frazier, both members of the Colorado College Class of 1931 and graduates of Colorado Springs High School, now William J. Palmer High School.

Kelley Dolphus Stroud distinguished himself in both scholarship and athletics. When he started at CC in 1926, he was the sole black student until his younger sister, Effie, joined him the following year. Local businessman and entrepreneur Henry Sachs saw Dolphus' promise and provided generous funding enabling him to attend CC. Dolphus also was awarded other scholarships given only to students with the highest academic standing in the class. He graduated with a degree in political science, receiving A's in all of his classes but one, and was the first black CC student ever elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

His sister, Effie Stroud Frazier, also received generous scholarship funding from Henry Sachs so she could attend CC and later, the Hampton Institute. She graduated with a B.A. in English from CC, only the third black woman at that time to do so. She eventually went on to earn a master's in library science from Columbia University in 1951. She served the New York public school system as a teacher of librarianship, and eventually became the supervisor for all public school libraries across the entire city. Read more about the siblings in Colorado College's Untold Stories series.

"Our family is grateful that this new and comprehensive higher education access program is named to honor the Stroud's," says Juanita Martin, Kelley Dolphus Stroud's daughter and Effie Stroud Frazier's niece. "We are confident that Colorado College will make an extraordinary impact on this and other communities by expanding access to higher education.

"The examples of perseverance and achievement set by my father and my aunt serve as motivation for aspiring students to view obstacles as stepping stones. Neither my father nor my aunt let denial of opportunities deter them from future achievements."

The program emerges from Colorado College's strategic plan, Building on the Block 2.0, in which CC cites access to higher education as a priority for the college. This commitment is intertwined with efforts to become an antiracist institution and to enrich the financial and sociocultural diversity of the college community.

Initially intended for students in the Pikes Peak region, Stroud Scholars hopes to expand its reach in subsequent years. Stroud Scholars will provide participants:

  • A free, no-cost summer enrichment program
  • Earned admission to CC
  • A pathway to earn significant college financial aid and scholarship
  • Academic, intellectual, social and practical readiness to thrive in college
  • Exposure to and familiarity with the college experience
  • Connections with college faculty, staff and student mentors
  • The opportunity to belong to a cohort of highly motivated and engaged peers and a community of learners
  • Ongoing support throughout the academic year, including workshops, mentorship and advising

Stroud Scholars is being launched in collaboration with local schools and community organizations, and is aimed at supporting students who are the first generation in their family to attend college, low income, and/or students of color who attend schools relatively under-resourced in college readiness support.

"By working directly with youth and serving as a resource to their support networks, we aim to cultivate and broaden collegiate aspirations, provide access to educational opportunity, and prepare youth to thrive in college," says Jordan Travis Radke, director of CC's Collaborative for Community Engagement.

Stroud Scholars, which seeks to create an innovative college access model and become a leader in the college access field, is being developed by Colorado College's Collaborative for Community Engagement, Office of Admission, Department of Education, Summer Session and faculty from diverse disciplines.

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