Drury University Establishes Summer Scholars Program With the Aim to Increase Black Applicants to the College

Blacks make up 4 percent of the 4,500-member undergraduate student body at Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. In an effort to boost racial diversity the university has instituted a Summers Scholars program. About 50 black students from Springfield city schools are invited to spend a week at the university taking classes and participating in cultural and social events. Students can participate beginning in seventh grade. Once selected the same students are chosen to come back each summer until they reach their senior year in high school.

This is the second year of the program. Of the 15 black male students who attended last year, 14 returned this summer. Girls are part of the Summer Scholars program for the first time this year. Male and female students will be enrolled in separate classes but both genders will participate together in out-of-classroom activities.

The university hopes the Summer Scholars program will build a relationship with these students during their junior high and high school years so that when they decide to apply to college, Drury will be high on their list of choices.

The program is made possible in part by a grant from the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.