COURSE Scholars Program
The Central Alabama Community Organization for the Undergraduate Recruitment of School Educators
About the Program:
COURSE Scholars program goal is to create a program that will provide students in Lee County, Tallapoosa County, and Tallassee City schools with a pathway to enter Auburn University as freshmen and/or juniors with hopes they will return to their hometowns upon graduation and seek to enrich their communities, primarily in the areas of education and health. This initiative will draw on the strengths of existing programs such as Auburn First, Path to the Plains, and Tallapoosa County’s Grow Your Own Initiative while also leveraging existing relationships with the aforementioned community partners. By exposing students to career options in education and health—alongside mentors with whom they can relate—early on in their schooling, this initiative stands to improve the access, outcomes, and career trajectory of participants. COURSE Scholars program plan is to build and pilot a program in the school systems that we can replicate in other high needs areas of Alabama. Loachapoka, Dadeville, and Tallassee are ideal locations because we already have established footprints in these school systems, and their proximity to Auburn ensures our students, faculty, and staff can readily access these sites.
- Supplemental funding opportunities
- Informational meetings for students and parents
- Career orientations and informational events
- Mentoring from Auburn University faculty and students for successful transition
- Peer modeling to prepare for career paths
- Continuous communication with school and community partners
- Guaranteed entrance to Auburn University
Which School Sites and Why?
Tallassee City: Southside Middle School and Tallassee High School
Lee County: Loachapoka Elementary & High School
Tallapoosa County: Dadeville High School (which serves grades 7-12)
Loachapoka and Dadeville both have high numbers of Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC), and one-third of Tallassee’s student population is BIPOC. This is especially important because according to the executive director of Alabama Possible, Kristina Scott, “…the median household income for people of color in Alabama is roughly $15,000–$20,000 lower than the median household income for white citizens. We must advocate for equitable systems that will dismantle poverty and promote prosperity for all Alabamians.”
We know education can have a powerful impact on both individuals and the economy. Providing opportunities to increased education will indeed provide a better future for all.