Scripps College Academy Opening The Door to a Liberal Arts Education

For the seventh consecutive summer, the Scripps College Academy is bringing bright young high school women to campus for two weeks to find out what a liberal arts education is all about. The program, designed for high achieving students from racially and economically diverse groups and first-generation college-bound students, helps prepare them for continued academic success.

Forty-seven students representing 36 high schools throughout the greater Los Angeles area and Inland Empire are living on campus this June, taking classes from Scripps professors, working on intensive academic projects, and learning how to prepare for entrance into college.

With the mentorship of faculty and undergraduate students, the students are exposed to the four major areas of study examined in college (fine arts, humanities/letters, natural sciences, and social sciences) within the context of an exploration of race, class, and gender. In addition to the daily “mini-Core” classes, students participate in workshop sessions on topics such as interview skills,
financial aid options, and the college application process.

It’s not all hard work. Students enjoy the benefits of Scripps’ beautiful campus and facilities, including the new Tiernan Field House and 25-meter swimming pool. They also experience residential living in a Scripps hall and social activities with their new “classmates.”

The success of the Scripps College Academy (SCA) is stunning. Each year SCA participants are offered admission to selective colleges and universities throughout the country. Director Kelly Hewitt ’08 has heard from 35 of 45 SCA participants who will graduate from high school this year. All have been accepted to college, with 94% attending a four-year college or university, including such selective institutions as Yale, Brown, Pomona, Smith, Georgetown, USC, and UCLA, as well as Scripps. Five SCA alumnae are coming to Scripps this fall and will join seven SCA alumnae already on campus.

Getting into the academy isn’t easy. This year, the academy received a record 274 applications for the summer program and accepted less than 20%. Hewitt said, “We accept applications from students with strong academic interests, but we focus on students who may lack the resources in their school, family, or community to fully prepare for college.”

The summer program is just one component of the academy. SCA is a year-round program that serves more than 80 students each year and includes year-round tutoring from Scripps students, workshops and field trips, as well as an intensive science research program with the Joint Science Department and a book club. Help with college applications for high school seniors and SAT Prep classes are additional services offered by the academy.