College Knowledge- a program developed by Dartmouth College's Native American Program and Reader to Reader- is a college access video mentorship program developed for Native American students in grades 6-11.
Since its inception in fall of 2011, over 30 Native American students at Dartmouth College have learned basic filmmaking skills - from screenwriting to post-production editing. Many of these students applied to work with the Native American Program and the first Native American Video/Media based mentorship program because of their own experiences at home coupled with their passion to help young Native students find an easier path to college.
The short videos the Dartmouth students are creating are set on-campus and use skits to deliver pertinent college access information, but they also illustrate general "college life activities" like going to class, socializing, and staying connected to home. The content for the videos is dictated by the questions and concerns of real students attending St. Michael's Indian School on the Navajo Nation. The first video: College 101 was screened for the student body in the Spring of 2012. Following the video, Dartmouth students Skyped with the St. Michaels students to expand on the content of the video and to answer any and all questions. Both groups of students then participated in a fun college - informational College Knowledge Bingo activity. The program was a success with students at both St. Michaels and Dartmouth College participating fully in the program. Every week the two groups of students will come together digitally to screen a College Knowledge film, discuss the film via Skype, and then participate together in an information activity.
Currently, Dartmouth students are busy learning screenwriting, filmmaking, editing, and mentorship skills while developing 5 new College Knowledge films to show to students on the Navajo Nation in January of 2013. Also, we are developing a fun College Knowledge Facebook Application, that will act as a digital planner and virtual guidance counselor in order to assist first generation and Native high school students with the college - planning process.
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Last Updated: 10/12/12