Laura Vang '15
Student Director for Conversations That Matter
Hometown: Memphis, TNRead the full interview
Dartmouth College's Summer Enrichment at Dartmouth (SEAD) Program has concluded a year-long strategic planning process begun in celebration of its 10th anniversary in 2010. Key programmatic strengths have been identified, and significant changes implemented – changes that will allow SEAD to more effectively expand its students' conception of what is possible in their lives.
Founded in 2001 by the Tucker Foundation and Education Department, SEAD partners with hundreds of Dartmouth sophomores, faculty and staff each summer to help prepare high school students from under-resourced urban and rural high schools for college.
Each summer, SEAD brings to campus its cohort of 30 high school students from communities as far-ranging as the South Bronx and rural West Virginia. These SEAD scholars attend specially-designed classes and participate in activities with Dartmouth students and community members.
Returning for each of their high school summers and for reunion weekends in the winters, the students develop intense bonds across geographic, ethnic and cultural difference. As one former SEAD student wrote in a survey response, "I don't see SEAD as a program as much as a family. SEAD taught me that I am loved."
SEAD's Strategic Plan Report highlights the following areas as significant areas of impact: students' enrollment in college; students' sense of empowerment in their lives; the career trajectory of Dartmouth alumni connected to the program (82% of whom cite a strong effect of the program on their career choices); partner high schools' ability to meet student need; Dartmouth students' understanding of economic inequalities, social justice, and diversity; and the leadership skills of Dartmouth students who work as SEAD staff members.
Using the input from hundreds of current and former members of the SEAD community, the program has also made significant changes. SEAD scholars will now have a Dartmouth undergraduate intern in their high schools for Fall, Winter and Spring terms. They will also come to campus for an additional 4th summer focused on the transition to college, having attended an expanded SEAD III summer focused on access to college. Once in college, these students will be supported by Dartmouth undergraduates working as College Support Interns.
SEAD's Executive Director Jay Davis sees dramatic possibilities in the changes. "Over the last decade, SEAD has succeeded in creating a community that has profound impact on its members. The strategic planning process allows us to focus this impact even more effectively to help young people believe in their immense potential."
In 1951, Dartmouth College President John Sloan Dickey and the Board of Trustees founded Tucker Foundation in honor of William Jewett Tucker, the ninth president of the College. The Tucker Foundation is charged with supporting and furthering the moral and spiritual work of the College. It provides community service opportunities, opportunities for exploration and expression of faith, off-campus fellowships and internships, leadership and reflection opportunities, cross-cultural programs, and special speakers. Many programs are led together by students and staff.
Last Updated: 3/1/12