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The Near Peer Program provides college coaches/mentors for “high-need” high school students to help ensure they receive the services needed to successfully apply to and enroll in a postsecondary institution. Nine USG institutions have Near Peer Programs.  Through the College Access Challenge Grant (CACG),School of Education faculty at  Georgia Southwestern State University has developed a Near Peer Program in collaboration with Americus/Sumter High School South.

Dr. Queen Brown is the principal investigator and coordinator of the Near Peer Program at Georgia Southwestern State University.  The program has been in existence on this campus since spring of 2013. GSW’s Near Peer program, which provides intensive instruction to select high school seniors and prepares them for the rigors and realities of college life, was funded for a second year in 2014  and has accepted the challenge to apply for funding for the third and final year, 2014-15.The college coaches take a service learning/mentoring course, EDUC 2120 Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives/ Diversity in Education taught by Dr. Brown and Mr. David Hunter  that provides the instruction they need to work with underrepresented students in order to increase access and readiness for college.

The Near Peer Program Goals

  • Provide “Near Peer” mentoring services to underrepresented students at partner high schools;
  • Increase awareness among underrepresented students about applying to and paying for college;
  • Increase awareness among underrepresented students about various career opportunities;
  • Promote college opportunities in a positive way to the underrepresented students served;
  • Provide information about college life and classroom experiences to the underrepresented students served; and
  • Develop a sense of community involvement for college students serving as Near Peer mentors/coaches.

Eighteen of the 30 original Near Peer students have applied to various Georgia colleges and universities  for admission in Fall 2014. The program makes a real impact in the lives of students at Americus High South.

Screening is underway now to identify Near Peer students for the fall semester

Course Information:

EDUC 2120: Exploring Socio-Cultural Perspectives/ Diversity in Education
Offered fall 2014 and spring 2015 (3 credit hours)
Time: TBA (Check Class Schedules)
Instructors: Dr. Queen Brown & Mr. David Hunter

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