College Access and Student Success

Executive Director


Mission Statement:

The activities of the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development’s College Access and Student Success Programs (CASS) comprise direct service to students and applied research, both of which aim to improve educational outcomes for students traditionally underserved by U.S. higher education, including pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate students. CASS will fulfill this mission through the development and application of evidence-based approaches, ensuring that college access and success activities are effective, efficient, and student-centered. Traditionally underserved students include students who are: low-income; first-generation to attend college; English Language Learners, underrepresented in higher education based on race or ethnicity; or students with disabilities.

Wheelock is a member of the AACTE network improved community (NIC), the goal of which is to increase the diversity of our nation’s teacher candidate pool by focusing on recruitment of more Black and Hispanic men into teacher preparation programs, and AACTE Holmes Scholars and Master’s Programs, the goal of which is to supported doctoral and master’s students from historically underrepresented backgrounds pursuing careers in education at AACTE member institutions. 2016-17 Scope: 1 Holmes Scholar (2017-18 Scope: 2 Holmes Scholars and 3 Holmes Master’s students).

BPS Community Service Scholars

Boston University enjoys a dynamic engagement with the City of Boston. BU’s commitment to meet the full calculated financial eligibility without loans of any admitted Boston Public Schools graduate is a strong and tangible component of that engagement. This award is offered with a few unique requirements and features established to enhance the quality of students’ learning experiences and maximize their chances for success at BU. Each scholarship recipient is assigned a full-time faculty or staff member to serve as a mentor throughout their undergraduate career. After their first academic semester, scholarship recipients must perform 25 hours of community service per semester, with one semester of service dedicated specifically to BPS. 2016-17 Scope: 153 students, 77 mentors and 14,690 hours of community service.

BPS Community Service Scholars: Click here to Upload Your Service Forms

BUILD is an elementary school-focused literacy program run in partnership with Boston University’s Student Employment Office and funded through America Reads and America Counts. Three Wheelock graduate students coordinate up to 130 Boston University work-study tutors at 10 elementary school sites in Boston. 2016-17 Scope: 123 tutors serving 771 students at 13 elementary school sites.

Chicago Scholars is transforming the leadership landscape of our city by resolving the fundamental barriers to success for academically driven, first generation college students from under-resourced communities. Through college counseling, mentoring, and by providing a supportive community to our Scholars through each phase of our program: College Access: Launch, College Persistence: Lift and College to Careers: Lead, we ensure that they realize their full potential as students and leaders. 2016-17 Scope: 4 scholars and 1 mentor.

Boston University is affiliated with Educators Rising, part of Phi Delta Kappa International. The goal of the program is to create a talent pipeline for future teachers by working with high school teachers and students through teacher preparation curriculum, professional development, and assistance with internship opportunities. The programming is free to high schools, but schools need to commit a class period and teacher for an Educator Rising class.

The Charles Hayden Foundation seeks to promote the mental, moral, and physical development of children and youth ages five to eighteen in the metropolitan areas of New York City and the City of Boston. Their focus is on those institutions and programs serving youth most at risk of not reaching their full potential, especially youth in low-income communities. Boston University has collaborated with New York City high schools supported by the Hayden Foundation, starting with students in their sophomore year in the top ten percent of their class. These students receive information about BU, participate in the Junior Overnight Program, and if admitted to Boston University, they attend Multicultural Community Weekend. Once matriculated, Hayden Scholars are assigned a faculty or staff mentor.

Junior Science and Humanities Symposium (JSHS) is a tri-service – U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force – sponsored STEM competition which promotes original research and experimentation in the sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) at the high school level and publicly recognizes students for outstanding achievement. The Wheelock College of Education & Human Development hosts a one-day regional symposium open to high school students from Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Winners from the regional symposium compete at the National JSHS. 2016-17 Scope: 49 high school students, 11 undergraduates, 8 graduate students, 23 high school teachers, 8 university faculty/staff, and 8 corporate volunteers.

Menino Scholars

Boston University annually awards up to 25 full-tuition merit scholarships to Boston Public High School graduates. Michael Dennehy serves as their scholarship advisor and organizes a one-week residential orientation for scholars in June. As advisor, Mike is the scholars’ ombudsman, interfacing with the academic advising units, the University Service Center, and the Office of Financial Assistance.2016-17 Scope: 92 Menino Scholars.

Since 2013, the BU Chapter of the National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS) has partnered with the Trotter Elementary School and the Wheelock College of Education & Human Development to run a pen pal program with the fifth graders at the Trotter. Pals correspond to each other monthly, with the Trotter students visiting the Boston University campus in March and the BU pals visiting the Trotter in May. 2016-17 Scope: 50 Trotter 5th graders and 24 BU Pals.

The Posse Foundation identifies public high school students with extraordinary academic and leadership potential who may be overlooked by traditional college selection processes. The Foundation extends to these students the opportunity to pursue personal and academic excellence by placing them in supportive, multicultural teams – Posses – of 10 students. 2016-17 Scope: 40 POSSE Scholars and 5 mentors.

Upward Bound

Federally-funded TRIO program funded to serve 86 students, prepares low-income and first-generation college high school students from the Boston Public Schools for success in postsecondary study. Program services include: afterschool academic support and test preparation along with assisting students with the college and financial aid processes; and a six-week academically focused summer residential program. All services are on the Boston University campus. 2016-17 Scope: 101 high school students served (academic year and summer).

Upward Bound Math Science

This TRIO program is federally funded to serve 50 students. It prepares low-income and first-generation college-bound high school students from the Boston and Chelsea Public Schools for success in postsecondary study in a STEM field. Program services include after-school academic support and test preparation, along with assisting students with the college and financial aid processes; academic year and summer science tracks led by Boston University STEM faculty and graduate students; and a six-week academically focused summer residential program. 2016-17 Scope: 64 high school students served (academic year and summer).

The IMPACT Program began in 2006 as a way to boost college persistence for YES Prep graduates. The fact that over 90% of YES Prep’s graduating seniors are first-generation college-bound introduces a unique set of challenges for these students as they enter college. A strong emotional and academic support system at the college level, as well as the availability of financial aid, powerfully influences the likelihood of persistence. Since 2006, 84% of IMPACT Scholars have graduated from or are currently enrolled in their original IMPACT Partner or Affiliate institution. 2016-17 Scope: 3 Scholars and 1 Mentor.