The University Record, May 7, 1996

KCP alters program to reflect 'College Connection: Campus Experience'

By Kahli Randall
News and Information Services

The University of Michigan's King/Chavez/Parks (KCP) Program will change its goals this summer to give teens a more realistic view of what it's like to be a college student, according to the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI).

KCP was originally designed to help middle and high school students from the state of Michigan learn more about careers requiring a college degree, says Onis Cheathams, OAMI pre-college coordinator.

Established in 1987, the KCP program is a campus community project in which U-M students, faculty and staff con tribute to the learning experience of participating students. U-M students serve as residential advisers, living with the youth at Mary Markley Hall during the four-week program. Staff and faculty provide KCP students with interactive workshops and seminars about the college application process, college costs and expenses, financial aid and scholar ships, and career choices.

The new KCP program, Cheathams says, will be known as "College Connection: Campus Experience." It will retain many of the aspects of the previous KCP program such as mandatory homework assignments, but it also will introduce participants to community service, the Internet, libraries and academic departments.

"We want the program to be college-oriented rather than career-oriented," Cheathams says. "The old program was not as effective for students because for many of these kids this is their first experience in a lecture hall with a professor."

Cheathams adds that having responsibilities, adhering to schedules and abiding by rules provide a more realistic view of college life.

At the end of the program the students will evaluate the goals that they had set for themselves at the onset. "Each student's goal will be different," Cheathams says. "Our hope is to give students a foundation to empower them to be able to make choices."