Center for Talent Development Tours Introduce Young Low-Income Students to College

Center for Talent Development Tours Introduce Young Low-Income Students to College

CTD tour

The Center for Talent Development (CTD) is leading an effort to introduce low-income minority students to college by hosting school groups for campus visits. Student groups from Indianapolis and Chicago elementary schools had memorable experiences at Northwestern recently. 

“The schools want to prepare their students for select colleges, but the kids lack experiences,” says Rhoda Rosen, associate director of CTD. “We want to give them a good experience on a college campus and, in addition, present Northwestern University’s inspiring, accomplished and diverse study body in a fabulous light.”

A group of 100 students from Challenge Foundation Academy in Indianapolis visited campus on May 9. Highlights of the tours and educational activities included visits to Multicultural Student Affairs offices and a Design for America panel discussion at Ford Center. At Northwestern’s athletic facilities, the students toured the stadium club, heard a student panel of African American athletes and had lunch on the softball stands.

CTD panel

Similarly on May 10 CTD hosted a group of 50 students from Galapagos Charter School in Chicago. The day featured visits to the Block Museum, Norris Student Center and African American Student Affairs. The elementary school students also watched a student performance group in Ryan Auditorium.

“We involve as many diverse Northwestern student groups as possible,” says Rosen. “We try to introduce the fifth-grade students to inspiring Northwestern students whose experiences mirror their own and who have successfully navigated being a minority, low-income student at a select college and who have excelled academically.” Volunteers came from the Center for Civic Engagement and other student groups.

For these campus visits, the Center for Talent Development starts by giving young students a taste of college with enjoyable experiences on campus and then expands to providing educational activities. “It’s never too early to visit a select college campus,” says Rosen. “We want to deepen their awareness of the possible pathways to college and to present Northwestern as a welcoming space and achievable goal.”

The Center for Talent Development, housed at Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy is an accredited learning center and research facility that has been serving gifted students, their families and educators for nearly 30 years.

Captions: (Top) During a campus tour, Center for Talent Development associate director Rhoda Rosen poses with a group of fifth-grade students from Challenge Foundation Academy. (Bottom) Challenge Academy visitors listen to a diverse panel of Northwestern students discuss an engineering competition. 

By Marilyn Sherman
Last Modified: 6/4/13