In 2006, the high school graduation rate in Durham was under 70% (WCPSS, 2007). The percentage of students who went on to attend college is even smaller. Consequently, an alarming number of students in Durham are not receiving a college education, which is becoming increasingly important in today's highly competitive world. Many of these students come from backgrounds in which no other family member has attended college. For such students, the idea of college can be an unfamiliar and distant idea.

Duke College Mentors (DCM) was started by a group of Duke undergraduates in 2007 in order to address this problem by helping under-resourced high school students in Durham prepare for college. The goal of DCM is to help turn college into a reality for as many students as possible.

How DCM Works

Each qualified high school student is paired up with a college mentor, who will advise the student in every aspect of the college application process, including the general application, financial aid, scholarships, college essays, and standardized testing. Financial aid and scholarships will include advice on how to make college affordable. In addition, mentors will provide valuable tips on how to maximize one's chances of admissions and how to prepare for the rigor of college by engaging in a combination of strong academics and extracurricular activities. Mentors will also be able to direct students towards other resources at Duke, such as academic tutoring and summer programs. Aside from his or her high school counselor, each student will be able to rely on a college mentor as the primary college advisor.

Each student is assigned to one college mentor. Mentors and students meet after school twice a month and every year until the student graduates from high school. This long-term relationship allows mentors to follow-up on their students, and ensures the success of students who participate in the program.

Duke College Mentors are a diverse group of Duke undergraduate students who have successfully navigated the college application process and are willing to share this wisdom. DCM is advised by David Stein, Educational Partnership Coordinator of the Duke-Durham Neighborhood Partnership.
Upcoming Events