WALLA WALLA, Wash. — Approximately two dozen eighth and ninth graders from schools in Walla Walla, Pasco, Mabton, Pomeroy, Touchet and Milton-Freewater are getting a taste of the college life on Whitman’s campus through Tuesday. Aug. 15.

The Whitman Institute for Summer Enrichment, an all-expense-paid pre-college program for promising least-advantaged and first-generation students, began Sunday at 1:30 p.m. and ends Tuesday, Aug.15, at 7 p.m. The overall mission of WISE is to promote the desire and perseverance of middle school-age students to attend college, said Aisha Fukushima, program coordinator. The participants will live in a Whitman residence hall, take classes from Whitman professors and participate in recreational projects while their parents attend workshops aimed at helping them guide their children through academic choices, financial aid procedures and other college preparation decisions they will encounter over the next several years.

Studies have demonstrated that college enrollment and graduation rates can be increased by pre-college programs like WISE, said Fukushima. Whitman hopes this program, like others, will encourage students to aspire to the opportunities available through higher education. Ultimately, she said, the WISE program’s goal is to create an opportunity for bright and promising youth to create a future that is equally bright and promising. After students “graduate” from the WISE program, the college plans to do follow-up work with students and their families and continue to offer support in planning for college.

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CONTACT: Lenel Parish, Whitman College News Service, (509) 527-5156

Email: parishlj@whitman.edu