Sections    Tuesday December 18th, 2018
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Expect More Excellence Tour: ASU’s Inspire camp guiding American Indian students to postsecondary enrollment


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  • Lorenzo Chavez/ Arizona State University

A Participant In The ASU Inspire Camp Talks About What She's Learned And What She'd Like To Apply From The Experience. Photo Courtesy Expect More Arizona

Arizona State University has launched a free summer program aimed at American Indian high schoolers.

The Inspire camp gives students the chance to live on campus, access student resources, work with career services, and gain confidence about campus life.

In Arizona today, only 20 percent of American Indians hold an associate’s degree or higher, compared to 43 percent of the general population.

ASU’s efforts will help propel the state toward the Arizona Education Progress Meter goal of improving the overall rate of postsecondary attainment to 60 percent by the year 2030.

The incoming high school sophomores, juniors and seniors are placed in groups of ten.

As they progress through the program each of the six days of camp is centered on a unique theme.

For instance, one day focused on career readiness and allowed students to craft elevator speeches and resumes.

Another studied leadership and ways to be an effective leader, with many of the events featuring speakers from tribal and student leadership.

Through all of it, students had the opportunity to practice and grow academic and personal success behaviors by integrating reading, writing and research skills in culturally relevant, project-based learning.

Expect More Arizona Video: ASU Inspire

Camp events gave students the opportunity to glimpse into their potential future after high school.

Students experienced university life in a Tempe campus residence hall.

They ate in dining halls and enjoyed free time and team-building sessions in the Sun Devil Fitness Center.

They worked with their peers and instructors in different buildings on the Tempe campus.

A mock court at the ASU Law School and a visit to the Cronkite School of Journalism brought their potential visions to life.

Campers were guided by 11 ASU indigenous students who served as team mentors, providing tips and advice that come best from near-peers.

The annual event is in high demand, and it has been successful thanks in large part to partnerships with groups like APS, which presented on renewable energy resources and sent their own American Indian engineers to the event.

In the event’s third year, ASU hosted 50 students from all over Arizona and even states beyond.

Feedback from the program was overwhelmingly positive, and more than 90 percent of participants indicated that they are considering applying to ASU.

What’s more, over 93 percent of participants indicated that this program made them feel like they could be a part of the ASU community.

For more success stories from across Arizona, visit the Expect More Excellence Tour.