Texas State hosts inaugural KIPP Camp for college preparation

Posted by Jayme Blaschke
University News Service
July 9, 2013

The Center for P-16 Initiatives at Texas State University is hosting its inaugural Summer KIPP Camp on campus through July 16.

Camp attendees will learn about campus life, leadership development, community service, and the skills needed to succeed in higher education. The students attending the college preparation camp will be students from KIPP high schools throughout Texas. Most, if not all, of the students will be from first-generation college-going families.

KIPP stands for the Knowledge Is Power Program. It is a national network of free, open-enrollment, college-preparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and life. There are more than 30 KIPP schools throughout Texas, and the campers will be coming to San Marcos from the Dallas, Austin, San Antonio and Houston regions.

"KIPP is dedicated to our students’ attainment of a college degree, which is evident in our completion rates," said Bryan Contreras, director of KIPP Through College. "We know that there a lot of factors that drive these kinds of outcomes, including the fact that we have amazing college partners like Texas State University.

"Although our students reside in communities where the overall college completion rate is about 8 percent, our KIPP alumni are climbing towards a completion rate equal to students from the highest income quintile in the nation," he said. "The Texas State Summer program is another important step in the direction of preparing KIPP students for the college experience."

Texas State announced a partnership agreement with KIPP schools in 2012. In partnering with KIPP, Texas State hopes to recruit and enroll 10 qualified KIPP alumni in the 2012-13 academic year, and 15 each year thereafter. Texas State is committed to providing strong support for KIPP alumni who enter the university.

The Center for P-16 Initiatives was chosen to organize and implement the inaugural Summer KIPP Camp at Texas State. Michelle Hamilton, director of the center, said that providing opportunities for underserved students to experience the college campus and culture is beneficial to their post-secondary preparation.

“First generation students benefit from having a summer program that prepares them for college," Hamilton said. "The opportunity to interact with faculty and to experience leadership training is extremely valuable to KIPP students. These experiences will provide a strong foundation for future success.”

More than 30 KIPP students will be on the Texas State campus for a total of nine days. The campers will stay in the residence halls, attend lectures and presentations, complete a video project and engage in team-building activities.

For more information, contact the Center for P-16 Initiatives at (512) 245-8192.