The .edu Project

As educational reform continues in Baltimore, more of our high school students are positioned to attend colleges and universities. How is Baltimore supporting our first generation college-bound students? Collaborative partnerships between private and public institutions are critical to the success of first generation students. In evaluating the needs of children in Baltimore city around this issue, the Baltimore Educational Scholarship Trust launched The .edu Project.

The .edu Project of B.E.S.T. supports first generation college-bound students and their families with our annual student and parent workshops and our professional development within the broader Baltimore educational community. We partner with colleges and universities throughout Maryland in order to leverage the resources they can collectively provide to first generation students. In addition, we founded the First Generation Affinity Group and chair quarterly meetings comprised of college support professionals from independent, public and parochial schools, nonprofit leadership and admissions and administrative teams from institutions of higher education. These meetings create networking and learning opportunities around best practices in supporting first generation college-bound students. First Generation Affinity Group members present and facilitate discussions on relevant topics. The intention of the group is to allow for the forming of partnerships and collaborations between members to strengthen the work we do to better position college-bound students for success.

First Generation Affinity Group Meetings

Changing Climate?: A Look at the Recent Experience of People of Color on College Campuses
September 28, 2017
Hosted by:

St. Paul's School for Girls

“Wait… Who am I? Who am I supposed to be? Supporting First Generation Student Experiences of Identity Intersectionality and Negotiation”
January 24, 2017
Hosted by:

Roland Park Country School

“How Do We Help Students Find Professional Fulfillment and Success After College?”
September 29, 2016
Hosted by:

Bridges

“How Early Employment Supports Post-Secondary Success”
November 15, 2016
Hosted by:

Urban Alliance

VIEW OUR MEETINGS ARCHIVE

Annual Workshops

Professional Development Workshop
May 4, 2018
Title: 6th Annual .edu Project Professional Development Workshop – Supporting First Generation College-Bound Students
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools

Description:

6th annual workshop for college support professionals, nonprofit leadership, and college admissions staff, in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and Johns Hopkins University. This event will take place from 9:00am until 12:00pm.

Professional Development Workshop
May 5, 2017
Title: 5th Annual .edu Project Professional Development Workshop: Supporting First Generation College Students
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools

Description:

5th Annual Professional Development Workshop for College Guidance Professionals, Nonprofit Leadership and College Admissions Staff. The event, hosted in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools, was held on Friday, May 5th from 9:00am – 12:00pm at Mason Hall on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. The session was led by Calvin Wise, Director of Recruitment at Johns Hopkins University, and featured two facilitated panel discussions. The first panel was comprised of current college students from University of Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University, Goucher College and Towson University. The second panel was comprised of B.E.S.T. Alumni who are local business leaders working in I.T., law, television production and finance. Please click here to read about our panelists and see pictures from the event.

Student and Parent Workshop
October 29, 2016
Title: Starting the College Conversation sponsored by OneMain Financial
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Towson University and Baltimore City Public Schools

Description:

This free, annual workshop is specially designed for 8th & 9th grade students, their families and faculty from Baltimore area independent and public schools, to encourage the start of the college conversation and to create a pathway to college matriculation.

On Saturday, October 29th, B.E.S.T. hosted our 4th Annual “Starting the College Conversation” Workshop at Towson University for 8th and 9th grade students and parents sponsored by OneMain Financial.

Dr. Dave Fedorchak, Director of University Admissions, and Barry Evans, Outreach Specialist, led an engaging seminar for students and parents designed to help spark important family conversations about the journey to college and to reinforce that it is not an application process to go to college, but rather a selection process.  They reinforced that the journey to college starts and is driven by the students, and is comprised of tiny, incremental steps that will help the students set themselves apart. The workshop included inspiring and informational videos, the chance to complete worksheets regarding college completion, and opportunities to have important questions answered. Dave and Barry discussed the timeline of applying to college and the number of years of continued education needed to achieve desired career goals. Additionally, students learned the “return on investment” of obtaining a college degree which includes having a richer life in all respects.

In addition to the B.E.S.T. students in attendance, there were students from the Baltimore School for the Arts, Leith Walk Elementary/Middle School, The Seed School of Maryland, Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, Margaret Brent Elementary/Middle School, and Knowledge and Success Academy. Several students say the most valuable piece of information learned was the importance of hard work and fighting for personal success.

We are very grateful to Towson University and Baltimore City Public Schools for their continued partnership in hosting this meaningful workshop for students and families in Baltimore.

Please enjoy the presentation from the workshop https://prezi.com/gmcphtli5yo7/educational-success-is-a-team-effort/ 

Special thanks to OneMain Financial for their generous sponsorship of this event.

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Professional Development Workshop
May 13, 2016
Title: 4th Annual .edu Project Professional Development Workshop: Supporting First Generation College Students: “Beyond Admissions”
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools

Description:

4th Annual Professional Development Workshop for College Guidance Professionals, Nonprofit Leadership and College Admissions Staff. The event, hosted in partnership with Johns Hopkins University and Baltimore City Public Schools, was held on Friday, May 13th from 9:00am – 12:00pm at Mason Hall on the campus of Johns Hopkins University. Our opening session featured Keynote Speaker, Dr. Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Vice Provost of Faculty Affairs at JHU, who presented: “Supporting First Generation College Students: Accountability, Intentionality and School Culture.” The morning also included an interactive panel discussion about the impactful programs designed to support student success at Goucher College, Johns Hopkins University and UMBC. The morning concluded with a discussion led by Calvin Wise, Senior Associate Director of Admissions at Johns Hopkins University, about the dynamics affecting student graduation and success with data from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and inspiring videos from CollegeBound and I’m First.  Thank you to Cheryl Holcomb-McCoy, Kristina Nance (JHU), Mary Tandia (Goucher College), Laila Shisheneh (UMBC) and Calvin Wise. Please click here to view the Gates Foundation data slide.

Student & Parent Workshop
November 21, 2015
Title: Starting the College Conversation
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and Towson University

Description:

This annual workshop is specially designed for 8th & 9th grade students, their families and faculty from Baltimore area independent and public schools, to encourage the start of the college conversation before high school begins. The Towson University Admission Staff led an interactive, engaging and high-energy seminar that included inspirational videos, an informative slide show, and important information as the students prepare to go to and through college. They discussed the timeline of applying to college and gave the students year-by-year action items beginning in 9th grade to maintain staying on a track to a four-year college; defined commonly used college terms such as grants, GPA, transcript, financial aid; and highlighted the “return on investment” of obtaining a college degree including a lower unemployment rate and higher salaries.

Professional Development Workshop
May 1, 2015
Title: 3rd Annual .edu Project Professional Development Workshop: Supporting First Generation College-Bound Students: A Panel Discussion and Facilitated Conversation: “From Their Perspective”
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and Johns Hopkins University

Description:

3rd Annual Professional Development Workshop for College Guidance Professionals, Nonprofit Leadership and College Admissions Staff. The event, hosted in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and Johns Hopkins University, was held on Friday, May 1st from 9:00am – 12:00pm at the Mt. Washington Conference Center. Our special opening session featured Wes Moore, Founder and CEO of BridgeEdu.  Thank you to panelists Tuesday Barnes, Verlando Brown and India Leach.

Please CLICK HERE to view pictures from the event

Student & Parent Workshop
November 1, 2014
Title: Starting the College Conversation
Hosted by:

B.E.S.T. in partnership with Baltimore City Public Schools and Towson University

Description:

This annual workshop is specially designed for 8th grade students, their families and faculty from Baltimore area independent and public schools, to encourage the start of the college conversation before high school begins. The morning began with a welcome from B.E.S.T.’s Executive Director and Chair of The .edu Project, Jessica Suriano, and Rudy Ruiz, Executive Director of Secondary Education Services for Baltimore City Public Schools, who both applauded the students for taking this first and important step in their journey to college.

Led by Dave Fedorchak, Director of Admissions at Towson University, students and parents were divided into small groups with members of Towson University’s Admissions staff to learn about the advantages to attending a four year college/university, and to hear an overview of what students need to be doing during their four years of high school in order to give themselves as many options as possible as it relates to attending college. The students and parents were brought back together at the end of the workshop to participate in a lively Q&A session with current Towson University students, who answered questions about the transition to college, life lessons they have learned while at college and how they made the decision on where to matriculate. The program ended with student-led tours of Towson University.