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College’s new Catalyst initiative integrates summer programs

College’s new Catalyst initiative integrates summer programs

A stained glass seal sits above Ransom Hall’s entryway. | COLLEGIAN ARCHIVES

A catalyst is a substance that increases the rate of a chemical reaction without getting used up itself. The College’s new Catalyst program, initiated by the Office of Admissions, aims to achieve a similar outcome by having existing programs collaborate.

The goal of this program is to introduce Kenyon’s initiatives to more students in a more cohesive manner and allow the programs to support one another.

According to Vice President of Enrollment and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid Diane Anci, the program adheres to Priority Two within the Strategic Plan for 2020, which is “to strategically use Kenyon’s resources to attract, retain and graduate an academically excellent and diverse student body,” according to the Kenyon website.

The the Kenyon Educational Enrichment Program (KEEP), the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) summer program, the Kenyon Academic Partnership (KAP) and Camp 4.

“The program is an attempt to coordinate the already existing series of programs that we developed over the last 30 years which are designed, in many different ways, to attract support and retain students from diverse backgrounds to Kenyon,” Professor of American Studies Peter Rutkoff said.

Rutkoff also serves as the executive director of KAP, which links Kenyon with a network of 30 high-school schools across Ohio.

KEEP and STEM are two programs that have collaborated in the past, running the programs together in the summer.

During the application process, for students who are eligible for both, the programs work with one another to maximize benefits to the students so that they are getting into the program that will best serve them, according to Associate Professor of Biology Karen Hicks, who is also involved with STEM.

The two programs are held during the same time in the summer as well. Students in STEM participate in a KEEP writing course during the second half of their summer experience.

Anci noted that it is important to highlight all the programs Kenyon has. “One of the things that is … quite extraordinary about Kenyon is its impressive suite of diversity and access programs,” she said. “The suite of diversity and access programs, in some ways, can end up engaging students as early as their sophomore year in high school and go straight through four years at Kenyon.”

This program, initiated a few years ago, is now in its final stages. An informational brochure is set to be published this fall.

“[The Catalyst initiative is] a great way to highlight these different sorts of programs and how they connect to one with another that we can then make available to prospective students, guidance counselors, community-based organizations to help students find us,” Hicks said. “Perhaps by having them work together, we will increase the success of each of these programs.”


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