Cecil B. Moore Scholars program enrolls North Central students at Temple

The first 20 Cecil B. Moore scholars will be picked from the dual enrollment program on March 1.

The acronym of George Washington Carver High School of Engineering and Science is spelled out on the school’s main entrance at 16th and Norris Streets. | FERNANDO GAXIOLA / THE TEMPLE NEWS

Temple University is offering the Cecil B. Moore Scholars program to North Central high school students as an opportunity to receive college preparation, focused campus advising and mentoring and the chance to be awarded scholarships that cover base tuition at Temple, as part of the university’s $1 million anti-racist initiative announced in the fall

Local high school students accepted to Temple during the early action period were admitted to the dual enrollment program, where they are taking a free virtual Temple course during the spring of their senior year. From there, Temple will select 20 students to be Cecil B. Moore scholars and attend a summer bridge program before starting their first semester at Temple.

These high school students began taking online courses at the start of the spring semester along with other undergraduate students, said Daniel Berman, vice provost for undergraduate studies.

Roughly 40 high school students are currently attending a dual enrollment course at Temple, said Chris Avery, vice president of programs at Steppingstone Scholars, a nonprofit college access program partnering with the initiative.

Only half will continue into the summer bridge program. This selection will be made based on each student’s performance in their dual enrollment course, an essay and a video describing why they wish to become a Cecil B. Moore scholar.

The 20 Cecil B. Moore scholars will be announced on March 1.

Cecil B. Moore scholars will receive four-year base tuition scholarships, take a two-credit summer course and receive advising and guidance from Steppingstone Scholars, Avery said.

The program is available to students who attend the School District of Philadelphia or charter high schools and live in one of the eight North Philadelphia ZIP codes that surround Temple, including 19121, 19122, 19123, 19125, 19130, 19132, 19133 and 19140.

The program was created to combat inferior educational opportunities for most Black children in the K-12 system, said Valerie Harrison, senior advisor to President Richard Englert on equity, diversity and inclusion.

“This initiative, we believe, puts Temple at the forefront of providing access equity for historically underrepresented racial groups,” Harrison said. 

To be considered for this program, students had to apply for undergraduate study at Temple by Nov. 1, 2020, said Shawn Abbott, vice provost for enrollment management. 

Those who completed their Common Application were automatically considered for admission to the university and the program itself. There was no separate application for the Cecil B. Moore Scholars program. 

“They’re taking a general education course with anywhere from four to seven or so students in each course,” Berman added.

Along with their GenEd course, students who are a part of the program have a number of resources, including weekly study halls and communication with faculty about topics related to student success, Berman said. 

As part of the college preparation provided by Steppingstone Scholars, the organization hired Temple students to function as program coaches, who work with students during study halls and provide mentorship, Avery said.

“We’ve got a cohort of students that have already been qualified for admission to Temple,” Abbott said. “That in itself gives us confidence that these students are poised for success.”

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