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Release: Immediate

Project ACHIEVE students take test for UI scholarships

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- A group of nine outstanding Chicago high school graduates have the chance to earn scholarships to the University of Iowa as part of a campus orientation visit Saturday, June 28 to Monday, June 30.

The students, who have already been admitted to the UI through "Project ACHIEVE" of the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development, will take the College Level Examination Program (CLEP) test Sunday.

The test is the last hurdle for students in Project ACHIEVE, a program designed to increase opportunities for talented and gifted minority students. ACHIEVE stands for Amoco, Consortium High Schools and Iowa Encouraging Victories in Education.

Students in the program spend two summers on the UI campus studying calculus for up to eight hours a day. During the school year, they work with tutors and educators in their home schools to boost their skills.

Students who successfully complete the program are guaranteed admission to the UI and are evaluated for financial aid. Students who do well on the CLEP calculus exam or the Advanced Placement calculus exam receive scholarships to the UI.

Nicholas Colangelo, director of the Belin-Blank Center, says the program is designed to expose students to the rigors of college-level academic work.

"These are all students who are intellectually capable of doing college work, but, for the most part, have not had a setting where their true capabilities have been tested," Colangelo says. "Project ACHIEVE gives them that and, at the same time, shows the students that if they can complete this program, they belong in college."

The program began in 1993 as a joint project of the Belin-Blank Center, the Amoco Oil Co. and Chicago public schools with high enrollments of students from underrepresented groups. Participating schools include Westinghouse Vocational High School, Englewood High School and Tilden High School.

The 1997 Project ACHIEVE program began June 15 and continues until July 25. A total of 16 students are participating this summer.

With the nine students admitted for fall 1997, there currently are about 34 Project ACHIEVE graduates studying at the UI.


Editors: Contact Jan Warren, precollege program coordinator, at (319) 335-6148, for information about interviews or photo possibilities with students attending the Belin-Blank Center's summer programs.