The Emerging Scholars Program

Since 2002, the Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University has helped students from low-income areas of South Carolina move forward to a brighter future after graduating from high school. In this special edition of Solutions to the Dropout Crisis, Emerging Scholars Program Director Amber Lange, and Assistant Director Jason Combs, will discuss the importance of this successful dropout prevention initiative. Through the program, high school students are mentored over a period of three years to prepare them for success in reaching their goal of higher education. This is accomplished by reinforcing academic preparation, building leadership skills, and advising students on the college application process.

The Emerging Scholars program provides participants—many of whom will be first-generation college students—with classroom success skills, the experience of living on a college campus, and the opportunity to visit over 12 colleges around the state. The program accepts 50-60 students annually, at no cost to them. Since its inception, more than 400 students have become “emerging scholars,” with 100% graduating from high school, and 90% going on to college or into the military within a year of graduation.


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The Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University is designed to establish a college-going culture among students in families from South Carolina’s economically disadvantaged areas through academic enrichment, leadership skills development, and college preparedness.


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