The Emerging Scholars Program

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Webcast Details

Aired on: October 13th, 2015

3:30–4:30 p.m. (ET)

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Our Guest(s) This Week

Jason Combs

Jason Combs is Assistant Director of Emerging Scholars, and a graduate of the program. Jason earned a BA in Political Science from Clemson University, and in 2013 was commissioned through the university’s Army R.O.T.C. as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve. He has served as a Platoon Leader for a Human Resources unit since that time. Jason also serves on the Clemson University MLK Planning Committee as co-chair for the Tunnel of Oppression cultural event.

Amber Lange

Amber Lange is Program Director for the Emerging Scholars Program, and has been involved with it since 2007. She earned a BS degree in International Business Administration from Southern Illinois University in Edwardsville, IL, and an MPA from Clemson University in Clemson, SC, where she is also working on her PhD in Educational Leadership. Amber serves on the Tri-County Technical College Trio Program Advisory Board, and is a member of the President’s Commission on the Status of Black Faculty and Staff at Clemson University.

This Week's Topic

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 College Board, established in 1900, was created to expand access to higher education. Today, with more than 6,000 of the world’s leading educational institutions as members, the College Board is dedicated to promoting excellence and equity in education.

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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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