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Millsaps College Forms Partnership with Freedom Summer Collegiate

by Web on June 20, 2017

The Institute for Civic & Professional Engagement at Millsaps College announced this month that it has formed a partnership with Freedom Summer Collegiate.

Drawing inspiration from the 1964 Mississippi Freedom Summer, the Freedom Summer Teaching Fellowship works towards educational equity by collaborating with partner programs to bring the nation’s most promising future academics to underserved students. Through the program, doctoral candidates from the nation’s top universities come to Mississippi for the summer to provide transformative college-level summer seminars for high school students, most of whom live in the Mississippi Delta.

Through the partnership, high school students who take these college-level courses will receive college credit, which can then be applied toward a bachelor’s degree at Millsaps or transferred to another college. Kenneth Townsend (C ’04), executive director of the Millsaps Institute for Civic & Professional Engagement, led Millsaps’ efforts to develop the partnership but credits other faculty and administrators for their commitment to making the project work: “All of the many people involved in developing this relationship recognized that this presented an exciting win-win opportunity. Millsaps is helping make college more accessible for talented, underserved populations while also exposing those same students to Millsaps early in their college searches—all of which is being done without burdening the College’s existing resources or infrastructure.”

Andy Donnelly, the executive director of Freedom Summer Collegiate, is currently a PhD student in English at Harvard University and is pleased to have developed a relationship with Millsaps. “We knew Millsaps was the right college for this partnership because of its commitment to service and excellence in education on campus and beyond,” Donnelly said. “We are excited that our students will earn credit hours this summer for the academically rigorous work they do in our Freedom Summer Collegiate courses.” 

This summer’s Freedom Summer Collegiate curriculum includes thirteen courses, which are offered in Sunflower, Rosedale, and Meridian, Mississippi, as well as in Eudora, Arkansas. Each course is taught by an accomplished PhD student and includes 10-15 students. Examples of courses that will be eligible for Millsaps credit, include “Criminal Justice in the US,” taught by Kaneesha Johnson of Harvard University’s Government Department and “Why Haven’t We Cured Cancer Yet?,” which is being offered by Marina Watanabe of the Department of Biological and Biomedical Sciences Department at Harvard University.