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About the Program

About the Program

Since 2002, The Emerging Scholars Program has made higher education a reality for students who have not seen college in their future.

The mission of the Emerging Scholars Program at Clemson University is to establish a college-going culture among students in families from the state’s economically disadvantaged areas through academic enrichment, developing leadership skills and increasing college preparedness. Students are taught that knowing the basics in reading, writing and math are the most important factors in high school and college completion. These skills are emphasized throughout their participation in the program, along with more information on the basics of applying to any college or university. Even though the students attend summer sessions on the campus of Clemson University, the goal of college attendance is not limited to Clemson. The students are encouraged to apply and attend any college of their choice with an emphasis on schools in the state of South Carolina. All of this is done through two different components:


The Emerging Scholars Program targets students in the following seven high schools: Allendale-Fairfax, Bamberg-Ehrhadt, Denmark-Olar, Wade Hampton (Varnville), Estill, Dillion and Marlboro County

  • The Summer Experience

    PHASE 1: Rising high school sophomores attend a week long residential experience on the Clemson University campus. This week consists of team building, academic evaluations, college access information and collaborative learning experiences. The students take daily classes in reading, writing and math.

    PHASE 2: Students return to Clemson for two weeks prior to their junior year. Reading, writing and math skills are reinforced and science classes are introduced. Students have more interaction with campus partners and are exposed to more college access information.

    PHASE 3: Students return to Clemson for three weeks prior to their senior year. A simulation of a typical freshman schedule is introduced and students are enrolled in five different courses: English, math, social science, laboratory science and art. Students also begin work on their college applications. Seniors are also taken on a day college trip to Atlanta to visit Morehouse, Spellman and Clark-Atlanta.

  • Academic Year Activities

    Students who participate in the Emerging Scholars program also commit to academic year work and activities. College access workshops are held throughout the year at the USC-Salkahatchie campus in Allendale, SC. Throughout the year, Emerging Scholars staff meet with the students at their schools and host social activities in the area. Students attend a weekly after school program in their high school that is led by teachers. The students are also given the opportunity to visit different college campuses throughout their junior and senior years.

    Students are also taken on college trips during their junior and senior years. By the end of their three year program students visit the following universities: