Building Educational Opportunities
One of our goals at the Dornsife Center is to support educational opportunities for neighborhood residents. From early childhood through job pipeline training to lifelong learning, we offer programs to assist residents with specific education needs as well as with exploring cultural interests. Literacy, mentorship and high school readiness, career exploration, high school diploma completion, work and career oriented training, and enrichment opportunities are all part of a network of education programming for all ages.
ACTION FOR EARLY LEARNING
Also a part of Drexel's Office of University & Community Partnerships, the West Philadelphia Action for Early Learning initiative supports families and caregivers with early education and literacy for kids. Reading by the end of third grade is a crucial learning milestone for kids, and AFEL brings its family read-alongs, kindergarten sign-ups, and other early learning supports to the Dornsife Center.
A program of the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, Lindy Scholars is a mentorship program for neighborhood middle school students. Drexel undergraduate students meet regularly with participating middle school students to take part in fun and engaging activities to promote math and reading skills along with high school readiness. Lindy Scholars also offers a free six-week-long summer camp for its participants.
CAREER EXPLORATION FOR YOUTH AND YOUNG ADULTS
Drexel's faculty and students offer a range of career exploration opportunities in areas like science and technology, arts, and sustainability. The Music Industry Program runs a training workshop in which participants in middle school and up can work with music production and recording technologies. Past programs have included a data camp for girls hosted by the Metadata Research Center in Drexel's College of Computing and Informatics, as well as Saturday STEAM activities organized by the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Our partners at Triskeles Programs bring a summer Green Career Pathways program that invites young people to explore careers in food and nutrition, urban agriculture, and urban sustainability. Participants ready to enter the workforce can take advantage of paid internships.
Offered with our partners at Goodwill Industries of Southern New Jersey and Philadelphia and Community College of Philadelphia, Helms Academy is a zero-cost, community-based educational program for adult learners over 18 who have not yet completed their high school diploma. Participants work towards their Commonwealth Secondary School Diploma while getting 30 free credits of community college courses. Meeting students where they are, dedicated staff members provide the extensive support services needed to help participants complete the program and create their own strategy for personal success. For more information call 215-571-4011 or stop by the Carriage House, room C201 at the Dornsife Center.
Our KEYSPOT, part of the Dornsife Center's Beachell Family Learning Center, is part of a citywide network of free-access computer labs. KEYSPOT provides basic digital literacy training for adults, providing access to the world of the internet. KEYSPOT participants can get support learning how to navigate around the web, how to use email and social media, and how to use common software systems. Residents who are already familiar with online tools can also simply use KEYSPOT for computer time on their own.
DREXEL’S COMMUNITY-BASED LEARNING
Side-by-Side courses at the Dornsife Center invite neighborhood residents to join regular undergraduate courses during Drexel's academic terms. These courses are free of charge, and are an opportunity to dig deep into topics of interest. Past courses have included poetry and literature, Philadelphia history, sociology and neighborhood ethnography, philosophy, and culinary arts. These courses are offered during each of Drexel's four terms per year.