Future Scholars

Future Scholars Application

Need for the Program

According to the 2000 Census, African Americans represent more than 30 percent of the population of the City of Louisville and roughly 19 percent of the population of Jefferson County. As the only major public institution located in this racially diverse area, the University of Louisville enrolls more African American students than any other institution in Kentucky. However, in recent years, comparatively high enrollment numbers have not translated into correspondingly high retention and graduation rates.

As a consequence, both the Challenge for Excellence and the Universitys agreements with the Council on Postsecondary Education and the U. S. Office of Civil Rights commit the institution to making significant improvements in these areas in the short-term future. These commitments, however, create a seeming paradox. The University is raising its admission standards and phasing-out developmental education. At the same time, African American students remain poorly served by local and regional schools, resulting in a relatively small percentage of black high school graduates being fully prepared for college-level work.

The resolution of this paradoxand the key to achieving University enrollment, retention and graduation goalslies in how well the University cultivates, recruits and serves the students in its own literal backyard. Decades of frustration have demonstrated that the University cannot rely on or afford to wait for public and private secondary schools to prepare more African American students more effectively for college. Thus, to achieve its goals, the University must develop some new capabilities, one of which entails direct and systematic University involvementin partnership with the local schools and local community groupsin the identification and cultivation of talented high school students.

Program Summary

The Future Scholars Program (formerly the Young Minority Scholars Program) is an initiative based in the Department of Pan-African Studies and sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, consistent with the College of Arts and Sciences Diversity Plan (March 2000). The Program is an academic enrichment experience for local African American high school students designed to cultivate the talents of participants and to prepare them for higher education, ideally at the University of Louisville.

The Summer Phase of the Future Scholars Program meets on Belknap campus in the last five-week summer term, roughly from July to August. For each participant, the Summer Phase is structured around a research project supervised by a University faculty mentor and a research/writing class (at the Writing Center) in which students learn to use college-level research methods and appropriate technological aids. Under the supervision of their mentors, participants present their research at a closing ceremony to which their parents and other University faculty and administrators are invited.


During the 3rd summer session of the University of Louisvilles summer teaching calendar. Typically the first week of July through the first week of August. It is a day program only and we do not provide transportation for the participants.

One the Belknap Campus at the University of Louisville. Students may have a base in the Department of Pan-African Studies, but will have workshops and class meetings at a variety of locations throughout their time in the program. They will also work closely with the Writing Center and their faculty mentor throughout the summer as well.

We only select up to ten African American high school students all rising juniors, with up to five (5) additional slots reserved for advanced students participating in the Whitney Young Scholars Program of the Lincoln Foundation. Students receive a stipend to defray the costs of food, transportation, etc.

Nomination and recommendations from local schools and community organizations. Emphasis on students with average to above-average records, but strong potential.

During the summer phase of the program, students attend classes focusing on research methods, writing and presentation skills development, and college readiness. Students will also spend some time working with the Writing Center staff and their faculty mentor on the construction of their research papers. They will have library and research time in which they will actively engage in the research process (literature searches and reviews, experiments, etc.). They will also conduct mock presentations of their research prior to the Closing Ceremony. In the Closing Ceremony, students present their research to which their parents, University faculty and administrators are invited.

Traditionally, College of Arts and Sciences faculty whose areas of expertise match the areas of interest indicated by students. Participating faculty members will also receive an honorarium for each student under their supervision and may work with as many as two students.

Dr. Tomarra Adams, serves as Program Director. You may contact her at 502-852-4008 or .