Connecting to a learning community

By Allison Eatough

The Silas Craft Collegians program at a Maryland college helps students academically and socially

At age 17, Tyler White wondered if she’d ever find success in college.

The Laurel, Md., resident struggled with her grades throughout high school and often kept to herself, despite having a genuine interest in helping others.

Then one day, during her senior year, she attended a presentation about Howard Community College’s (HCC’s) Silas Craft Collegians program.

The program provides an academic leadership learning community for recent high school & high school equivalent graduates who wish to maximize their academic achievement through personal coaching, academic support, and smaller class sizes, while connecting with a group of like-minded peers.

“I learned about how the program helps students move on to new chapter in life,” she said. “I thought, ‘This program can connect me with people who can help me reach my goals and be successful moving forward.’”

Tyler applied and was accepted into the program, which has played a significant role in her college experience.

Regular meetings with Silas Craft mentors helped White establish semester goals, and the program’s tutoring service helped her improve her math grade. White also participated in the program’s social and volunteer activities, including ushering runners during HCC’s 5K Challenge Race.

“It’s different at HCC,” she said. “Through the program, I’ve met new people, pursued my interests and learned what I like and don’t like. And it’s helped me to be more social.”

White also received financial support through the Howard Community College Educational Foundation (HCCEF) Silas Craft Collegians Scholarship and HCCEF Silas Craft Collegians Endowment.

This spring, she will graduate with an associate degree in radiologic technology. She will then pursue a bachelor’s degree in speech therapy at a four-year college, armed with the skills she learned as a Silas Craft Collegian.

“The Silas Craft program helps you to be successful not only in college but also in life,” she said.

The Howard Community College Educational Foundation held its annual Silas Craft Collegians Dinner this week virtually to raise money for the Silas Craft Collegians program. In the 23 years of the event, it has raised approximately $550,000 for the program. Learn more and see a video of Silas Craft Collegians here.

This article originally appeared here.

Allison Eatough

is a freelance writer in Maryland.