Fly-In introduces Am. Indians to College

by Marina Agapakis | 10/17/05 5:00am

The annual Native-American Fly-In and Dartmouth Bound visitation programs took place last week as part of Dartmouth's recruitment effort for minority students.

Forty-eight American Indian high school seniors, representing 31 different American Indian nations from 42 states and two Canadian provinces, traveled to campus last Thursday for the annual Native-American Fly-In program.

The four-day program, which was first organized in the late 1970s, provides talented American Indian high school seniors with the opportunity to learn about the College firsthand.

Students took part in a number of information sessions, admissions interviews and social events to acquaint them with the campus in general as well as with the American Indian community at Dartmouth.

"The Fly-In gave me a chance to see campus, sit in on classes and meet students and professors," said Dulce Shultz '09, who participated in the Fly-In program last fall. "The Fly-In showed me that Dartmouth had an active interest in recruiting me, which made a big difference when I was weighing my options."

As a result of Dartmouth's historical commitment to the education of American Indian students, admissions officers said the College stands out among its peer institutions in recruiting efforts.

"Dartmouth is a leader among its Ivy League peers in regard to native recruitment, admission and retention," said Cara Wallace, assistant director of admissions and coordinator of the Fly-In program. "The Native Fly-In program is a celebration of Dartmouth's rich history and a symbol of its continued commitment to native education."

"Just the fact that the Native American house is here makes me feel more comfortable and like I'll always have a place to go," said prospective student Chelsey Lugar who participated in the Fly-In program. "I really like the way they work with native students."

Since Dartmouth reaffirmed its commitment to remedying the historical lack of opportunities for American Indians in higher education three decades ago, over 800 students from more than 200 tribes have attended the College.

"Dartmouth Bound," a similar visitation program targeted toward students of color, also took place last weekend. The program, created in 1991 to support the College's goal for diversity, brings approximately 35 high-school seniors from 10 major cities to campus each year.

Students in the program participated in events that showcased the College's social, academic, and cultural offerings.

"I wasn't sure I was going to apply before I came here, but after the trip, Dartmouth is definitely one of my top choices," Manilynn Disuanco said about her experience with the Dartmouth Bound program this year. "I really liked the people here. Everyone is so kind and welcoming."

In addition to providing all on-campus meals and housing during their four-day stays in Hanover, the College covered the complete cost of airfare for those attending.

Students participating in the selective programs were required to complete a lengthy application that included a personal essay and recommendation.

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