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Mary Tourner

George Vlahakis
IU Media Relations

Last modified: Thursday, May 1, 2003

Pathfinder program helps young people blaze a trail to college

The Indiana University Office of Community and School Partnerships reaches out to middle school and high school students through various programs. Its main goal is to encourage students to seek higher education.

"The ultimate goal is to intervene early in the students' lives and promote higher education," said Mary Tourner, director of the Office of Community and School Partnerships on the Bloomington campus. "These programs help by providing students with necessary and firsthand information to complete their journey."

The office hosts its Spring Shadow program, a "Why College?" Day, a Day on Campus and the summer Pathfinder program.

The Pathfinder program is next on the list of events. It hosts middle school and high school students who come to the IU Bloomington campus for a four-day visit. The program has a set theme every year, and students attend workshops that are taught by IUB students and faculty. This year's theme is "Written and Oral Communication."

Last year, the Pathfinder Program hosted 120 students. It will be offered on June 15-18, June 22-25 and June 29-July 2.

In addition to workshops, students will participate in other events such as campus tours of various facilities, including the Neal-Marshall Black Culture Center, the IU Art Museum, academic buildings, residence halls and recreational facilities. During their visit, students stay in an IU Bloomington residence hall and also enjoy a barbeque and a talent show.

An award ceremony ends the program, and students give oral presentations about what they learned in the program. Building on a past Pathfinder tradition, students also produce a newsletter.

Participants are provided with information about testing required by colleges and Indiana high schools. They are even advised about college-prep courses.

The Office of Community and School Partnerships keeps in touch with previous Pathfinder students through its own newsletter. Students are informed about events on the Bloomington campus and the transition from high school to college. Previous Pathfinders also receive invitations to participate in other programs offered through that IU office.

For more information, contact the Office of Community and School Partnerships at or at 812-856-5935.