Georgetown programs introduce college to underserved students in grades 6-12

As part of Georgetown’s commitment to improving access to higher education for students from diverse cultural and economic backgrounds, the university hosts several pre-college programs that introduce Washington, D.C., middle- and high-school students to the academic rigors and extracurricular possibilities of college.

Run by the Center for Multicultural Equity and Access (CMEA), the College Exposure-Dual Enrollment Program, Kids2College, and the Institute for College Preparation “challenge higher education leaders to really look at the ways in which institutions can continue to support diversity, equity and inclusion,” says CMEA director Charlene Brown-McKenzie. “These programs begin in the early grades in an effort to really give students a solid foundation so they can think about what paths they want to take in order to be contributing members of society.”

College Exposure-Dual Enrollment Program

Georgetown undergraduate student Betelhem Mekonnen (C’23) participated in the College Exposure-Dual Enrollment Program, which enables seniors in D.C. public high schools to take courses at local colleges. “The community was so helpful, and I learned a lot from it,” says Meknonnen. “It exposed me to what college is going to be like.” Now at Georgetown, she receives support from the Community Scholars Program and the Georgetown Scholars Program.


In the six-week Kids2College program, Georgetown student volunteers teach sixth graders how to prepare for college and careers. The program—which occurs at the midpoint in students’ K-12 schooling—includes shadowing current Georgetown students.

“In the Kids2College program we answer questions like, what is a college or university? What are majors? What is the difference in your earnings between a high school diploma and a college degree?” says Brown-McKenzie.

Institute for College Preparation

All students who participate in Kids2College are invited to join the Institute for College Preparation (ICP) in seventh grade, which pairs tutoring and mentorship during the school year with summer enrichment opportunities.

Students participate in cohorts all the way through high school graduation. They attend the ICP Summer Institute, where they study math, Spanish, and English every day for three to five weeks. ICP scholars also attend Saturday classes in core subjects, learn critical thinking and study skills, prepare for higher education, and have opportunities to study abroad and tour colleges.

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