UDC offers Anacostia High School students a glimpse of college life

UDC offers Anacostia High School students a glimpse of college life

UDC offers Anacostia High School students a glimpse of college life


Omar with Anacostia Students

Anacostia High School students tour the Van Ness Campus to learn about educational opportunities.


During a series of campus visits in October and early November, Anacostia High School students in all grade levels visited the Van Ness Campus, Community College, and the Workforce Development & Lifelong Learning Campus. Students learned about the various programs offered at UDC and heard remarks from President Ronald Mason Jr., faculty and staff.

Students participated in demonstrations, visited engineering labs, and were welcomed with a lunch reception where they could ask faculty questions about college life and what they should expect as college students.

“I think the students were extremely excited about the information they obtained,” said Anacostia Principal William Haith. “They now see UDC as a viable option. A lot of them have never been to a college campus before. It’s helpful, especially for the younger students, to get out of their element. They were able to see people who looked like them. They need to see what’s possible.”

The college tours are a part of UDC’s more significant commitment to Anacostia High School and Ward 8 through the University’s Developing America’s Workforce Nucleus (DAWN) initiative.

DAWN addresses the underrepresentation of minority STEM talent due to systemic racism or economic inequality. It redirects the public education pipeline to produce more business and entrepreneurship-ready STEM talent in ethnic minority and disadvantaged communities. DAWN has attracted support from the National Science Foundation (NSF), the Meyer Foundation of D.C., Pepco Holdings, the Urban Waters Federal Partnership, and an anonymous donor.

The program works to develop talent through the Katherine G. Johnson Math Teacher Training Institute (MTTI) and talent application through the Community-to-Career Academy (C2 Academy/UDC@Ana). The latter features career training and placement opportunities through UDC’s partnership at Anacostia High School in Ward 8—the District’s most economically challenged community. This expansive scope has the potential to create a sustainable pipeline of domestic, diverse, business-and entrepreneurship-ready STEM talent across all levels of the workforce.

At the beginning of the academic year, UDC launched its Early College Program at Anacostia High School, where students can earn college credit while still in high school.

Students will have the opportunity to experience college-level courses, accelerating their path to degree completion. The initial Early College program will begin with a small student cohort to determine the best approach for expansion.

Through the program, UDC will also offer a dual degree program for 11th and 12th-grade students, who will complete their high school requirements while earning credits toward an associate degree. Other program components will include technical skills training, paid internships, tutoring and mentoring, wraparound services for students and their parents or caregivers, and faculty and student research and advocacy for Ward 8 students.

Anacostia High School is located in southeast Washington, DC, providing career- and college-preparatory education. UDC has formally committed to continuing investments in workforce development and lifelong learning for District residents in Wards 7 and 8.

“The UDC-Anacostia partnership is essential to helping students think beyond what they see when they walk down the streets,” said Principal Haith. “Many will be first-generation college students. It allows them to think bigger.”