Oxford College announces first College Summer Experience Program for Newton and Putnam County students


Oxford MOU signing with Newton and Putnam Counties Photo by Alex Minovici

60 high school students from Newton and Putnam counties will get an early glimpse of college life at Oxford this summer.

Oxford College of Emory University this week announced the first Oxford College Summer Experience Program, which will bring together 60 local high school students—30 from Newton County and 30 from Putnam County—to experience campus life, sample college-level academics, and participate in activities designed to enhance college readiness.

The Summer Experience was created in partnership with the Newton County School System (NCSS) and Putnam County Charter School System (PCCSS) to provide rising high school juniors with a free, weeklong residential program on Oxford’s campus. From June 21-25, students will explore how to choose the right college fit, navigate the application and financial aid processes, attend college-level classes, and prepare for a smooth transition from high school to college.

Oxford College Dean Doug Hicks, NCSS superintendent Samantha Fuhrey, and PCCSS Superintendent Eric Arena launched the program at a ceremony to sign agreements of mutual understanding.

“All of us at Oxford are excited to welcome students to campus for a wonderful week learning about college—including sampling real college courses,” Hicks said.  “We will have sessions on how to apply for college, the process of preparing for college, and how to flourish once they arrive. We have had very strong interest from students in Putnam County and Newton County for this program, and we hope to build on this concept in the future.”

Oxford faculty will teach classes, and participants will have the opportunity learn from current Oxford students. There also will be field trips to local areas and other recreational activities.

Each school district had their own unique selection process. The Rev. Dr. Avis Williams, an Oxford alumna and Community Liaison for the Putnam County Charter School System, was instrumental in putting the program together. She worked directly with counselors and teachers from Putnam and Newton County schools to identify students who would benefit from this summer experience.

“What an exciting opportunity for 30 students in the Newton County School system and what an awesome partnership to establish and to grow over the coming years,” Fuhrey said. “We are really excited to invite our students to be on Oxford’s campus to learn and to experience college in different kinds of ways.”

“Being able to create partnerships with Oxford and other higher education institutions is important so that our kids, regardless of zip code, can dream and understand that with hard work and partners like Oxford, they can compete and succeed anywhere in the world,” Arena said.

While students for this year’s Summer Experience have already been selected, applications for next summer will open in Spring 2023 and will be distributed by the school systems. For more information, visit: https://oxford.emory.edu/resources/summer-experience-program.html.

Watch the ceremony's highlights here

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