Since its founding just four years ago by Duke University and UNC-Chapel Hill students, the nonprofit Student U has built a nearly impeccable track record of raising the expectations of its middle-school participants along with their reading and math scores. It’s won the Durham Chamber of Commerce Non-Profit of the Year Award. The organization has expanded its programming to see its inaugural class through high school. And it’s forged partnerships with public and private stakeholders, winning the support of the Durham community at large.
Duke has been one of those partners since the program’s beginning. The university has contributed funding through its Doing Good in the Neighborhood employee-giving campaign, experts to help develop the Student U curriculum, and undergraduate students who, with their peers from other Triangle institutions, teach summer classes that boast a 4-to-1 student-to-teacher ratio.
And beginning with the Summer 2010 iteration of Student U, which ended this month, Duke began the Duke-NCCU Unity Teaching Fellows program, whereby the university funds the stipends of six Student U teachers – three from N.C. Central University and three from Duke.
“The Duke-NCCU Unity Teaching Fellow program provided an invaluable opportunity for students from two great universities to engage together in a meaningful experience, while having a significant impact on Durham,” said Dan Kimberg, the Student U Executive Director who co-founded the program while still a Duke undergraduate.