Post-secondary education and college-ready graduation in the development of our local workforce are key to retaining and attracting employers necessary for the continued economic growth of Wichita County MSA.
The Road to College Program (RTC) was developed to reach economically disadvantaged students in their early education (6th-12th grades). The RTC college program creates a culture of high performance and expectation encouraging the students and their parents or guardians to prepare for college academically. RTC, Universities, and Foundations work together to ease access to scholarships and grants.
The RTC Summer Camp held at Midwestern State University (MWSU) serves about 100 students ranging from 6th grade through 12th grade 2022-2023 academic year. With a STEM core and emphasis on advanced-level reading, mathematics, writing, speech, social skills, and leadership, the program continues to display excellent outcomes with 99% of parents and guardians saying the program should be continued.
Attachments include the 2023 Summer Camp report to the WFISD school board meeting (Camp ended with graduation 17 July 23).
The next RTC summer boot camp program will take place in June-July 2024 at MWSU (6 weeks, Tues-Thurs, 9a-3p. The total budget for the program from all sources is expected to be $55,000. The estimated contribution from the SW Rotary Club of Wichita Falls is $10,000. . Of the $14,000 funded by SW Rotary: $2,500 is the DDF grant, $7,500 in revenue share from the SW Rotary Flag program and $4,000 represents club funds (member & community donations and other fundraising activities eg. annual clay shoot, flag subscription program) .
Throughout the 2023-24 SW Rotarians engage with RTC Students and Mentors in several ways. Some members mentor RTC (Road to College) participants include College Mentors as well as WFISD (Wichita Falls ISD) Secondary School Students).
350 families participated in the 2022-23 Road to College Program with students entering the program in the 6th grade and continuing through high school graduation. Teachers recommend students; parents and students apply and sign contracts for their success (promise to study, support, and participate in the program). The program focuses on the students in the "middle" who don't benefit from programs that focus on the highest or lowest 10% academic groups. Families without college experience gain confidence in their child's potential and are helped, coached, and mentored for securing financial assistance. At graduation, > 95% have college scholarships. The academic focus emphasizes advanced classes; the average student has 27 hours of college credits upon high school graduation (funded by WFISD).
Students from the RTC program provide more than ½ of the students participating in our youth programs: MSU Scholarships, 4 Way Test Speech Contest, RYLA, and our SW Rotary Flag program (flags placed 6 times per year - Rotarian / PTA partner driver & RTC Mentors place flags). RTC mentors also join our weekly meetings 4-6 times per year. After 10 years, parents have additional children in the program with RTC families joining our service projects as well.
This year is our 10th year of funding (11th year for the program), SW Rotary is requesting a $2,500 district grant to help continue to fund the RTC summer camp program.