Some four hundred and eighty (480) students across the country are expected to benefit from the USAID Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development (EHELD) Fast Start program, beginning July 15-26, 2013.
The USAID-EHELD program will be held in camps at various high schools here, including the Dolokolen Gboveh High School in Gbarnga, Bong County; Voinjamin Multilateral High School in Voinjama, Lofa County; John W. Pearson High School in Ganta, Nimba County; St. Joseph Catholic High School in LAC, Grand Bassa County; Zwerdu Multilateral High School in Zwerdu, Grand Gedeh County, and the C.H. Dewey High School in Tubmanburg, Bomi County, respectively.
Each camp will accommodate 80 private and public high school students from those selected schools in each county. Through the EHELD public-private partnership initiatives, the Liberia Agricultural Company (LAC) will sponsor the St. Catholic High School Camp program in Grand Bassa County.
The summer programs, which focus on experiential learning, have already commenced with a week-long Training of Trainers (TOT) Workshop at Cuttington University in Suakoko, Bong County.
The TOT workshop brought together a team from the University of Michigan in the United States, Peace Corps Volunteers, University of Liberia and Cuttington University faculty members, who have signed on to teach basic life skills, computer science, mathematics, and conduct career counseling in agriculture and engineering, respectively.
Meanwhile, the Cuttington University Upward Bound Program, and the USAID-EHELD Summer Start Program will be combined this year’s activities under one leadership, running parallel and leveraging resources, including instructional materials, staff, facilities, motivational speakers, and computer labs, among others.
About 80 incoming students from the Engineering department of the University of Liberia and the Agriculture College at Cuttington University in Bong County are expected to attend the Summer Start Program.
The 2013 Summer Start program will specifically target in-coming freshmen and sophomore students reading engineering and agriculture at both UL and Cuttington, and summer start returning students, while the Upward Bound program will target 10th, 11th and 12th graders from high schools in Suakoko and its environs.
The USAID Excellence in Higher Education for Liberian Development Project is currently providing scholarships for about 100 brightest engineering and agriculture students at both the University of Liberia and Cuttington.
With funding from the United Sates Government through USAID, the Excellence in Higher Education for Liberia Development project is also providing contract faculty and essential teaching materials, including computers and laboratory equipment for the University of Liberia Engineering department and Cuttington University Agriculture College, respectively.
Also at the beginning of 2012/2013 academic year, the USAID EHELD project management in collaboration with the UL and CU rolled out revised curricula for the engineering and agriculture departments at these two partner universities.
The first set of agriculture and engineering graduates are expected in 2016.