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Thursday, June 24, 2021

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The Black Scholars Summer Konnection Program was created to support incoming students in having a seamless transition from high school to college. The Black Scholars Summer Konnection Program was created to support incoming students in having a seamless transition from high school to college.
 


Summer Program to Provide Early SDSU Connection to Black Students

The Black Scholars Summer Konnection program enrolls students in credit courses and connects them with peers, faculty and staff.
By SDSU News Team
 

“This program offers students an opportunity to learn tools and resources that will support their overall college success.”

This year marks the Black Resource Center’s second annual summer bridge program, and a new name: Black Scholars Summer Konnection (BSSK).

Named by BRC leadership and staff, the “K” in Konnection represents people within the African diaspora. BSSK was created to support incoming students in having a seamless transition from high school to college through early exposure to college coursework and curriculum. 

While involved in the program, students will be introduced to college coursework, participate in weekly seminars and meet regularly with academic coaches and mentors who will assist them in developing time management skills, study skills, collaborative skills in working with instructors and peers. 

One of the major components of BSSK is the significance of racial identity development and Black history. To assist in these efforts, the BRC has partnered with the Department of Africana Studies to offer courses for college credit that will go toward graduation degree requirements. 

"The Black Konnections program is critical for supporting the transition of Black students into university life,” said J. Luke, Wood, vice president for Student Affairs and Campus Diversity. “In alignment with California State University’s Graduation Initiative 2025, the Black Konnections program assists us in eliminating opportunity and achievement gaps. I am proud to see this effort move forward in partnership with the Department of Africana Studies."

Additional information about BSSK, and the BRC’s other offerings, is available online

Tatyana Wells completed the program last year. 

“I learned how important it was to support my community and peers. It feels amazing sharing and listening to the accomplishments of my cohorts,” said Wells, a member of the 2024 class. “Recognizing the achievements of fellow Black people serves as an inspiration to always strive towards my goals.” 

Adisa A. Alkebulan, chair of the Department of Africana Studies, said: “The Black Scholars Summer Konnection program is in part the culmination of Africana Studies working with the scholars program for years. We could not be more ecstatic. Our students deserve this experience.”  

Antwanisha Alameen-Shavers, an associate professor in the Department of Africana Studies, will serve as an instructor of one of the summer BSSK courses, AFRAS 102 (An Afrocentric Response to Generational Trauma). 

“I am so excited to welcome in our new cohort of Black Students that will be our next generation of leaders to profoundly impact our community,” Alameen-Shavers said. “Our revolutionary struggle for advancement and liberation is at the core of what we do here. Soon we will help to mold them to continue their path in Black excellence and resistance." 

BSSK also places heavy emphasis on building community and developing meaningful relationships, said Tonika Duren Green, Associate Vice President for Campus Community Affairs and interim director of the BRC. 

BSSK was born out of the vision of a dynamic dream team that understood the importance of dreaming of something bigger for our students with the purpose of building a community that students can depend on, lean on, connect with, and learn and grow from, Green said. 

Ahliyah Chambers, BRC assistant director, said she understands the value of programs like BSSK and shared that the Black Scholars Summer Konnection is an integral piece of the Black student experience at SDSU. 

“This program offers students an opportunity to learn tools and resources that will support their overall college success,” said Chambers, also a student in SDSU’s Joint Doctoral Program in Education. “Our team is so excited to welcome the Black Scholars from the Class of 2025.” 

To get additional information about the programs, please visit the webpage and apply today. The Black Scholars Summer Konnection application and Henrietta Goodwin Scholars application can be found online.