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Huston-Tillotson’s I.D.E.A.L. Summer Academy Saw a 22% Increase in Participation

Austin, Texas – For the ninety-four prospective incoming freshmen who attend I.D.E.A.L. Summer Academy at Huston-Tillotson University (HT), the transition to college life this fall is sure to be smooth and without the hiccups that many other freshmen will face. The six-week program, which is held from June 18 to July 30, affords participants a transitional opportunity to get an early and strong start on their college career by staying on campus and completing up to nine (9) credits of coursework.

“We saw a 22% increase in participation this year over last year,” said Yohannis Job, vice president for enrollment management. “This means that more high school students are recognizing the importance of early preparation for the challenges and demands of higher education.”

According to Virginia Pearson, co-director of the academy and director of the HT Center for Academic Excellence, the participants “hit the ground running and are now academically ready, career ready, and RAM ready. These six weeks of academic classroom instruction, career development, and cultural enrichment will give them a jumpstart towards their upcoming freshman year.”

“My participation in the academy was a significant turning point in my life,” said Zhi Wallace, a St. Louis, Missouri, native who will attend HT this fall in pursuit of a biology degree. “I now know that there is a place for me and that I can create a path forward, instead of letting my past hold me back. Whether studying in the library, hanging out with newfound friends in the lobby, or attending a campus event, I felt a part of a community that genuinely cares about me and my future.”

With a diverse range of activities in and outside of the classroom, participants gain essential skills and knowledge while becoming acclimated to living on campus.

Aaron Williams, who was an academy participant last year and a student leader this year, contended that he gained “a unique perspective that allowed me to pour into the year’s participants on a personal level that a regular semester would not have allowed.” The Vallejo, California, sophomore education major continued, “I would recommend this program to all incoming freshmen.”

About Huston-Tillotson University

Huston-Tillotson University, the first institution of learning in Austin, Texas, has roots dating back to 1875. HT is an independent, church-related, historically black, four-year liberal arts institution located on a 23-acre tree-lined campus near downtown in East Austin. Huston-Tillotson University’s mission is to nurture a legacy of leadership and excellence in education, connecting knowledge, power, passion, and values. The University offers associate and master’s degrees in addition to Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in more than 19 areas of study.

Contact: Dr. Autumn Caviness, Director of Marketing & Public Relations,