The DeSousa-Brent Scholars Program challenges a talented and diverse group of select students through specially designed courses to increase their successful transition to St. Mary’s College of Maryland by further developing the skills necessary for high achieving students in an honors college. Participants have accepted an invitation to join a cohort and associate themselves with a larger group of campus leaders.
The program has a summer component and a two-semester seminar. The extended weekend summer program provides students with the opportunity to gain confidence in their transition from high school to college through interaction with faculty, staff, student mentors and other program participants. The goals of the summer component include developing a campus support system; understanding the benefits of collaboration with others; determining strategies for success both inside and outside of the classroom; and familiarizing themselves with basic technological tools to assist in self-management and academic success.
The year-long leadership seminar (two credits each semester) begins in the fall semester by focusing on developing a community within the larger campus community. Participants gain knowledge about the academic culture at St. Mary’s, the values of a liberal arts education, theories on identity development, and the critical and creative thinking skills to succeed in academia with optimal success. The academic material in the second semester seminar explores the nature of leadership, its relationship to power and the application to service. Once students have successfully completed the two-semester seminar, they are eligible to apply to serve as DeSousa-Brent Mentors.
DBSP 101. Academic and Leadership Seminar I (2F)
This course examines the transition to the honors college through critical study on academic culture, liberal arts education, regional history, theories of ethnic identity development, critical and creative thinking and a review of study skills and campus resources. Each student participates in an approved diversity experience.
DBSP 102. Academic and Leadership Seminar II (2S)
This course explores the nature of leadership, styles of leadership and how leadership and power intersect with each other and with service. Each student participates in a service project during the semester. Participation on DBSP 101 is preferred but not required.
DBSP301. Desousa-Brent Mentor (2F)
This course is designed for two students for each section of DBSP 101. Students serve as mentors and learning assistants for both the summer program and the fall seminar. They act as role models for scholars and serve as resource persons both in and out of class. Specifically, DeSousa-Brent Mentors assist with adjustment issues to college and to college-level work. They will assist with individual conferencing, provide guidance for presentations and diversity projects, read the seminar course material, read articles on teaching first-year students, and maintain journals throughout the semester. A reflection paper on the experiences with the course, the concepts of teaching and learning in relation to their role and the benefits of the seminar to students will serve as the culminating project. Prerequisites: DBSP 101, DBSP 102, and successful completion of the application process.
DBSP 302 DeSousa-Brent Mentor (2S)
This course is designed for two students for each section of DBSP 102. Students serve as mentors and learning assistants for the spring seminar. They act as role models and serve as a resource persons both in and out of class. Specifically, DeSousa-Brent Mentors continue to monitor the academic progress of students in their section. They assist with conferencing, plan and participate in program activities, coordinate panelists for panel discussions, design a service project for the course or approve individual service projects, read course material, and maintain journals throughout the semester. A reflection paper on what they have learned about leadership (including leadership of their peers), their experiences of and beliefs concerning intersections of leadership, power and service. Prerequisites: DBSP 101, DBSP 102 and successful completion of the application process.