Shadow Day is a fun and engaging event that aims to provide younger students with a realistic higher education experience. Eleventh graders from Roseland University Prep and Roseland Collegiate Prep join current SSU service-learners on campus to explore the many possibilities that exist in a college environment. The collaboration between the SSU service-learning classes and the CCE is unique in which college students are able to learn as much from high school students as they are teaching them. Shadow Day provides college students with a leadership opportunity that they can build upon for future experiences.
There is evidence that children who come to a campus just once are far more likely to see higher education as an option for them and to attend college. It also works wonderfully for college students because, for many of them, it is their first time being a mentor or role model. They rise to the occasion beautifully.
College students learn about the challenges the younger students face in their respective communities such as immigration/poverty issues and the resources they bring such as language skills, resilience, diversity, etc. By creating bonds between college and high school students, entering the world of high education becomes a more realistic possibility in which dreams of achievement transform into goals and action plans.
On Shadow Day, SSU students provide a meet and greet activity for the and RUP/RCP students. Then the high school students are each paired up with an SSU student who they will shadow for the rest of the day. The “shadow” experience can consist of various kinds of activities such as attending classes together, joining in on club meetings, visiting on-campus work sites, and attending lunch together in The Kitchens After a day of activities, students return to say their final goodbyes and reflect on the day.