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Applications are now open for Virginia Tech's summer '23 Black College Institute

Black College Institute attendees of summer 2022 session 2 gather on the steps of Burruss Hall with BCI faculty and student mentors.

All attendees from the Black College Institue summer session e are gathered on the steps in front of the hokie stone backdrop of Burruss Hall. It is about 150 students. They are all dressed in grey tshirts. Staff and faculty are wearing chicago maroon.
Black College Institute attendees of summer 2022 session 2 gather on the steps of Burruss Hall with BCI faculty and student mentors.

From: Office for Inclusion and Diversity, Student Opportunities & Achievement Resources Program (SOAR)

BLACKSBURG, VA - Applications are being accepted now through April 1, 2023 for the Black College Institute (BCI) at Virginia Tech, an academic summer enrichment program that has been hosted annually at the university since 2017. BCI brings talented, high-achieving and academically curious rising high school juniors and seniors to campus for a 4 to 5 day period. All programs are free of cost to students. Dates for the 2023 Institute are: session 1 for rising high school juniors: June 11-14, 2023; session 2 for rising high school seniors: June 18-22, 2023; session 3 for rising high school seniors: June 25-29, 2023. 

By day, students engage in hands-on active learning with a number of Virginia Tech’s colleges, research institutes and centers, and campus life programs including the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences; the College of Architecture, Arts, and Design; Pamplin College of Business; the College of Engineering; the College of Liberal Arts and Human Sciences; the College of Natural Resources and Environment; the College of Science; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine; the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science; Virginia Tech Athletics; Student Engagement and Campus Life; Career and Professional Development; the Corps of Cadets; and the Cultural and Community Centers . By night, students are immersed in activities that cultivate professionalism, healthy habits, and networking skills. These university experiences allow participants the opportunity to see themselves professionally, and to start developing connections that often extend into academic careers at Virginia Tech. 

“BCI is one of the big reasons I chose to come to Virginia Tech. I just remembered being awed by how much Black excellence there was around me -- not just the students who were there, either,” said Tasia Travis, 2018 BCI attendee and 2022 Virginia Tech graduate. “What I appreciated about BCI was just how real people were, especially the student staff leaders. Not only did they share the spaces on campus where you can find community and connect with people who look like you; but they were honest about their challenges in attending a predominantly white institution (PWI). Virginia Tech was the only PWI I found that had a program like this; so it was especially important to me that the people involved felt authentic and were telling [prospective students] the truth about what they may expect in their experience.”

Benefits of attending BCI include:

  • Student engagement with various academic disciplines through hands-on learning and workshops within the context of the African-American cultural experience.
  • College life experience of residential living, campus dining, collaborative projects in university classrooms, and engagement with Virginia Tech faculty, staff and students.
  • Daily workshops on 1) navigation and completing the college application process and 2) applying for scholarships and financial aid.
  • Explore Virginia Tech’s departments and organizations to build lasting connections and learn about local resources available to them.
  • Engage in fun team building activities. 

Every year participants undertake college-level research projects that explore salient topics incorporating diversity and social justice within Black communities. The students design and execute these research projects collaboratively throughout their time here in teams composed of fellow participants and coached by current Virginia Tech students, some of whom are graduates of the BCI program. Example topics of previous years’ Social Justice Projects include: wealth inequality, symbols of hate in America, and gentrification. These projects allow students not only the opportunity to take a deep dive into a wide gamut of timely topics, but also to deliver a presentation of that research to their peers, their families, and university faculty and staff in an innovative and engaging format. 

Melinda Yeboah, 2020 summa cum laude graduate of Virginia Tech and current graduate student in the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine’s Master of Public Health program, attended BCI in 2018. “BCI is an incredible program. For me, it helped to get me acclimated to campus and get a sense of the atmosphere before I actually enrolled. Once I did, it made navigating my classes and the places to go so much easier. It gave me a good head start. I don’t think a lot of freshmen get the opportunity to hit the ground running that way.”

The Black College Institute is co-sponsored by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions and the Office for Inclusion and Diversity at Virginia Tech. For inquires or for more information, contact us or visit our website. High school students wishing to attend BCI 2023 may apply online

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