Brothers of Higher Learning Program

We provide a peer learning community to help Black male students transition to college smoothly and pick up the knowledge and skills needed to maximize their experience.

HELPING MAXIMIZE THE COLLEGE EXPERIENCE

Transitioning to a college environment can be a stressful experience for anyone. The first year is a critical time for establishing community and belonging, building and reinforcing self-esteem and self-awareness, understanding situations where you thrive and situations that may be more challenging, and learning how to ask for help. Our virtual 10-month program was designed to help students live into the fullest expression of themselves and lift each other up as they work towards their degree. Through content, community, care packages, and mentorship we provide supplemental support that inspire and motivates students to keep chasing their dreams.

  • VIRTUAL PRE-FRESHMAN WORKSHOP

    In July, we kickoff the program with a 4-week workshop that includes virtual community gatherings one day a week for 90 minutes as well as light touch self-guided courses that introduce the foundations of the Higher Learning approach to maximizing your experience.

  • FIVE BROTHER BOX CARE PACKAGES

    At the end of each quarter we send students a new Brother Box care package with books, snacks, swag, and encouraging words to celebrate their accomplishments and reward them for their ongoing participation and contributions to our learning community.

  • HIGHER LEARNING COMMUNITY PLATFORM

    Our program is rooted in bringing students together to learn alongside each other and from one another. In addition to virtual gatherings throughout the year, we provide access to a community platform so students can connect, encourage each other and foster relationships.

  • ON-CALL GUIDANCE AND MENTORSHIP

    We provide on-call mentors for whenever students are in need of advice, guidance, or reassurances. We apply our core values of authenticity, community, courage, curiosity, and hope to holistic mentorship conversations to help students when they need us most.

  • INSPIRING WEEKLY TEXT MESSAGES

    Students receive a text message every Monday to help them start the week off on the right foot. These words of motivation or affirmation serve as simple reminders of core concepts and values and encourage students to keep showing up for themselves.

  • MONTHLY VIRTUAL “REAL TALK” SESSIONS

    Once a month we hold a virtual community gathering for students to come together, share stories through peer-to-peer check-ins, and hear from guest speakers and mentors about careers, current events, relationships, values and fulfilling their potential.

  • PROGRESS AND WELLBEING CHECK-INS

    At the end of each month, we conduct pulse checks by asking students to fill out a short form to let us know how they’re feeling about life and school, what challenges they’re facing, what they’re looking forward to, and how we can be most helpful to them in the month ahead.

  • ADDITIONAL CONTENT & RESOURCES

    Throughout the program we’ll also provide tons of additional content, opportunities to hear from role models and mentors in the larger Brother Box and Higher Learning communities, and any resources that students might request throughout their first year.

STUDENT ENROLLMENT APPLICATIONS OPEN IN MARCH

Applications open on March 1, 2022 for students entering their first year of college in Fall 2022.

IN COLLABORATION WITH DR. BRIAN PETERSON, AUTHOR OF “HIGHER LEARNING”

With more than two decades of student life and teaching experience, all too often I’ve seen students struggle – not just academically, but socially, financially and culturally – on campus. With the right tools and insights, these very same students can flourish and grow. I want to help every student face these challenges and shape their own success story. This drives my day-to-day work directing Makuu, the University of Pennsylvania’s Black Cultural Center, as well as my efforts outside of Penn.

And it is the reason why I wrote Higher Learning. Higher Learning is about helping students make the most of themselves – maybe even going well beyond what they initially imagined – and lifting up others along the way.

Learn More About Dr. Peterson

Program Eligibility, Enrollment, and Fees

Eligibility

  • Our Brothers of Higher Learning Program is open to all incoming college freshmen in the United States who identify as Black males. All programming is virtual.
  • Students are required to complete the pre-enrollment application and sign an enrollment form/waiver upon their acceptance into the program.
  • Students must complete the Foundations of Higher Learning Pre-Freshmen Workshop detailed above to continue in the program in the fall. We ask that students commit to staying engaged in the program throughout the 10-months of their freshman year. We’ve designed this program to be a virtual, light-touch, and supplemental way to support students. We simply ask for students to communicate as circumstances shift throughout the year.
  • If students fail to submit their Monthly Pulse Checks for three consecutive months, we reserve the right to dismiss the student from the program.

Enrollment

  • The enrollment application opens on March 1, 2022. Interested students entering their first year of college in Fall 2022 should fill out the enrollment application Form by June 10th, 2022.
  • Once your application form has been submitted, we will reach out to schedule a quick, virtual call to get to know you. This is not a formal interview, simply a chance for us to put a name to a face and answer any questions you might have about the program. We like to set expectations and ensure that we’re on the same page with everyone.
  • We will inform students of their acceptance into the program on a rolling basis. Upon acceptance, students will be asked to sign an enrollment form/waiver as a final commitment.
  • The program will kick off with the first virtual session of our Foundations Workshop in mid-July.

Fees: Pay What You Can

  • Our Brothers of Higher Learning Program is valued at $279 for the year, but you only pay what you can. Thanks to our generous donors and funders, our “Pay What You Can Promise” ensures that everyone has access to our programs, regardless of the ability to pay some, all, or none of the fees. College is expensive enough as it is! Finances should never stand in the way of supporting each other and lifting up our dreams. So when we say pay what you can, we mean it!

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