Community-College Connections: HEAF@Barnard

Barnard College, in partnership with the Harlem Education Activities Fund (HEAF), implemented a twelve-week academic program for college-bound HEAF high-school students.  HEAF@Barnard was designed to demonstrate the breadth and richness of a liberal arts education, while fostering students' creativity, skills, and confidence as they move forward on their own paths toward college.

About the Harlem Education Activities Fund (HEAF)

HEAF, an educational and youth development organization, helps highly motivated youth from educationally and/or economically disadvantaged communities in Harlem and Washington Heights develop the intellectual and life skills necessary to achieve their full potential. HEAF provides crucial enrichment activities for students in the "forgotten middle," those who qualify neither for remedial nor extremely competitive programs in their schools. These students consistently perform at grade level, yet too often their demonstrated success does not lead to post-secondary academic achievement. HEAF identifies and recruits promising students from this forgotten middle, and challenges them with a range of academic and social enrichment activities aimed at expanding students' analytical and critical reasoning skills, civic potential and life-long commitment to emotional well-being and intellectual pursuits.

Program Components

From 2006-2008, 70 HEAF high-school students attended HEAF@Barnard.  The pilot program consisted of several distinct academic components:

  • A nine-week seminar exploring The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., part of Barnard's award-winning, student-centered "Reacting to the Past" curriculum.  The adaptation for high school students will feature four writing and library research skills-building workshops taught by College librarians and Writing Program faculty, as well as weekly peer-mentoring;
  • Additional lectures in anthropology, art history, classics, and political science led by Barnard faculty;
  • Cultural enrichment activities including theatre performance; and 
  • Close interactions with various faculty.

This project was funded by a College-Community Connections grant from the Teagle Foundation.