SEAD - Parents/Scholars

About SEAD

According to NPR, about 80% of people living in rural communities do not go to college. SEAD is on a mission to change that.

Strengthening Educational Access with Dartmouth (SEAD) equips high-potential youth from under-resourced communities in the Upper Valley with the skills needed to thrive in high school and succeed in the best college for them.

SEAD Scholars are a dynamic cadre of motivated students selected from across the Upper Valley who are supported through a four-year academic and social enrichment program. The journey includes annual summer institutes, quarterly weekend immersion days, and weekly academic programming/mentoring during the school years.

SEAD Eligibility

Students must meet the following criteria as Sophomores in High School:

  • Academically Motivated; not failing any classes and solid record of attendance and engagement
  • Can attend both school year and summer programming
  • Will be 1st generation in the family to attend four-year college and/or could qualify for free or reduced lunch 

SEAD might be a good fit for your child if they are interested in: getting a head-start on the school year, joining a cohort of students just as motivated as they are to go to college, meeting Dartmouth College role models, being the first in their family to attend (and graduate from) college, achieving their wildest dreams!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What commitments will I have to make to be a part of SEAD, if accepted into the program?
SEAD is a tuition-free, academic enrichment program consisting of four summer institutes, quarterly immersion days, and a comprehensive school-year program, taking place over 25 Tuesdays throughout high school years (and biweekly for the first two years of college aligned with the SEAD Scholar's availability).  Students enter the program the summer before 11th grade and complete the program upon successfully persisting throughout the first two years of college.  In addition to consistent attendance for all SEAD programming, Scholars are expected to maintain their "academic motivation", consistently passing classes for the remainder of high school and during their first years of college.

What are the responsibilities of SEAD parents and guardians?
Family support is very important for academic success and that holds true for SEAD.  We will ask for your support in ensuring that your child attends the program every day, does his or her homework consistently, and attends immersion days, summer institutes and weekly SEAD meetings throughout their time as a SEAD Scholar.

What is the SEAD Schedule?
During the academic year in high school, SEAD takes place for two hours on Tuesday afternoons after school (2:30pm-4:30pm or 3:00pm-5:00pm, depending on the Scholar's school).

A cohort of Dartmouth Student Educational Access Advisors (EAAs) will meet Scholars at their high schools on Tuesday afternoons. 

The SEAD partner schools and mentoring session times are as follows: 

  • Hartford High School | White River Junction, VT | 3pm - 5pm
  • Rivendell High School | Orford, NH | 3pm - 5pm 
  • Stevens High School | Claremont, NH | 2:30 - 4:30

The weekend immersion days occur on one Saturday each quarter from roughly 8:00am-5:00pm and the summer institutes are overnight experiences of varying durations (3-7 days) held at Dartmouth College at the end of June.

**Once the SEAD scholar matriculates into college, these mentoring sessions will occur digitally with Dartmouth students and on a biweekly schedule that aligns best with the SEAD Scholar's class schedule.

How much does SEAD cost?
Nothing.  SEAD is tuition-free for Scholars. Due to support from individual supporters, SEAD Scholars and their families pay nothing to participate. We expect families and Scholars to "pay" for the program through their commitment to attend all SEAD weekly mentoring sessions, Saturday immersions, and summer institutes for the full four years of the program.

Is it okay to miss a few days of SEAD?
Attendance is a vital component of SEAD. Scholars may not miss more than 3 days during each academic year.  This, in addition to failure to attend the summer institutes could potentially result in dismissal from the SEAD program.  Our Scholars stand to benefit most when they attend the program on a consistent basis and actively participate. We have committed ourselves to providing SEAD Scholars with a high quality educational access program affiliated with Dartmouth College at no cost to families as well as providing each scholar with a laptop during their first summer institute which they may keep as their own, even after graduation. As part of your commitment to SEAD, you are required to acknowledging your prioritization of SEAD over the four years of program.

Is transportation provided for the summer institutes and immersion days? 
Yes. All Scholars are provided with FREE transportation to/from their respective high schools for the summer institutes as well as the quarterly weekend immersion days.  Parents/Guardians are expected to coordinate transportation to/home from the high schools at the conclusion of these immersion days/institutes/weekly meetings. 

Are meals provided?  What about activity fees? 
Yes. During the summer institute (and other programming) SEAD provides breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack to all Scholars as well as all costs associated with any outings, events, or activities.

Does being accepted into SEAD mean my scholar is accepted into Dartmouth College?
Not necessarily; SEAD is an academic enrichment program coordinated by Dartmouth College and the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact (DCSI), more specifically. SEAD is entirely separate from the Dartmouth College admissions process although SEAD Scholars whose grades and aptitudes align with those of prospective students more broadly are certainly welcome to apply.