About the Program

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.

For more information regarding frequently asked questions about SEAD for parents/guardians, schools, and perspective SEAD scholars click here

The Model

SEAD’s 4-year model follows a cohort of first generation and/or low-income high school students starting their sophomore year of high school up through their sophomore year of college.  This model encourages academic preparedness and personal growth in high school scholars through immersive opportunities, specifically designed academic enrichment courses, and year-round mentoring with successful college students at Dartmouth.

In greater detail, the three primary components of SEAD include:

  1. An immersive summer session in which SEAD scholars live and learn on Dartmouth’s campus for a full week of community building, dynamic courses, enrichment opportunities, and engaged mentoring;
  2. Academic year curriculum during the scholars’ Junior and Senior years of high school provided by a trained cohort of Dartmouth undergraduates.  Through after-school programming, day-long retreats and college site visits, SEAD scholars engage in weekly mentoring, academic enrichment opportunities, and targeted skills-building to prepare for college success;
  3. Ongoing college transition and persistence support through coaching, scaffolded leadership opportunities, and connecting scholars with campus resources at their respective institutions of higher education.

Dartmouth’s SEAD program offers an unparalleled opportunity for undergraduate students and first-generation and/or low-income high school students in Vermont and New Hampshire to learn together how to capitalize on their strengths and build a continuum of support for a comprehensive, high impact approach to college success.

Dartmouth Student Opportunities

There are different opportunities to engage with SEAD depending on your interest and availability (regardless of your D-plan)!  Read below about the distinctions between each before deciding which one(s) are right for you.

If you're passionate about sustained engagement with first-generation, low-income (FGLI) high school students, join us as an Educational Access Advisor (EAA)!

  • Eligibility: ALL students at Dartmouth who are "on" at least two terms during the academic year
  • Total time commitment: 3-4 hours/week, during the 2A/3B time slot.
  • When: All throughout the academic year (Fall-Winter-Spring)

Ideal for you have a keen interest in education and teaching; you love interacting with a fun-loving and thoughtful cohort of other students; you are looking for a sustained long-term mentoring opportunity with enormous impact

SEAD Summer is a live-in educative experience for one week at the end of June that introduces SEAD Scholars to the college experience. 

Option 1: Paid Summer Staff

  • Eligibility: Freshmen, Juniors, and Seniors
  • Total time commitment: Paid $1000 (plus room and board) for full-time over 9-days
  • When: 1-week in late June on-campus in Wheeler dorm

Ideal for you are passionate about profoundly impacting the lives of high school scholars who would be the first in their family to go to college; you are not taking classes yourself and can commit to the full week of SEAD summer; are comfortable setting (and maintaining) boundaries and see its value it developing powerful and lasting relationships with high school scholars; love the idea of taking a deep dive into the field educational access alongside a solid cohort of 6-8 of your Dartmouth peers...and want to get paid doing it!

Option 2: Sophomore Summer Mentors 

  • Eligibility: Sophomores Only
  • Total time commitment: 1-hour/day for 4 days (4-6 hours total)
  • When: 1-hour each day over the 5 weekdays during SEAD Summer in late June.  Mentoring will happen in the evening to accommodate course schedules.

Ideal for you are a sophomore taking classes but the mission of SEAD nonetheless resonates strongly and you want to get involved; you have a knack for writing; you are looking for 1:1 engagement on a short-term basis to dip your toes into the SEAD waters.

For More Information

Applications will open 24W

For additional questions please contact the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact at: (603) 646-3350 or email