Deadline for applications will be April 30, 2013. Extensions will be considered in emergency situations.
Notification of selections will be done by May 31, 2013.
Applications can be submitted via the website at anytime.
What is COW?
COW is a 4-week challenging summer educational enrichment program at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI), which prepares male minority high school rising juniors and seniors to achieve success during the remainder of their high school careers and beyond. This is done by cultivating confidence, greater self-esteem, a stronger work ethic, and a commitment to achieving success in spite of the many challenges facing them.
Students are also encouraged to seek higher education at the college of their choice, and the program helps prepare them for the varied demands of the college experience. Being integrated into the college environment and associating with college professors and students exposes these young men to a world of new possibilities.
During the 26 full years of its operation, COW has influenced the lives of approximately 650 participants, many of whom have now gone on to complete college, trade schools, the military, and other civilian pursuits. As of August 2012, approximately seventy to seventy five percent of former participants have attended college.
Create a challenging and demanding summer college program for minority students with some disadvantage, which would build on the strengths of strong students, as well as motivate marginal performers, instilling in them success oriented habits. High expectations, candid and immediate feedback, and an environment of honesty and dignity breeds success. Those are the foundations of COW, which are accentuated by the rigorous, spartan, and demanding environment at VMI.
To fulfill the promise of a democratic society, The College Orientation Workshop, Inc. (COW) shall dedicate itself to improve the opportunities for educational and life success for promising minority and at-risk students; to help more effectively utilize the untapped potential and wealth of talent within the minority and disadvantaged communities; and to cultivate a pool of motivated students who are eager to pursue higher learning and succeed at it.
What we do
At COW, we provide a period of intense academic instruction, exposure to motivational and uplifting experiences, and opportunities for individualized leadership development and execution, in the disciplined college environment at the Virginia Military Institute (VMI). Instruction will be provided to improve grammar, syntax, spelling, vocabulary, literary analysis, and public speaking. We administer diagnostic tests for mathematical skills, which will enable the instructors to concentrate on the individual needs of the student, and to alert students of their strengths and weaknesses. Instruction will be provided in the area of career exploration and analysis of educational skills required for various occupations. Students will be helped to discover the enjoyment to be found in the out-of-doors and in nature. Extensive wilderness experiences will be arranged to challenge students to face and conquer their fears of the new and unknown, and to develop an appropriate level of trust of peers and responsible leaders. Weekly meetings with visiting professionals from all walks of life will be held. We help students learn how to stretch beyond their normal comfort zones.
- Evaluate students’ academic readiness for college-level work, while they still have one or two years of high school remaining (to prepare to meet college requirements). Rising juniors and rising seniors are eligible.
- Help students attain a realistic perception of college and motivate them to prepare for, and seek admission to a college of their choice.
- Familiarize students with college-level work in English, Communications (written and oral), and in Mathematics.
- Expose students to instruction in Ethics and Character training.
- Provide curricular and career choice counseling where appropriate.
- Teach students study skills and provide a rigorous physical training regimen.
- Provide the student access to strong role models, by giving them the opportunity to meet and closely associate with VMI cadets, alumni, and visiting professionals.
- Expose students to an environment significantly different than those to which they are accustom. We are constantly pushing the students beyond their normal comfort zones.
- We give the students the opportunity to serve others, as part of a community service project during the 4-week program. The fundamental philosophy of COW is that we are accountable for “Making the world better than we found it”. We try to instill that philosophy into all of our students through word and deed.
P.O. Box 1047
Lexington, Virginia 24450
Eugene Williams – Executive Director
Dr. Jimmy Coale
If you are interested in becoming a mentor, speaker, recruiting partner or volunteer please contact us ASAP