On March 3rd, Clemente Juniors took a trip to the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). This was not your average college trip. Students were assigned homework for a college-level lecture a week in advance. In their English and Social Science classes, juniors read and analyzed the article assigned by their professor for the day, Dr. Rhodes. The article focused on the influence of the historic Chicago Defender on the Great Migration, the mass migration of Black southerners to Northern U.S. cities in the early 20th century. In their English classes, students read and analyzed poetry from the Harlem Renaissance—a direct result of the great migration, This article and subsequent lecture allowed students to see impacts of the Great Migration and Black Press in Chicago’s history. Moreover, this experience gave students a taste of what a college homework assignment might be and tasked them with understanding the work before reaching class.
The trip began with a lecture by Dr. Rhodes, chair of the African American studies program at UIC. Dr. Rhodes is an expert on the history of mass media with a specialization in African American history and culture. Students took down notes and asked in-depth questions during Dr. Rhodes’ lecture, truly getting a feel for the college lecture experience. Following the lecture, students were invited by the African American Academic Network to an admissions presentation and a student panel. Clemente Juniors were rapt with attention listening to the UIC students share their college stories from campus life, to picking classes, to balancing time and workloads. Juniors were generously provided lunch by the African American Academic Network and embarked on self-guided tours of the campus before heading back to Clemente. When reflecting on the trip, juniors said they appreciated getting a glimpse into the academic demands of college courses.
(Photographed: Jami Garcia, Yami Velez and Tyus Richmond)