University You

University You Opens MNPS Students' Eyes to College Classes and Life on Campus
Posted on 06/26/2023
Group of students on the Belmont campus

Group of students posing on Belmont campus

More than three dozen MNPS high school students spent the last two weeks getting a sense of what will be the next step after graduation for many of them.

The students, all rising juniors and seniors, took a for-credit college class, completed research projects and stayed in residence halls on the campus of Belmont University through the University You program, a collaboration between MNPS and Belmont.

They learned research methods. They studied forms of protest in the Civil Rights Room and the Votes for Women Room at Nashville’s downtown library. They were exposed to academic writing, critical thinking and measuring public opinion.

“It opened my eyes in many different ways,” said Kiara Davidson, a rising senior at Hunters Lane High School who has now been to University You twice. “I love the community here. The professors are here to help you succeed.”

student pointing to an affordable housing slide in class

Davidson and the other students wrapped up their experience Friday by giving brief presentations on their research projects to a mix of MNPS principals, members of Director of Schools Adrienne Battle’s senior leadership team, Belmont professors and administrators, State Representative Harold Love and parents.

“This would not be possible without the incredible partnership we have with Belmont,” MNPS Chief Strategy Officer Sarah Chin said.

The students’ data-driven presentations addressed Nashville’s affordable housing and transportation needs, school safety, gun violence, distrust of the health care system, human trafficking and other public policy issues.

Andrew Teamer, a rising senior at Hillsboro High School, called University You “a really nice experience.”

“I liked going to class,” he said. “It gave me a real college experience. I got to know my professors and relate to them.”

While the University You students are not obligated to apply for admission to Belmont, university leaders said many of them would be eligible for the full-ride Bell Tower Scholarship that 50 high-potential MNPS graduates receive each year.

Count Davidson in.

“I now want to go to Belmont,” she said. “I’ll definitely apply.”

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