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Penn State BOSS Program Honors A Decade of Promoting Diversity

Penn State BOSS Program

Penn State’s Smeal College of Business recently celebrated the ten year anniversary of its BOSS program. BOSS (Business Opportunities Summer Session), organized by the Smeal College of Business Office of Diversity Enhancement Programs, lasts two weeks each summer, and is specifically designed for business-minded high schoolers from underrepresented populations to gain exposure to college life.

Jamie Campbell, Assistant Dean for Diversity Enhancement Programs, said, “BOSS is designed to show students that no matter your color, creed, or socio-eceonomic background, there is a support system at Smeal that will enable a student to reach their very best.” Campbell went on to say that, “During these two weeks, students are given a crash course on what it means to be a Smeal student. BOSS engages the cohort in everything from accounting to the Smeal honor code.”

According to Campbell, industries and schools are coming around to the fact that having including people from diverse backgrounds and perspectives is essential to success in business. Students in the program have the chance to take college prep courses, taught by Penn State faculty, that help them gain an understanding of fundamental business principles. Participants spend the two weeks living on Penn State’s University Park campus located in Happy Valley.

Over the past decade, the BOSS program has inspired many successful students. Close to 200 students have attended the program, and over 60 percent of which have gone on to apply to Penn State. Of the BOSS graduates who have applied to Penn State, 91 percent have been accepted.

Diag Davenport, one of the program’s earliest participants spoke highly of his time there, saying, “I left Penn State fully energized to study business and I was certain that Smeal was the right place for me to do so. I saw that BOSS was the bridge between my ambition to succeed and the opportunity to make it happen.”

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