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Office of Special Programs - College Prep

For the last four decades, the Office of Special Programs-College Prep has helped more than 4000 low-income, academically challenged, and potential first-generation college students prepare for and complete high school and higher education.

Operating as usual

In honor of National Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month, we are highlighting different insti...
08/01/2021

In honor of National Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month, we are highlighting different institutions' mental health resources. We know that access to mental health care is sometimes hard to come by for BIPOC communities. That is why it is important to know what tuition-covered resources are available on campus.

Looking to improve your SAT score and your chances of getting into your dream school? Well, look no further! The Office ...
07/26/2021

Looking to improve your SAT score and your chances of getting into your dream school? Well, look no further! The Office of Special Programs - College Prep provides many different resources and tools to prepare for the SAT. These resources and tools cut across all learning styles and needs. Swipe for more information!

A core activity of OSP programming is to provide college access tools and resources to high school students. However, th...
07/18/2021

A core activity of OSP programming is to provide college access tools and resources to high school students. However, the journey towards a successful postsecondary education requires an investment of additional time to complete individual research. Swipe to see how you can do this using College Access social media accounts.

Being a first generation and/or low-income college student comes with a unique set of challenges that can impact your ab...
07/14/2021

Being a first generation and/or low-income college student comes with a unique set of challenges that can impact your ability to graduate in four years. However, many post-secondary institutions have recognized this and have made a commitment to provide resources and services that support these students. Swipe to see some of the options available at different institutions!

Ryan Wong, Class of 2021, has demonstrated great leadership as an OSP program participant. He will be attending Northwes...
07/12/2021

Ryan Wong, Class of 2021, has demonstrated great leadership as an OSP program participant. He will be attending Northwestern University this fall to study engineering.

He plans to explore the intersection between computer science and other S.T.E.M. fields and eventually pursue a career in software development or academic research.”

“The summer and winter institutes!”, were his favorite OSP activities.” I always enjoy working alongside some of my closest friends and learning from students from UChicago. It’s also really fun to relax and play video games, board games, and trivia at UChicago and FermiLab.”

Ryan confided “The most valuable lesson I’ve learned at OSP is to cherish the diverse interests and backgrounds that other students bring. Many of the students and people that I have met through OSP have offered new perspectives that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere in my life.”

His advice to incoming OSP students: “The only thing you are limited by is your desire to improve, so take advantage of all possible opportunities that the OSP has to offer, whether that be tutoring, Saturday Academy, or Summer Academy. The OSP team and their partners are more than willing and capable of supporting any academic passions that you may have.”

July is National Purposeful Parenting Month! We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge all of ...
07/11/2021

July is National Purposeful Parenting Month! We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge all of the parents and guardians that support and encourage their students to reach their fullest potential. You are appreciated!

This week's Instructor Spotlight is Nathan Brandford. This will be Nathan's second year teaching OSP classes.  He consis...
07/10/2021

This week's Instructor Spotlight is Nathan Brandford. This will be Nathan's second year teaching OSP classes.  He consistently shows his enthusiam for engaging students and sharing diverse perspectives. Read his full story through the link in our bio.

🚨 Calling all students participating in Summer Academy 🚨From July 2-6, classes we will be suspended for the July 4th hol...
07/01/2021

🚨 Calling all students participating in Summer Academy 🚨From July 2-6, classes we will be suspended for the July 4th holiday. Enjoy your break, have fun, and be safe!  

As we mentioned in prior posts, OSP created a Yearbook to highlight student achievements and program participation. This...
06/28/2021

As we mentioned in prior posts, OSP created a Yearbook to highlight student achievements and program participation. This post will highlight students from the Class of 2022! Class of 2022, do you spot yourself?

Read our instructor spotlight on Isabela Scott. A new addition to the OSP Smart Start summer instructional staff and exc...
06/25/2021

Read our instructor spotlight on Isabela Scott. A new addition to the OSP Smart Start summer instructional staff and excited to hit the ground running. Instructional staff share a common goal; to help students learn practical strategies for answering questions.  Isabella will focus attention and advise on math questions that often appear on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.  Read the full story in the link in our bio!

Jacob Padilla, Class of 2021, was previously featured on our Instagram page highlighting his selection as a Posse full-r...
06/23/2021

Jacob Padilla, Class of 2021, was previously featured on our Instagram page highlighting his selection as a Posse full-ride scholarship recipient to DePauw University (). Jacob is not sure what major he will pursue.  For now he’s leaning towards research in the field of biotechnology.

Reflecting on his favorite OSP activities, he talked about some that stand out in his memory: “I am honored to say I was a part of the Atlanta, West Coast, and East Coast college tours. They showed me that there are other viable options outside of the Midwest. I thoroughly enjoyed OSP's writing classes, as they have allowed me to improve my writing. I also am extremely grateful for the OSP Posse class, as it positioned me to earn the Scholarship to DePauw.”

🚨STUDENTS ATTENDING SUMMER ACADEMY🚨 Please check your email for Canvas notifications. You must accept them in order to g...
06/18/2021

🚨STUDENTS ATTENDING SUMMER ACADEMY🚨 Please check your email for Canvas notifications. You must accept them in order to gain access to the course online.

🚨STUDENTS ATTENDING SUMMER ACADEMY🚨 Please complete our DISC Communication Styles Quiz before Saturday, June 19. Swipe o...
06/16/2021

🚨STUDENTS ATTENDING SUMMER ACADEMY🚨 Please complete our DISC Communication Styles Quiz before Saturday, June 19. Swipe or check your email for full instructions!

The Office of Special Programs requests that all students participating in Virtual Summer Academy 2021 attend Virtual Su...
06/15/2021

The Office of Special Programs requests that all students participating in Virtual Summer Academy 2021 attend Virtual Summer Orientation. Swipe for a list of the instructor-led workshops. Virtual Summer Orientation will take place on Saturday, June 19, from 9:30pm-2:30pm.

Check out our highlight of some of the best institutions across the country that you might not know about!
06/15/2021

Check out our highlight of some of the best institutions across the country that you might not know about!

To celebrate the achievements of our students during the 2021 academic year, we have created a collection of student ill...
06/13/2021

To celebrate the achievements of our students during the 2021 academic year, we have created a collection of student illustrations! Please enjoy the first class of the OSP Yearbook: Class of 2021. Look closely to see where our seniors will be heading!

Nancy Zhen, Class of 2021, is another soon-to-be graduate with a bright future ahead of her. Nancy will be attending her...
06/11/2021

Nancy Zhen, Class of 2021, is another soon-to-be graduate with a bright future ahead of her. Nancy will be attending her dream school, Northwestern University, this upcoming fall. There she will study in hopes of achieving her dream career as a “medical professional in primary care,  where she can work and interact with people.”

Nancy ultimately accepted enrollment into OSP because: “As a first gen student, I knew nothing about colleges. By sophomore year, I had a better gist of it. By my senior year, I knew almost all that there was to know about the college application process.”

The best experience she has had at OSP has been: “Taking classes as a member of the Kavli Institute of Cosmological Physics program. Join KICP, or else!”

Her advice to new students is simple: “Ask questions! Even if you think it was a stupid question or you'll lose face in front of your other peers. The instructors and program coordinators are always open to having private discussions with you. Ask for advice or personal guidance!”

Parents and students, mark your calendars! On June 12, from 12-2:30pm, come pick up your required supplies for 2021 Virt...
06/09/2021

Parents and students, mark your calendars! On June 12, from 12-2:30pm, come pick up your required supplies for 2021 Virtual Summer Academy. This will be the only time OSP Staff will be distributing materials for classes. Please make sure to follow proper COVID guidelines when arriving, such as social distancing and wearing a mask.

In preparation for the upcoming application season, we are highlighting some of the full-ride scholarship programs that ...
06/08/2021

In preparation for the upcoming application season, we are highlighting some of the full-ride scholarship programs that can help ease the financial burden for students and families. These scholarships cover not just tuition but additional expenses, such as room and board, travel costs, and textbooks. In some cases, they also give stipends, provide mentorship, and offer professional opportunities.

Read our instructor spotlight for Victoria Hopper. Tori is a triple threat: well-versed in foreign language education, s...
06/07/2021

Read our instructor spotlight for Victoria Hopper. Tori is a triple threat: well-versed in foreign language education, social sciences, and language arts.  She is the perfect instructor to introduce students to Virtual Job Shadow, a video-based career planning platform, where interative tools help students "develop career paths based on choice, not chance.” Read her full story in the link in bio.

Happy World Environment Day! Are you interested in majoring in environmental science, but don't know what career options...
06/05/2021

Happy World Environment Day! Are you interested in majoring in environmental science, but don't know what career options exist? No worries, swipe to see the different options, the skills gained through taking classes in specific majors, and the best environmental science undergraduate programs across the country.

Students attend community college for a variety of reasons – to raise their GPAs, save money, or explore a variety of li...
05/28/2021

Students attend community college for a variety of reasons – to raise their GPAs, save money, or explore a variety of liberal arts courses in preparation for choosing a major.  No matter what your reasons for attending community college might be; these tips will help you make the most of your community college expereince and define the goals you want to achieve as you plan and chart your course for success.

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to explore what students can do with a major in A...
05/27/2021

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to explore what students can do with a major in Asian Studies. Swipe for more! access

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to explore what students can do with a degree in ...
05/27/2021

As part of Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, we want to explore what students can do with a degree in Asian or Pacific Islander Studies. Swipe for more!

05/26/2021

Julio Ramirez, is set to graduate this year. The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Finalist has will be attending Columbia University to study computer science.

He reflects on his OSP experience: “My favorite part has definitely been the bi-annual science institutes to Fermilab and the UChicago campus every year. They're great opportunities to create closer bonds with others in the program while applying the knowledge you learn during the academic year in a collaborative setting!”

In terms of skills he’s learned from the program, self-advocacy is definitely at the top of the list. He adds that new students joining the program should make sure to: “Put yourself out there! Don't be afraid and take risks to learn as much as possible!”

05/26/2021

Julio Ramirez, is set to graduate this year. The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Finalist has will be attending Columbia University to study computer science.

He reflects on his OSP experience: “My favorite part has definitely been the bi-annual science institutes to Fermilab and the UChicago campus every year. They're great opportunities to create closer bonds with others in the program while applying the knowledge you learn during the academic year in a collaborative setting!”

In terms of skills he’s learned from the program, self-advocacy is definitely at the top of the list. He adds that new students joining the program should make sure to: “Put yourself out there! Don't be afraid and take risks to learn as much as possible!”

📢 Class of 2021 📢 Summer is an important time to prepare for  your transition from high school to college. Swipe to find...
05/24/2021

📢 Class of 2021 📢 Summer is an important time to prepare for  your transition from high school to college. Swipe to find out what seniors should do in order to be ready for their first year at college!  Register for the OSP First Year Experience workshops this summer to learn what you should know and how to prepare!

05/24/2021

Julio Ramirez, is set to graduate this year. The Hispanic Heritage Youth Awards Finalist has narrowed his selection to two schools.  Whatevr he decides he will be a great addiiton to  in addition to the student population as he prepares for a career in computer science.

He reflects on his OSP experience: “My favorite part has definitely been the bi-annual science institutes to Fermilab and the UChicago campus every year. They're great opportunities to create closer bonds with others in the program while applying the knowledge you learn during the academic year in a collaborative setting!”

In terms of skills he’s learned from the program, self-advocacy is definitely at the top of the list. He adds that new students joining the program should make sure to: “Put yourself out there! Don't be afraid and take risks to learn as much as possible!"

📢 Class of 2022 📢 College is a big investment in time and money.  To ensure you’re getting the most from the experience,...
05/17/2021

📢 Class of 2022 📢 College is a big investment in time and money.  To ensure you’re getting the most from the experience, you need to develop a well-researched and thoughtful list of colleges where you will thrive and graduate in four years. Swipe to find out how to create your balanced college list of reach,” “match,” and “safety” schools!

As the Class of 2021 celebrates the end of their college application process, the Class of 2022 should start preparing f...
05/16/2021

As the Class of 2021 celebrates the end of their college application process, the Class of 2022 should start preparing for their own journey. What does that look like? Swipe to learn what juniors should think about in preparation for Fall.

05/13/2021

Need more scholarship resources? Check out scholarships wiith June deadlines.

As students prepare to register for the 2021 Virtual Summer Academy, the Office of Special Programs will be introducing ...
05/11/2021

As students prepare to register for the 2021 Virtual Summer Academy, the Office of Special Programs will be introducing some of our amazing instructional staff. First up, Collegiate Scholars and University of Chicago alumni, Lauren Dunning. Lauren is an experienced instructor for OSP and the Chicago Public School system. He is passionate about creating learning experiences that excite students' interests in science. Read his full story in the link in our bio.

This month is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! In honor of the month, we will feature scholarships sp...
05/07/2021

This month is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month! In honor of the month, we will feature scholarships specifically designated for Asian American/Pacific Islander students.

Mary Lomahan, Class of 2021, is excited to jumpstart the rest of her academic and professional career. Mary is one of tw...
05/05/2021

Mary Lomahan, Class of 2021, is excited to jumpstart the rest of her academic and professional career. Mary is one of two of our students who received the Posse Scholarship. She will be attending DePauw University to achieve her dream of becoming a marketing specialist!

Lomahan’s favorite moment at OSP: “The very first year when we had three different teams for the [KICP] summer institute. I had so much fun meeting new people and making new friends.”

One piece of advice she has to offer as a result: “Make new friends and enjoy your time [at OSP]!”

Cassius Palacio, Class of 2021, will be attending his dream school, University of Southern California!  He plans to stud...
04/21/2021

Cassius Palacio, Class of 2021, will be attending his dream school, University of Southern California! He plans to study architecture in order to achieve his dream career of “owning my own architectural firm with multiple locations.”

His favorite OSP-CP activity was “The Peter and Judy Kovler Career Conference for High School Students. During the architectural learning session, I was able to network with two female architects of color, Kim Johnson and Smitha Vasan. That's when I truly realized that networking is a superpower everyone can have. Since the Career Conference, I've maintained good relationships with them and they've been mentoring me along the way to make sure I make the best decisions for my architectural career.”

His advice for new students entering the OSP program is to “always be fortunate and grateful. OSP provides a plethora of opportunities, and if you don't accept them, then you'd be left out and without resources to advance your knowledge or extracurriculars.”

Check out the next slide to see one of his amazing photographs!

Thank you UChicago Civic Engagement! Please email osp-cp@uchicago, if you have any questions.
04/14/2021
Apply | Office of Special Programs

Thank you UChicago Civic Engagement! Please email [email protected], if you have any questions.

The Office of Special Programs - College Prep offers two programs: UChicago Upward Bound and the University of Chicago S.T.E.M. Initiative. Both are free, year-round college access programs for high-school students.

Jeremy Cueva, OSP Class of 2021, plans on attending Illinois Institute of Technology. His future career goals include be...
04/07/2021

Jeremy Cueva, OSP Class of 2021, plans on attending Illinois Institute of Technology. His future career goals include becoming a software developer.

He reflects on his favorite OSP activity: “During the 2019 summer institute where we would create an AI for a glove to be able to type keys without the need of a keyboard. It may have only identified it, but to be able to go through the process of trial and error and the work needed makes the end result very satisfying.”

Cueva learned many lessons while at OSP, but the most valuable was “to stay on top of submitting college applications and not get behind or miss the deadline. It helped show me how much work I can put into something when having the dedication to do the things that need to be done. To put in the hard work in sweat and tears does pay off.”

Follow us on Instagram for more student spotlights, helpful career and college tips and resources, and frequent program notifications and updates!

Congratulations to our 2020 high school graduates! Pictured are Cherish, Mekha, Ashley, and Destiny in the graduation ca...
06/17/2020

Congratulations to our 2020 high school graduates! Pictured are Cherish, Mekha, Ashley, and Destiny in the graduation cap and gowns. Let us know in the comments what your next steps are.

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Thursday 8:30am - 6pm
Friday 8:30am - 4pm
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(773) 702-8288

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For the last five decades, the Office of Special Programs-College Prep has helped more than 4000 low-income, academically challenged, and potential first-generation college students prepare for and complete high school and higher education.


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In honor of National Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Mental Health Month, we are highlighting different institutions' mental health resources. We know that access to mental health care is sometimes hard to come by for BIPOC communities. That is why it is important to know what tuition-covered resources are available on campus.
Looking to improve your SAT score and your chances of getting into your dream school? Well, look no further! The Office of Special Programs - College Prep provides many different resources and tools to prepare for the SAT. These resources and tools cut across all learning styles and needs. Swipe for more information!
A core activity of OSP programming is to provide college access tools and resources to high school students. However, the journey towards a successful postsecondary education requires an investment of additional time to complete individual research. Swipe to see how you can do this using College Access social media accounts.
Being a first generation and/or low-income college student comes with a unique set of challenges that can impact your ability to graduate in four years. However, many post-secondary institutions have recognized this and have made a commitment to provide resources and services that support these students. Swipe to see some of the options available at different institutions!
Ryan Wong, Class of 2021, has demonstrated great leadership as an OSP program participant. He will be attending Northwestern University this fall to study engineering.

He plans to explore the intersection between computer science and other S.T.E.M. fields and eventually pursue a career in software development or academic research.”

“The summer and winter institutes!”, were his favorite OSP activities.” I always enjoy working alongside some of my closest friends and learning from students from UChicago. It’s also really fun to relax and play video games, board games, and trivia at UChicago and FermiLab.”

Ryan confided “The most valuable lesson I’ve learned at OSP is to cherish the diverse interests and backgrounds that other students bring. Many of the students and people that I have met through OSP have offered new perspectives that I haven’t been able to find elsewhere in my life.”

His advice to incoming OSP students: “The only thing you are limited by is your desire to improve, so take advantage of all possible opportunities that the OSP has to offer, whether that be tutoring, Saturday Academy, or Summer Academy. The OSP team and their partners are more than willing and capable of supporting any academic passions that you may have.”
July is National Purposeful Parenting Month! We would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and acknowledge all of the parents and guardians that support and encourage their students to reach their fullest potential. You are appreciated!
This week's Instructor Spotlight is Nathan Brandford. This will be Nathan's second year teaching OSP classes.  He consistently shows his enthusiam for engaging students and sharing diverse perspectives. Read his full story through the link in our bio.
🚨 Calling all students participating in Summer Academy 🚨From July 2-6, classes we will be suspended for the July 4th holiday. Enjoy your break, have fun, and be safe!  
As we mentioned in prior posts, OSP created a Yearbook to highlight student achievements and program participation. This post will highlight students from the Class of 2022! Class of 2022, do you spot yourself?
Read our instructor spotlight on Isabela Scott. A new addition to the OSP Smart Start summer instructional staff and excited to hit the ground running. Instructional staff share a common goal; to help students learn practical strategies for answering questions.  Isabella will focus attention and advise on math questions that often appear on standardized tests such as the SAT and ACT.  Read the full story in the link in our bio!
Jacob Padilla, Class of 2021, was previously featured on our Instagram page highlighting his selection as a Posse full-ride scholarship recipient to DePauw University (). Jacob is not sure what major he will pursue.  For now he’s leaning towards research in the field of biotechnology.

Reflecting on his favorite OSP activities, he talked about some that stand out in his memory: “I am honored to say I was a part of the Atlanta, West Coast, and East Coast college tours. They showed me that there are other viable options outside of the Midwest. I thoroughly enjoyed OSP's writing classes, as they have allowed me to improve my writing. I also am extremely grateful for the OSP Posse class, as it positioned me to earn the Scholarship to DePauw.”
🚨STUDENTS ATTENDING SUMMER ACADEMY🚨 Please check your email for Canvas notifications. You must accept them in order to gain access to the course online.
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