SPARTANBURG, S.C. — This summer, through the iCAN Summer Institute, 20 local high school students sampled what it was like to be Wofford College students, even going to an 8 a.m. psychology lecture.

“Psychology is an important topic to cover since we study learning about memory, which is a crucial component of being an effective student,” says Dr. John Lefebvre, who has a soft spot for first-generation college students because he was the first in his family to graduate from college. “I designed the lecture to show them what we know about how the brain works and then how this translates into applications focused on improving learning.”

Students who attended the two-day, residential program also went on a campus tour and attended informational workshops to learn more about how to be successful in college.

“The Summer Institute is a way to provide more college exposure by having the students live in residence halls, prepare for an early morning college course and participate in engagement activities,” says James Stukes, coordinator for college access and student success. “Essentially, they get to be a college student for two days.

Sandra López, a Wofford junior from Enoree, S.C., who is majoring in finance, was one of the Wofford students assisting at the iCAN Summer Institute. López says the institute was extremely insightful. “I truly wish that a program like this had been available for me when I was a high school student.”

College Access Network (iCAN) is the result of collaboration between Wofford College’s Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) and The Spartanburg County Foundation’s Citizen Scholars Institute, a program that helps local youth develop the life skills, knowledge and character needed to obtain college scholarships, complete college and become contributing citizens. Through iCAN, 10 th grade participants in the Citizen Scholar Institute are assigned a Wofford student who serves as a “near-peer” mentor until graduation from high school.