Eli Whitney Students Program

The Eli Whitney Students Program is one of the four gates into Yale College, the other three being freshman, international and transfer students admissions. A select number of students is accepted into the program each year, and admissions is highly competitive.

Several features of this program bear notice: (1) students admitted to the program are full members of Yale College; (2) as Yale College undergraduates, they are held to the same academic requirements as all other undergraduates; (3) as Yale College undergraduates, Whitney students earn their B.A. or B.S. (or both) from Yale College; (4) moreover, Whitney students can choose between attending full-time and part-time; (5) and, finally, the average age of Whitney students tends to be older than that of Yale College students who enter through the other three gates--although being older is not at all a requirement of eligibility.

Part-time/Full-time Option

In offering Whitney students the option to choose between part-time and full-time study each semester, Yale created a fourth admissions gate into the College. The purpose of this is to educate students whose situation (e.g. job, family, health) might prevent them from attending full-time, but whose exceptional character, accomplishments and academic credentials add value to the Yale classroom and community.

Whitney students enter Yale, on the whole, with either professional and/or family obligations; a few, however, are recent high school graduates who, owing to health considerations, require a reduced course load.

Note: While full-time study is equivalent to a minimum of three credits per semester, part-time study permits a maximum of two-and-a-half credits per semester. At Yale, most classes are worth one credit, with the exception of laboratory courses (half credit) and some language courses (one-and-a-half credits).

The Mission of the Program

In March 2007, President Levin commented on the mission of the program:

The mission of the Eli Whitney Students Program promotes the mission of the undergraduate program of Yale College as a whole: the education of leaders in every field who will make contributions to the larger society. As in the past, applicants admitted into Yale College though the Eli Whitney Students program are students of exceptional promise and character whose life circumstances have prevented them from completing a liberal arts degree in the traditional sequence.

The mission of Yale College:

The mission of Yale College is to seek exceptionally promising students of all backgrounds from across the nation and around the world and to educate them, through mental discipline and social experience, to develop their intellectual, moral, civic and creative capacities to the fullest. The aim of this education is the cultivation of citizens with a rich awareness of our human heritage to lead and serve in every sphere of human activity.

The Purpose of the Program

Yale's Commitment

Yale is primarily dedicated to educating exceptional students of traditional age. However, Yale champions this admissions program, too, in recognition that Whitney students have proven themselves as people of exceptional character, leadership, and independence, before coming to Yale. Yale seeks to enrich their lives and promote their work through the support and challenge of a Yale education.

Repaying the Privilege

In return for admitting Whitney students to the College, Yale expects them to "repay the privilege." Yale expects Whitney students to participate actively in the culture of Yale and to promote the mission of Yale College, while attending Yale and after graduating from Yale.

The Spirit of Program

The spirit of the Whitney Students program has informally been likened to that of the White House Fellows program and the Yale World Fellows program. In reference to the White House Fellows program, President Lyndon Baines Johnson said that he expected the graduates of that program to "repay that privilege" by "continuing to work as private citizens on their public agendas." [ [http://www.whitehouse.gov/fellows/ White House Fellows Program] ]

The Yale World Fellows program, moreover, "offers a group of emerging leaders from diverse countries and cultures the opportunity to broaden their knowledge, gain new perspectives, sharpen their skills, and build the networks of relationships needed to meet the demands of issues on the local, national, and global scales." [ [http://www.yale.edu/worldfellows/ Yale World Fellows Program] ]

While these two programs have their own identity and curricula, the Eli Whitney Students program and its mission are completely integrated into Yale College and its mission. The program shares with these other programs, however, the intention to recruit and encourage the careers of people who evidence and promote leadership and stewardship.

Residential College Affiliation

More than mere dormitories, the twelve residential colleges are, collectively, a cornerstone of life at Yale in much the same way as houses at Harvard. Since 1932, the College has assigned entering undergraduates to residential colleges. As freshmen, they reside on Old Campus in a building affiliated with their colleges, but in the following years they live at their residential colleges (or off-campus, if so desired).

Whitney students are assigned to residential colleges, too. Although residing off-campus, they are full members of their colleges and the deans of their colleges are their chief academic advisers.

Eli Whitney

Yale named the program in honor of the American inventor and Yale alumnus Eli Whitney, Class of 1792. Yale's choice of name recognizes Eli Whitney's greatness as an inventor and businessman coupled with his admission to Yale as an older student. Eli Whitney graduated from the College at the age of twenty-eight years old.

Whitney students range in age, but the median age is thirty years old.

tats

Number of Whitney students for 2007-08 academic year: 5

Average age: 29

Average duration that Whitney students attend Yale (leading to graduation): 3 years

Acceptance rate: 6%

Financial aid: Yes

The Whitney Students Association (WSA)

All Whitney students are automatically members of the Whitney Students Association (WSA), which serves as the program's student-government and liaison with the Yale College administration. Throughout the year, the WSA organizes various social events, calls officer meetings and participates in Yale college advisory committees, all the while pursuing an agenda aimed at expanding the program's value for Yale and also for Whitney students. The organization consists of several officers and a president who meet regularly throughout the course of the year. The founder and first president of the WSA was Carolyn Brokowski, who served in 2003-04. Subsequent presidents were: Andy Dover in 2004-05, Brooks Prouty, 2005-06, Carolyn Brokowski again in 2006-07 and Isa Mirza in 2007-08. The current president for the 2008-09 year is Ehsan Arma.

Admissions

Yale welcomes applications to this program from U.S. and international students. In light of the highly competitive nature of the program, applicants are urged to explain why Yale in particular suits their academic needs (e.g. in order to study with a particular professor or in a particular department) as well as why the program's option of part-time or full-time study suits their prospective attendance needs. Applicants are stongly encouraged to describe how they will contribute as students at Yale. [ [http://www.yale.edu/admit/other/whitney/index.html Yale College Admissions] ] Candidates are strongly encouraged to provide persuasive evidence of probable academic success.

Controversy

The program came under national scrutiny after Sayed Rahmatullah Hashemi, a former envoy for the Taliban and non-degree candidate at Yale, applied for admission. Hashemi's time at Yale was discussed in the New York Times Magazine.cite news | first=Chip | last=Brown | coauthors= | title=The Freshman | date=February 26, 2006 | publisher=New York Times | url =http://www.nytimes.com/2006/02/26/magazine/26taliban.html?ex=1298610000&en=952caa29139c6927&ei=5090&partner=rssuserland&emc=rss | work = | pages = | accessdate = 2007-04-06 | language = ] [cite news |author= Cathy Young |title= Educating the Taliban at Yale |url=http://www.boston.com/news/globe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2006/03/13/educating_the_taliban_at_yale/ |publisher=The Boston Globe |date=2006-03-13 |accessdate=2008-03-19 ] .

References

See also

* [http://www.yale.edu/admit/other/whitney/index.html Yale University's Eli Whitney Student Program]
* [http://www.brown.edu/Administration/Dean_of_the_College/advising/rue.php Brown University's RUE Program]


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