Dean's Future Scholars

Est. 2000

Mentoring is the heart of this unique, homegrown academic outreach program that provides educational opportunities and support for low-income, first-generation college students.

About the program

Very few outreach programs comprehensively address the needs of students at each developmental level, but this long-term approach fosters a "family feel", which is the secret to the program's longitudinal success. To date, the program has served over 1,500 low-income, first-generation college students in Washoe County.

Each year students are identified in the sixth grade from selected Title 1 schools throughout the Washoe County School District (WCSD) for participation in the Dean's Future Scholars (DFS) program. Once students are identified during their 6th-grade year, DFS will follow the students at their respective school throughout their middle school, high school and college years.

To assist students in graduating from high school and college, DFS provides the following free services:

  • College student mentoring during the school year
  • Summer programming on the university campus
  • Opportunities for students to earn high school and college credits
  • Academic tutoring
  • Assistance with college entrance requirements
  • Scholarships
  • Employment opportunities
  • Free printing and access to college student lounge

In addition, DFS has an open door policy where program alumni can access guidance and support, long after high school or college graduation.

Impact of the Dean's Future Scholars program

96% High school graduation rate in 2022
High school graduate sitting and smiling
39 Current K-12 schools served
Two children wearing DFS shirts and smiling
72% Overall College enrollment rate
Students walking in a busy campus
79% Overall University of Nevada, Reno retention rate, with 322 graduates in Spring 2022.
Student's graduation motar boards, one with the word "finally"

Recommendation criteria

Review the participant recommendation criteria for Dean's Future Scholars

Our mission

Learn about the mission, vision and core values for Dean's Future Scholars

Our staff

Meet the staff and leadership for the Dean's Future Scholars program

Support Dean's Future Scholars

Dean's Future Scholars (DFS) is funded by grants, private donations, and in-kind contributions. In order to ensure the success and future development of the program, DFS welcomes contributions at all levels. Donations to DFS are tax-exempt through the University of Nevada, Reno Foundation.

College of Education and Human Development logo and identifier

Dean's Future Scholars logo and identifier