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Skidmore College
Center for Leadership, Teaching and Learning (CLTL)

Kelli Johnson
Director, Opportunity Program

Kelli Johnson
Kelli Johnson

In September of 2016, I stepped into the role of director of the Opportunity Program. This is not a position I take lightly, as I realize and understand the importance of this program on both a state and campus level. With 160 students in the program, it is my responsibility to oversee their success both in and outside of the classroom.

This task begins before the students are enrolled as matriculating students. Each summer, a new cohort of students is chosen to participate in the Summer Academic Institute (SAI), a bridge program to help them transition from high school to college. Upon successful completion of the SAI, students are then assigned an OP advisor to help them on this continued journey. We coordinate with other departments to make sure that academic needs are being met, while also providing significant financial assistance. However, we also realize that the social climate of Skidmore College can be troubling for our students. That is why it is so important for us to include social programming to our calendar. As an extended family member, OP must work with students in a holistic manner, realizing the walls of Skidmore do not protect them from their daily struggles.

It is our job and responsibility to help program students adjust, recognize their potential, foster that potential, graduate, and go out to be productive citizens of the world.