In partnership with the University Promise Alliance, the Twin Cities Urban
Debate League offers challenging debate opportunities to high school
students. The University Promise Alliance is a student-driven initiative
to create a sustainable bridge between the University of Minnesota and the
community at large. A non-profit organization, it is focused, in part, on
developing marketable skills through effective education.
In order to provide training for coaches and students, UDL and the
University Promise Alliance will jointly sponsor a one-week institute in
late summer, 2003. Second-year participants will have opportunities to
attend debate institutes in other parts of the country, including Vermont,
New York City, and Atlanta.
The first-year program (2003-2004) will involve four to six schools in
Minneapolis and St. Paul. It will focus on providing a high-quality program
for approximately 100 students in grades 9-12. Training will be provided
for up to two teacher/coach(es) per school. These coaches will partner with
a college or university student experienced in debate. Together, they will
assist high school debaters in developing their skills.
First-year debaters will compete with one another in 6-7 one-day,
three-round tournaments. Those interested in additional competition will
participate in novice tournaments sponsored by other schools. Second-year
debaters will be given increasing opportunities to debate other teams
throughout the state. However, the emphasis of the program will be on
participation rather than competition, and we will adapt the program to meet
the emerging needs of its debaters.
Students will have access to a resource center that provides books, tapes,
computers, databases, and highly skilled assistance in developing cases and
evidence. The resource center will provide students with after-school
assistance for both homework and debate, and it will provide a community for
teen-agers seeking a place to belong.
Rigorously tracking the success of participants will demonstrate the
effectiveness of this activity. The program will be expanded to include all
inner city schools, and, in the future, the debate format may be
incorporated into the standard curriculum as it has been in other cities
across the country.
For further information, please contact: