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ASU business program immersing high schoolers in university life

PHOENIX — Arizona State University’s W.P. Carey School of Business is giving some underprivileged high school students the chance to see what it is like attending a university.

“What we’re trying to do is, best as we can, replicate the college experience,” Tim Desch, assistant dean for undergraduate admission, said.

Each year the school selects a handful of underprivileged students from around the state for the Fleischer Scholars program.

Those students spend a week living in the dormitories and gain insight into what life is like for students at business schools.

“They’re given an assignment at the beginning of the week that they work in a small group to complete by the end of the week,” Desch said.

Assignments are business related and help students learn about topics such as supply and demand, inventory, pricing and payroll, Desch said.

Besides getting a taste for business, Desch said the purpose of the program is to also equip students with a sense of what it will take for them to go to college.

The benefits are a two-way street though, according to Desch, adding the staff gets the opportunity to meet with untapped business and entrepreneurial talent.

“There is a very rich talent pool out there (that is) extremely untapped,” Desch said.

The program is in its sixth year and Desch said about 60 percent of the participants return to attend W.P. Carey. Many also take an active role in mentoring current Fleischer Scholars.

The final group of 2015 finishes on Friday.