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Spotlight Program

For 34 years, Spotlight has connected interested students with thought-provoking presentations. The results are lively, heated, often chaotic, and always productive. Thursday evening dinner conversations may never be the same.

Spotlight Program offerings include:

  • Presentations by artists, musicians, writers, community activists, politicians, business executives, and scientists (including three Nobel laureates).
  • Two three-week courses in topics such as African dance, paranormal investigations, comic books and graphic novels, beginning Arabic, magic tricks, cooking classes, self-defense techniques, or Zumba.
  • Field trips to New York City, Boston, Fall River’s Center for the Performing Arts, and Harvard University.

Through Spotlight, area high school students come to the UMass Dartmouth campus each term to debate, explore, question, experiment, analyze. UMass Dartmouth's Spotlight Program provides enrichment activities and courses to support high school students who are looking forward to the challenges and opportunities of college. The innovative program provides both an invaluable learning opportunity and the chance for students to develop the skills they'll need for college.

Since 1980, Spotlight has helped students think creatively and critically, increase their awareness of social issues, and explore ways to express themselves artistically.

More than 4,000 students from 37 high schools in the region have participated in Spotlight. They are students who are eager to try something different, and who have a solid sense of responsibility. Most have demonstrated academic or artistic achievement, and they are not afraid to take an unconventional route to reach their goals.

All sessions meet at the UMass Dartmouth campus, CVPA Auditorium, from 3:15 to 5:00 each Thursday. Visitor's parking is available in Lot 6.  You can reach Trace Holmes, Program Coordinator at (617-417-5328).

Individual high schools recruit and select Spotlight students from their tenth, eleventh, and twelfth grades. Contact your school representative for information.

The Spotlight fee is $300 per semester. Some school districts pay the entire fee, while others ask the students for partial or full payment. Spotlight relies entirely on its fees to cover costs. Please call us to find out how your school handles the fee. No refunds can be made after the second session of each semester.