About Spotlight


For 31 years, Spotlight has connected interesting 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 digital photography, African dance, robotics, slam poetry, television productions, handwriting analysis, foreign films, self-defense techniques or magic tricks.
  • Field trips to New York City and Harvard University.


 Diversity is a hallmark of the Spotlight program. Minority students are especially encouraged to apply. There is no discrimination on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, or disability.

Through Spotlight, 100 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 skill 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.



 Last Updated On: 5/25/10

Contact Info:

Spotlight Program
UMass Dartmouth
285 Old Westport Road
Dartmouth, MA 02747
Spotlight Email