About Us

We work in partnership with our students and their families, as well as community organizations, to bring the benefits of higher education to people who may never have considered it possible.

Our Mission

Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower students from historically underrepresented communities who have the desire to advance to and achieve a higher education.

Our History

Willamette Academy was founded in 2001 by members of the Willamette University and Salem communities to address gaps in educational achievement among the district’s historically underserved student populations. Since then, it has served over 600 Salem-Keizer School District students on their path to high school graduation and college admission.

Class 2007

Through education and support, Willamette Academy helps such students defy the odds and achieve a college degree — to transform the future for themselves and their families. 

Since the first graduating class in 2007, 89% of Academy graduates have gone on to college and 68% of Academy graduates have graduated from or are currently enrolled in a 2- or 4-year college. Of the students who attended Willamette University, 77 percent earned an undergraduate degree.

Embracing values of equity and social justice, the academy’s work helps our community make the most of all students’ potential talent.