'Kids2College' program prepares students for success
by Michelle Saport |
Fifth-grade students from Iditarod Elementary School will take what for many will be first steps toward exploring their college and career interests when they visit Matanuska-Susitna College on Friday, April 26.
The Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education and UA College Savings Plan, building on the success of their "I'm Going To College" program, have partnered with the "Kids2College" program to serve nearly 2,200 fifth and sixth grade students in 13 communities across Alaska.
"Kids2College" students visiting college campuses in their communities will experience a day in the life of a college student, with fun, hands-on classes and age-appropriate lessons. Activities such as building a battery-operated robot, digging up archeological artifacts or learning how to use a fire hose help engage and stimulate career exploration and college preparation concepts in the students' young minds.
To prepare for their campus visit, students research what pursuing different careers involves then present the information to their classmates. Along the way, they learn about various academic options and the steps they can take today to prepare for college. "Kids2College" teaches students about local high school graduation and test requirements, college admissions and how to qualify for financial aid opportunities like the Alaska Performance Scholarship.
Now in 28 states, "Kids2College" encourages students to aspire to education and training beyond high school. Whether it's an apprenticeship, a one-year technical program or a seven-year professional degree sequence, by learning that postsecondary training is important and attainable.
"Kids2College" alumni are more likely to discuss college preparation with parents and teachers, and to understand college is possible for them. For children whose families don't have a college-going history, it's an opportunity to learn first-hand about the career avenues and life experiences college offers.