Elementary school gives students a head start on college!
Many schools are beginning to respond to national research pertaining to the huge college-knowledge gap experienced by students who are not introduced to college planning until high school. For years, this has placed such students at a huge disadvantage when compared to suburban and affluent students who are introduced to college before entering elementary school. The Educational Leadership article, “Going to College? It’s Elementary!” notes:
“Typically, students on the college-bound learning track are white and middle-class (NGA Center for Best Practices, 2007). Their parents and schools have prepared them for college by directing them toward advanced placement (AP) classes, SAT prep courses, and other resources that will give them a step up when it’s time to apply to college (NGA Center for Best Practices, 2007). On the other hand, students from lower socioeconomic brackets or minority groups may not even be told to take the SAT, let alone sign up for AP courses (Marklein, 2006). Programs such as AVID or Upward Bound attempt to reach these students in high school, but unfortunately, funding can limit the reach of these programs. Plus, high school intervention may come too late to influence students’ choices.”
Sixth-grade students in the Marina del Mar Elementary School’s “College Club” asked questions from a panel of four college students as part of their college outreach program. What are the elementary and middle schools in your community doing to help students develop their college-bound dreams?
Bugg Elementary School in Wake County Schools(NC) has been undergoing a total cultural remake with its college bound focus. Click here to watch YouTube video…Another video (click here) showcases the relationships being developed between Bugg Elementary school students and local college students. Building relationships and collaborating with local colleges and universities would appear to be a natural strategy for elementary schools in school districts with a college readiness focus.
The importance of engaging students in a postsecondary focus during the primary grades is reinforced by the University of Chicagoresearch study, “Reading on Grade Level in Third Grade: How Is It Related to High School Performance and College Enrollment” outlining the transition students make during elementary school from learning to read to reading to learn. Creating the necessary postsecondary cultural constructs in elementary school provides an important context for teaching and learning.