Students from Ms. Becker’s and Mr. Simpson’s classes from Airport Heights Elementary packed up and went to college last week. This was part of the I’m Going to College Program sponsored by the University of Alaska Anchorage and the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE).
Here’s what one student had to say about the experience:
I liked the UAA field trip because it showed me that I can do anything I set my mind to. I liked that feeling, and saying that, “I can set my mind for anything like college or being the President or ANYTHING.” I can ride a jet like Glenn or become an engineer like Rachel. I CAN DO ANYTHING! (From Shaine)
ACPE Released this statement about the program on March 28, 2012:
I’m Going To College Program Sparks the Interest of Young Alaskans Introducing 5th & 6thGrade Students to College Prepares Them for Success
ANCHORAGE – This spring, Alaskan 5th and 6th grade school children will attend their local colleges for a day of age-appropriate classroom and hands-on activities. A partnership between the Alaska Commission on Postsecondary Education (ACPE) and UA College Savings Plan, I’m Going To College encourages students to aspire to education and training beyond high school – whether it’s an apprenticeship, a one-year technical program or a 10-year professional degree sequence; by learning that it is important and attainable.
In the nine years since Alaska’s I’m Going To College program was launched, it has grown from 600 students participating on five college campuses eight years ago to more than 2,300 students on 12 campuses in 11 communities across the state.
By following the I’m Going To College classroom curriculum and then visiting a local campus, students learn about the benefits of attending college, compare different campuses, calculate college costs, and learn steps they can take to qualify for financial aid such as the Alaska Performance Scholarship. The fun and educational campus visit gives students a sampling of college classes and lifestyle while inspiring them to include college in their future plans.
I’m Going To College alumna are more likely to discuss college preparation with parents and teachers, and to understand college is possible for them. It is an opportunity for those children whose families may not have a college-going history, to learn first-hand about the career avenues college offers and the fun of the college experience.
A 2011 I’m Going To College participant in Fairbanks recalled “It was fun, exciting, and I got to learn new stuff. I also learned Russian words, saw the library and discovered the life of being a college student.” “It was fun and it helped me learn about college,” said another student from Ketchikan.