Ninth grader Ty'Ron Washington gets to know Rachel Schotz, a UD sophomore who is majoring in English.

On the right track

UD helps Glasgow High School students prepare for college


10:25 a.m., May 11, 2011--Tahiya Cooper, a junior at the University of Delaware, knows it's never too early to start preparing for college.

"It is important because most ninth graders are not even thinking about college," said Cooper, an elementary teacher education major and a member of Academic Support Program Inspiring Renaissance Educators (ASPIRE). "Something like this helps to steer them in the right direction."

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Doctoral hooding

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Cooper is just one of several UD students who participated in a College Awareness event on campus for ninth graders who attend Glasgow High School in the Christina School District.

"I learned I have to have good grades, be disciplined and work hard to get to UD," said Ty'Ron Washington, a ninth grader interested in sport management.

The 30 ninth graders are all students who participate in Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) at Glasgow, a national program designed to help increase the number of students who enroll in four-year colleges.

The College Awareness event on May 4 featured three different sessions. After arriving on campus, students attended a workshop hosted by ASPIRE students. It focused on every aspect of college preparation, from getting good grades to applying for scholarship money.

"The kids get the opportunity to see outside the box of their experiences at their high school and they see the ability to be connected to a place like UD," said Melva Ware, director of ASPIRE. "This University becomes a real place as opposed to some place their teachers just talk about. They see students here at UD who are just like them. It makes the opportunity to prepare more valuable because students realize they can actually achieve what we're telling them they need to do to get to college."

In partnership with the School of Education, under the direction of Nancy Lavigne and Carol Wong, associate professors, UD students presented sample lesson plans to Glasgow students as the second part of the event, getting input and feedback from them in order to improve their lessons. The micro-teaching lesson plans are a requirement for education majors at UD.

As the final part of the event, the Office of Admissions gave the Glasgow students a tour of the University.

Many of them admit that even though it's not easy getting into college, this event really helped open their eyes to different possibilities.

"I like that there is a lot of interesting stuff here and I've met new people and learned why they chose to attend UD," said Tuniesha Balkissoon, a ninth grader who is interested in business. "I know I need to work hard and not be afraid to ask people questions about what you need to do to get into the University of Delaware."

Providing early awareness about college, according to ASPIRE's Ware, is key in getting students to form their identities early on about success and achievement.

Article by Cassandra Kramer

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