College Night at the Middle School

We just pulled it off- a night for middle school students and their families to learn about college and postsecondary options! A dream come true. Over 450 attendees and an epic night for me both personally and professionally.

Not too long ago, when I was pursuing my PhD, you could have found me knee deep in college-going literature and research, attempting to understand the most effective methods in supporting college attendance for students who come from under privileged backgrounds. In fact, I defended a dissertation on college-going self-efficacy for middle school students, or their beliefs in their ability to attend and persist in college. I whole heartedly swallow the theory that the more a student believes in their ability to attend college, the more likely they will apply and get into it.  And now I finally had the opportunity to apply what I have learned from my research.

Our goal for College Night was simple. Educate families on college and inspire middle school students to believe that they can pursue more education after high school! The school counseling came together and we made it happen. Our college night included the following components:

  • Students and families attended the college fair where they could meet with local college representatives and learn about various postsecondary opportunities that exist in their own backyard. Students eagerly went to every booth, asking questions of the representatives and earning a stamp on their college passport.
  • Breakout sessions educated students and families in both Spanish and English about college, the College Bound Scholarship (CBS), high school graduation requirements, and how to help their teens be successful in middle school.
  • Regional experts on the college bound scholarship, including former VO and MA graduate Griselda Guevara-Cruz, taught parents about the College Bound Scholarship. Students filled out college bound scholarships and submitted them to their school counselors.
  • Families and students had the opportunity to listen to a panel of college students speak to their own journeys and give advice about attending and persisting in college.
  • Other stakeholders including PTA, Strengthening Families, Madre Latinas and the College Bound Scholarship were present to support college attendance and persistence.
  • Attendees enjoyed the college big tailgate with hotdogs, chips, cookies, and soda as well as raffle prizes and a lot of college swag.
  • Younger kids were also provided childcare, activities, and college-going coloring pages.
Time  Event 
6:00-6:30 Arrival, Check-in, Child-care, College Fair, Food
6:25 Welcome and Raffle
6:30-6:50 College and College Bound Scholarship Presentation

(Spanish and English)

6:50-7:15 College Panel

(Spanish and English)

7:15 Transition to Breakout Session
7:30- 8:00 Break Out Sessions

High School Graduation Requirements  or

How to Help Your Child Be Successful in Middle School

It was a night to remember and a dream come true.

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