Elementary School Prepping for College
While most eighth grade students are busy wondering what high school will be like, but the eighth graders at Cheatham Elementary School in the Laveen Elementary School District are taking it a bit further. They are actually focusing on college.
Cheatham Elementary implemented a College and Career Initiative this year with all eighth graders. The students took part in a four-step program starting off with class- and grade-level assemblies where staff members presented college and career information. Teachers highlighted their own alma maters and had some fun playing up the various college rivalries. Students began discussions on what it takes to be a successful high school student and how this plan will assist them in being prepared for and accepted into college. The eighth graders also took the ACT EXLORE assessment, an educational and career planning program that measures achievement in English, math, reading, and science. The assessment matches student aptitude and interests to future career opportunities. As an early indicator of college readiness, EXPORE gives teachers the means to structure high school planning and career exploration for the students, as well as establishing a trajectory projection of student performance on the first ACT test they will take in the 11th grade.
Students researched the classes required for the credential or degree needed for the profession they were thinking about. It didn’t take long for the eighth graders to realize that doing their best academically, developing good study habits, and being active in clubs and the community, would all help put them on the way to a successful future.
As a culmination to the year-long College and Career Initiative, 120 eighth grade students attended a “College Day” at Arizona State University (ASU) to get a true college experience. Current ASU students gave the Cheatham eighth graders and their parents a tour of the campus, and dorms. ASU faculty presented sessions on the registration process and researching resources for funding their education. The students also got the opportunity to enjoy lunch with thousands of college students at ASU’s Multi-Cultural Union.
“The trip to ASU was inspiring. It was a great opportunity to see a college campus for the first time. I learned a lot about college, and it has made me want to go even more,” said one student.