PRUNTYTOWN—While some middle school students may not be thinking about college, one local school was awarded a grant to help students see what opportunities may be in their future.
Taylor County Middle School Counselor Jerry Dooley announced that the school was awarded with a $1,500 grant that allow students to visit area college campuses to do just that.
Dooley shared that the Education Alliance awarded 25 middle schools across the state with college visit grants.
“The Education Alliance is excited to support West Virginia middle school students as they explore opportunities at two-year and four-year colleges in our state” said Dr. Amelia Courts, President and Chief Executive Officer of The Education Alliance. “The business community agrees that we need to increase the proportion of West Virginians with degrees, certificates and other high-quality credentials.”
“We know that familiarizing students with a college environment while they are still in middle school will help them become aware of campus resources and be better prepared for higher education,” she stated.
According to a release, the College Visit grant program is designed to engage seventh-grade students in free college visits of public two-year and four-year institutions in Spring 2019.
During the college visits, students will have an opportunity to understand a college experience firsthand and to learn about the specific institution by visiting their campus.
In addition, participating middle school students will have the opportunity to meet college-level students and professors and to speak with admissions officers and financial aid counselors. The best way for students to determine if an institution is a good fit is through a college visit.
Dooley shared that while this grant will be specially geared towards seventh-grade students their efforts at Taylor County Middle School begin in the fifth grade with College and Career Week, but gets specific in the seventh grade.
He revealed that beginning in the seventh grade they specifically begin looking at career clusters and occupations from College Foundation of West Virginia website.
“This is a new adventure for the seventh-grade students, and we are excited to have the opportunity to offer this experience to them,” he expressed.
Dooley shared that the grant will pay for the transportation for the entire seventh grade population to visit both Fairmont State University and West Virginia University within the next six weeks.
“We are working with each university’s Campus Visit Office to have the best seventh grade experience as possible,” he expressed. “We will follow up this experience with more career exploration and how students can work towards their goal through high school courses at Grafton High, technical school or college.”