According to a study by Complete College America, for too many students, the path through college ends with no degree —and often lots of debt. College graduation rates are very low, especially if you’re poor, part time, African American, Hispanic, or older. Read the study and surprising numbers here: http://completecollege.org/wp-content/themes/cca/pdfs/Colorado.pdf
The "I Have a Dream" Foundation wanted to do something about this! In partnership with Casey Middle School and the University of Colorado at Boulder, piloted an Expanding the Dream partnership program to include more students in our partner schools for our college and career programming. In 2013, we delivered Expanding the Dream programming to the entire 6th Grade Class at Casey, and activities included:
- Lessons provided by "I Have a Dream" staff members to teach college vocabulary and to increase awareness of the importance of attending college
- Development of a "Hall of Dreams" that included college banners and pennants in order to increase college visibility within the school
- An on-campus tour for the entire 6th grade at the University of Colorado-Boulder and activity day hosted by the Office of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement (ODECE). The tour included hands on STEM activities and an introduction to the opportunities on campus
- An assembly in school to celebrate College Friday on April 11th. The assembly brought CU campus ambassadors and Casey Dreamer Alumni to Casey to share their stories about their paths to college and their college experiences. The University of Colorado provided CU t-shirts for all 6th grade students
By exposing youth to college at an early age, the program will promote the reality that college is attainable and affordable, but that it requires planning, even in middle school, to attend and complete it successfully. We hope to expand the culture of college to even more youth next year! Click here to check out our Facebook album that features all of our College Friday photos!
Here is a video of the "College Friday" assembly at Casey Middle School. Enjoy!