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Exploring College While in Middle School

Here we are towards the end of May and your Facebook timeline, and maybe even your personal schedule, are filled with high school graduation activities. Many of those graduates will soon begin their higher education journeys.

Some may have started those journeys while still in high school.

A program, called College Immersion, is seeking to create those journeys with even younger students. The program focuses on connecting middle school students with college campuses by having them attend specially designed college classes for one week.

The study began at the public Queens College in New York in 2007 and a second study took place at the private St. John’s in 2010. Both studies continue to this day.

While a voluntary program, middle school students who have been invited to participate are considered ‘at-risk’ due to behavior, familial background, or recent immigration status. The study notes “that research on the critical nature of early adolescence, the need to build a solid academic foundation early, and the signs of dropping out that can be seen in middle school, create unique opportunities for partnerships between middle schools and universities.”

While the first day or so on the college campus can be rough for the middle school students, finding show by the end of the week the students are excited about college and look to change their secondary education plans to include more preparation for higher learning.

The study posits that even small exposures to life in college at a young age, a week or even a day, can impact a younger student's perception of college and their ability to continue their education post-high school graduation.

If you have a graduating senior this year, when did you begin their exposure to college studies and college life? We urge you to leave your answers in the comments below or on our Facebook page.

You can read the entire study here.

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