The room was packed with 100 eighth grade students intently moving Hershey’s chocolate kisses around bingo board squares filled with facts about CCV. “What percent of current Vermont ninth grade students will go on to college?” CCV President Joyce Judy calls out. “How much does a 3-credit college credit course cost at CCV?”
The Bingo game was the opening warm up activity at CCV-Upper Valley’s Woodstock Middle School Access Day on March 23, 2012, a two-hour session designed to reach Vermont students before some of them decide not to attend college. (Only 44% of Vermont’s current ninth grade class will go on to post-secondary study within one year of high school graduation.)
Studies show that eighth grade is a good time for this outreach—middle school is when many students decide whether to go to college. This day of information sessions, mock college classes, and hearing from CCV students who once attended their middle or high school is aimed at helping students realize that what they do now will impact their options. And since two-thirds of Vermont’s fastest growing occupations require some post-secondary education, these activities make sure that every student has a chance to experience what it’s like to take college courses.
“Our goal is to have most students in this region visit CCV before high school,” says CCV-Upper Valley Coordinator of Academic Services Kate Hughes. “Then, hopefully, some will come back as high schoolers to learn more in the Introduction to College Studies course.”