College students who participated in MWCC’s access and transition programs returned to their former high schools in January to share their insight into transitioning to college life. Panel discussions took place in several locations, including Fitchburg, Murdock, Gardner and Athol high schools.
MWCC’s Division of Access and Transition sponsored the events in conjunction with the schools’ guidance departments. Many of the alumni were past participants of grant-funded college access & transition programs offered by MWCC, including Educational Talent Search, GEAR UP and Upward Bound Math and Science. The college students are now attending private and public colleges and universities of all sizes.
“High school students hear from teachers and advisors all the time about the increased expectations, challenges and opportunities of college. Sometimes it blends together and loses its impact. Hearing that same message from current college students who they recognize as peers drives that message home. That is the aim of the alumni events,” said GEAR UP Director Andrew Goodwin.
Topics ranged from the college selection process to financial aid, study habits, dorm life, applying for scholarships and student activities. The size and location of schools factored heavily into many of the students’ decisions, whether their preference was for a large college or small campus, close to home or further away.