Decade of Difference getting kids to college

The Decade of Difference: 2020 Initiative, in partnership with Humboldt State University (HSU) and the Humboldt County Office of Education is pleased to announce they will join forces for the second year to offer an impactful college-preparedness program, called "I’ve Already Been Admitted to College." This full-day event is being offered to 8th grade students attending Decade of Difference schools across Humboldt County.

During the November event, students will be bussed to HSU where they will spend a day experiencing a comprehensive campus tour, participating in interactive workshops to learn about the various programs offered at HSU, meeting key support staff members, and learning about college eligibility requirements and financial aid services. Students will also have the opportunity to experience lunch in the Jolly Giant, and the day will culminate with a visit by HSU president, Rollin Richmond. He will offer words of inspiration and present each participant with a "College Compact."

Eighth grade students are not always aware of the options available to them following high school graduation, nor do they always recognize the importance of optimizing their current educational opportunities to set them up for future post-secondary success. Further, many students are unaware of the wealth of post-secondary opportunities that exist here in Humboldt County and often have the perception that they need to travel outside of Humboldt for high-quality post-secondary education. Now, through this meaningful collaborative partnership, 8th grade students will have a head start in securing their path to higher education in Humboldt County.

The College Compact the students will receive assures each participant automatic admission to HSU, contingent upon completion of the CSU eligibility requirements. Competition for acceptance to California State Universities has been very stiff over the past few years, but the College Compact eliminates this competition for eligible local youth interested in attending HSU upon graduation.

"It is more important than ever to provide our youth with information regarding the importance of participating in some form of post-secondary education upon high school graduation. The viable workforce options for high school graduates without advanced training that previously existed in Humboldt County just don’t exist as they did 20 years ago. "We are invested in finding meaningful ways to expose our students to the variety of post-secondary options that are available, so they are able to be more intentional about their future decisions while recognizing the quality of post-secondary options we have here locally," stated Heidi Moore, Decade of Difference coordinator with Humboldt County Office of Education.

This is just one of the many strategies the Decade of Difference is employing to provide relevant opportunities for middle school students in an effort to promote a college-going attitude and define such options as including advanced vocational and technical training, community college, and public and private four-year colleges/universities. The schools that will participate in this event include: Ferndale Elementary, Fortuna Middle, Kneeland, McKinleyville Middle, Pacific Union, Peninsula, Scotia, South Bay, Sunny Brae Middle, South Fork High, Trinidad Elementary, and Zane Middle School.

A similar event will take place for 7th grade students in collaboration with College of the Redwoods (CR) on March 30, 2013. These two programs will allow each middle school student to be exposed to both CR and HSU prior to entering high school.

To learn more about this important community initiative as well as to learn about ways you can help, please visit the website: www.decadeofdifference.org.

You may also contact Heidi Moore, program coordinator, at (707) 441-4502 or by e-mail at hmoore@humboldt.k12.ca.us.

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