May 11, 2011
Metropolitan State University of Denver
College-bound students face exciting summer now that key paperwork is done
|Last month, nearly 100 high school students registered for fall classes through the College's Excel Pre-Collegiate Progr|
Nearly 100 students, who have yet to receive their high school diplomas, have already registered to attend Metropolitan State College of Denver through the Excel Pre-Collegiate Program.
The Metro State program reaches out to five Front Range high schools with majority Latino populations: Adams City, the Mapleton Expeditionary School for the Arts (M.E.S.A.) in Thornton, Skyview Academy in Thornton, Thornton and Westminster. The program provides assistance with the college application/enrollment process, financial aid applications, scholarship search and application process; college essay support; and bilingual (English/Spanish) parent workshops, among other services.
“The Pre-Collegiate Program has helped students from these five schools become familiar with Metro State. It has also helped the parents of these students learn more about what higher education can offer their children,” says Deputy Provost and Co-chair of the Hispanic Serving Institution Task Force Luis Torres.
For two days in late April, Metro State Office of Admissions sponsored an event that brought 92 students from these five schools to campus where they received an orientation, listened to speakers from the First Year Success Program and the Metro State Summer Scholars Program, had discussions about academics and finally registered for classes.
Registering the students before summer break is a great breakthrough, according to Cynthia Nuñez, associate director of admissions and recruitment services, who coordinates the program with Senior Admissions Counselor Michelle Pacheco. “Many of the students will be the first in their families to attend college,” Nuñez says. “Some do not understand or have the knowledge to navigate the college process.”
Jessica Beltran, an 18-year-old Thornton High School senior, says, "I've always wanted to go to college, but I didn't know how to get started, to make it happen. Now I have clear understanding of where I should go if I need help.”
|Many of the students will be first-generation college students.|
Beltran, who is considering majoring in public relations and international business, adds, “I'm the oldest of three siblings in my family and I'll be the first to go to college including my parents. I'm really excited about going to Metro State. Every time I start talking about it my mom starts crying -- She is really proud.”
Nuñez says the road to Excel’s Pre-Collegiate Program registration day has been a team effort, witthe Assessment and Testing Center, New Student Orientation, and Academic Advising.
Students who did not meet the ACT/SAT minimum requirements, and who are thus required to take the Accuplacer placement exams for remedial work, were given the opportunity to complete the placement tests, normally done on campus, at their schools.
“My part of this was easy,” says Russell Reynolds, coordinator of the Assessment and Testing Center. “Cynthia’s team did all the heavy lifting and they did a great job. I have pulled and sorted a few reports and provided training and Accuplacer proctoring access for the outreach counselors.”
The program‘s outreach counselors, Tyler Breuer and Emma Lynch, who visit each school one day a week during the year, “accommodated the students’ schedules, starting as early as 7:30 a.m. and staying late at some schools (to administer the computer-based Accuplacer),” says Nuñez. She also credits program interns Jamie Burciaga and Keith Wyatt, Metro State students who, she says, are “a major piece of the access of this program.”
Nuñez says of the program’s new approach this year, “Some students know exactly where they want to go now, heading toward the end of the school year. It’s beneficial to make sure those interested get through the system and it’s important to reach them now because over the summer you can lose them.”