On Saturday, May 20, the College and Career Success Department (CCS), formerly Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness (PWR) held the second annual APS Goes to CU event. Partnering with the University of Colorado Denver, this fun filled day allowed 400 5th grade students from 29 elementary schools and their parents to explore the Auraria campus, learn about the college admissions process, and have their questions answered by a panel of CU Denver students. For many students and parents this was the first time they visited a college campus.
The purpose of this day is to expose APS 5th graders and their families to postsecondary options as they transition into middle school. APS Goes to CU also supports the outcomes of the 4th and 5th graders participating in elementary Individual Career and Academic Plans this year. CCS Director Charles Dukes summarizes the event by saying “We want our transitioning 5th graders to have a real understanding of the next steps in their future planning. Exposing students and their families to college motivates students to graduate on time and inspires them to attend college. When families understand that a variety college options are nearby and affordable, this makes college an attainable goal for APS students.”
Feedback from students and parents was positive. Most impressive was the fact that 100% of participating parents said this event will help them support their child’s future plans. Setting foot on a college campus and learning about admissions requirements and scholarship opportunities connects academic learning to larger goals. Parents see what is possible for their students and can support them. If parents understand how to navigate these processes they can confidently support their student’s current academics and later on assist their child with college attendance after graduation.
Students were asked to leave their thoughts about the day on a graffiti wall. The most popular comments were “I love CU”, “I want to come here”, “I can see myself coming to school here” and “this was a fun trip”. Seeing is believing, and it is our hope that many 5th graders will have a plan and the mindset for college after they graduate in 2024!
This event is on example of how the CCS Department helps APS students shape a successful future.