On Thursday, January 27, all freshman students at Roberto Clemente Community Academy embarked on their second college field trip of the school year. For the first quarter, all students attended an informational session and college tour at DePaul University. For second quarter, post-secondary exposure was designed a bit differently as it was created to meet the specific needs of the International Baccalaureate curriculum. Kandice Randall-Jones, the post-secondary coach for the freshman and sophomore teams, adopted a much more data-driven, intentional approach.
Randall-Jones designed this quarter’s college trip with four campuses in mind: Loyola University, University of Chicago, Concordia University, and Benedictine University. She then matched students to one of the four field trip campuses based on their grade point average, PSAT scores, attendance percentage, individual interests, and programs of study available at each university. The four universities began by providing admissions information and requirements that must be met to attend the institution. Current college students then led tours of the campus and answered the many questions of Clemente’s IB inquiring students.
The field trips proved to be extremely informative for the students. Some campuses, such as Concordia University, even provided an inside glimpse of a college dorm room. Students were thrilled to discover that they will have the ability to choose their own classes and either live on campus or off campus. While many students who attended the Loyola University field trip stated that they were highly interested in applying to that specific university, other students expressed similar interests at the remaining three college campuses.
Randall-Jones, along with the post-secondary team, look forward to designing more trips this summer in order to give students as many options as possible when it comes time to apply to college.