This week, the freshman class went to DePaul University for their first college trip. On the trip, students learned about the many opportunities college has to offer, including the variety of majors available. Many students expressed interest in the traditional majors, such as communications and political science, and were surprised to hear about some unexpected majors in which students can learn how to code their own computer programmes and play videogames for homework! Students also learned about some of the primary differences between high school and college, including having increased independence and responsibility.
In addition, students learned that the level of support given by teachers in high school is very different from what they might experience in college. In college, students may not always be reminded of deadlines or have time devoted in class to writing down assignments, but instead they will be responsible for their own organization–which is why practicing the Approaches to Learning (ATL) skills set by all grade levels is so critical to their success. In response to this information, a Clemente student commented, “Today I learned that time management is very important, especially in college.”
Following the information session, students asked questions of a panel of current DePaul students, one of which shared that she was also an International Baccalaureate (IB) student while in high school. In speaking about her experience with the IB programme, she expressed that the IB programme prepared her well for the rigor of college, and that while the work in the IB programme may feel overwhelming at times, she now looks back and appreciates it. The insights of the current students were informative and relevant to our students.
To wrap up the day, students split up into teams for a scavenger hunt around the campus. Students visited locations such as the recreation center, student dormitories, and outdoor common spaces. After returning to the school, students were given an opportunity to share their thoughts from the experience. To sum it up, one Clemente student said, “Today showed me that college is much more fun than I thought!”