As we approach the 2016-17 school year, we end the summer of 2016 with the Seattle College Tour. GEAR UP staff and a parent volunteer, took 20 students to the Seattle/Bellevue area, to visit a variety of colleges and universities. They left August 9th, and started their tours on August 10th with their first stop at Highline Community College.

At Highline Community College, students were taught the benefits of attending a community college, rather than going straight into a university. Students were able to visit the technology program offered there. The group was able to interact with professors from each department, and were given information of each program. Some students were not aware that they don’t need SAT scores to enroll in a community college, which was a surprise to some.  The second stop was Seattle University. Here students learned the difference between a public/private schools, and got a glimpse of the school. Seattle U is a catholic private school that offers programs including Nursing, Engineering, and Law & Justice. Students were reminded if they get good grades in High school, and score high on their SAT, they could possibly receive a full ride scholarship to Seattle U!

On the second day, students had the chance to tour Seattle Pacific University and Lake Washington Institute of Technology. Students were given a tour of each school, and information of the programs they have to offer. They also got the opportunity to meet some of the professors in charge of the technology, nursing, and dental programs. The students even got to witness bread making at Lake Washington! Their facility has their own bread shop in the school! Students were fascinated by the schools environment and structure.

On their final day the group was able to tour Bellevue Community College, and University of Washington. Bellevue Community College is one of the few community colleges that has more programs available for students. They also have TRIOS and a multicultural program. Some of the students were really interested in the technology department they offer. At UW, students went on a tour of the nursing program. They were able to see classroom setting and how their classrooms are different from a regular class. Students received information of the different programs offered at UW as well.

Overall, Seattle College Tour was a great experience for GEAR UP staff to interact with the students. Some students stated this was their highlight of their summer. We also had about 4-6 students tell us they want to attend one of the colleges we visited! As we start our journey with senior and juniors this upcoming school year, we are one step close to our goal, high school graduation than college bound!