For Hartford Schools, October Is College And Career Awareness Month
By VANESSA DE LA TORRE
October 01, 2012
HARTFORD — — City students can expect to see their teachers, principals, guidance counselors and superintendent decked out in their old college gear every Friday in October, which the school system has designated "College and Career Awareness Month."
Superintendent Christina Kishimoto announced the month's events during a ceremony Monday at Trinity College, where she and several college leaders talked about the importance of preparing students for their lives after high school.
"The only time we can say we're successful is when you're successful," Kishimoto told about 45 city students in the audience, most of them freshmen and sophomores at the Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy.
"What you have to do is work hard every single day," said Trinity President James Jones, noting the college's $2.5 million Merin scholarship fund for exceptional Hartford graduates who are accepted into Trinity.
School administrators said the main event is set for Oct. 17, when Hartford seniors will take the SAT and all sophomores and juniors will be required to sit for the PSAT during class. In addition, juniors will take the SAT in the spring as part of a $100,000 contract with the College Board that the school board recently approved — after an initial rejection that drew controversy.
A contest for elementary students who research colleges, and free screenings Oct. 19 and 20 of "First Generation," a documentary that follows four students seeking to be the first in their families to attend college, are also part of the month's activities.
On Oct. 28, the school system will host a financial literacy workshop for parents that focuses on college scholarships.
Goodwin College President Mark Scheinberg asked the students Monday to raise their hands if their parents never went to college. Many did, and Scheinberg said he, too, was a first-generation college student who faced difficulties navigating the system.
"Getting ready for college is not something that you just begin to think about" as a high school senior, said Carl Lovitt, the provost of Central Connecticut State University. "It's a way of thinking that should be part of going to school."
Kishimoto said she wants the month to become an annual tradition in Hartford as the schools work to create a "college-going culture." She declined to comment on her recent rift with the school board, which released a critical performance review of her last week.
"I'm just focused on what we have to do with the students," Kishimoto said.
K'Anthony Santiago, 15, of Hartford, said he is undecided on what his career might be. But his post-graduation plans have generally been determined.
"I know that college is very important," said Santiago, a sophomore at Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy. "After high school, that's what I'm going to do."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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