In the ongoing effort to help Imperial County students achieve their goal of attending university after high school, the Imperial County Office of Education and College Going Initiative will hold its annual Higher Education Week I Sept. 19 through Sept. 22.
Higher Education Week I focuses attention on high school seniors, providing them access to some 25 college and university recruiters along with critical information on such issues as financial aid. Recruiters and higher education programs partners from throughout Imperial County will attend each of the high schools during the week to meet with seniors as part of college fairs.
A key component of the Higher Education Week I is the parent night at the Imperial Valley Mall, scheduled for 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Sept. 21 at the food court. ICOE encourages parents and families to attend the mall event. Recruiters and counselors will be available at the mall to address questions.
“Parents have different needs and questions than students,” said Denise Cabanillas, ICOE’s coordinator for higher education. “It’s important for them to come out and ask their questions.”
She added along with parents and seniors, all members of families—including younger students—would benefit from the exposure to information on what is involved in pursuing a higher education. The earlier students are thinking about a higher education, the earlier they and their parents can understand the requirements to achieve that goal and work toward it.
For students, that means taking the A-G coursework necessary to qualify for university enrollment.
“We are working diligently to ensure that all students are college and career ready upon high school graduation,” said ICOE Superintendent Anne Mallory. “It is important that all students receive access to the most rigorous and relevant courses available in order to obtain the viable skills necessary to have options. We are working with students and their families to raise awareness about the necessary courses that students must take while in high school that will allow them to be well-prepared for college or a vocation.”
ICOE and the College Going Initiative are continuing to focus efforts toward outreach to ensure students and their families understand the coursework that is necessary and the support that is available to help students pursue a higher education.
While there have been improvements in the number of Imperial Valley students seeking a higher education, ICOE officials say more work needs to be done. One sobering statistic shows that 11 percent of Imperial County residents have a baccalaureate degree compared to a 30 percent national average.
Events like Higher Education Week I and Higher Education Week II, held later in the year for high school juniors, along with other events throughout the year that target students of all ages, are geared toward building more awareness both among students and parents.
The College Going Initiative also has developed a website that provides critical answers to address higher education questions students and families may have. Visit the website at www.collegeisnext.com.
For questions about the parent event or about Higher Education Week, contact the ICOE at 760.312.6440