This January 11, the DOE will celebrate the City’s second annual College Awareness Day, a citywide public schools event meant to encourage families and school staff members to talk with children about college and other postsecondary activities and programs. Throughout the day, schools across City will be raising awareness about what college is and why it matters for City students and their families through activities, workshops, and class presentations from City schools alumni.
“As the first person in my family to attend college, I know the importance of early conversations and planning around college and careers, and that’s exactly what College Awareness Day is doing,” said Chancellor Carmen Fariña regarding this year’s event.
In addition to raising awareness about college, this event aims to help students of all ages understand that attending college is attainable, affordable, and can help them achieve successful and fulfilling careers and lives. Research shows that college degree recipients are healthier, earn higher salaries, have better financial security, and serve their communities more often than their less educated peers.
This year’s College Awareness Day will highlight the DOE’s College Access for All – Middle School Initiative, which aims to ensure that every City middle school student will have the opportunity to visit a college campus at least once while attending grades 6-8. Launched earlier this school year at over 160 schools across 11 school districts (5, 6, 8, 11, 14, 18, 19, 27, 29, 31 and 75), College Access for All – Middle School Initiative will eventually service 20,000 grade 7 students by the end of this school year. Participating schools are providing students with holistic early college awareness programs that include college trips, student workshops, and parent events. By the 2018-2019 school year, this initiative will be in every public middle school in the City, as ultimately, our goal is for every student to feel that college is in their future – for us at the DOE, it is not a matter of “if” they go to college, but, instead, WHEN they go to college.
You can join in this celebration, too, by talking to children about college. Do not be afraid to start the college conversation early with a young child, as it is never too soon to establish the expectation of college attendance, especially for those children who would be the first in their families to attend a postsecondary institution. Also, whether you are a DOE staff member, a City schools alum, an older student, or just a concerned citizen, consider celebrating College Awareness Day with us by wearing apparel from your former/favorite colleges throughout the day on January 11; your college-related item could help spark an inspirational conversation with a young student that can change his/her life forever.