Should all middle school students be on a college path? Absolutely! Middle school students are far too young to make a decision or choose a path eliminating college from their future. Studies show that the earlier a student sets a goal for college, the more likely it is that he or she will achieve that goal. How can you motivate a middle school student to get on, and stay on, a college path?
Connection: Too many young students are turned off to the notion of voluntarily submitting to four more years of school following graduation from high school. Teach students about the unlimited, lifelong benefits of college. Demonstrate for students the connection between a college education and the ability to achieve and acquire the things they desire in their lifetime. It’s also fair to appeal to their lighter side by teaching them that college can one of the most enjoyable and memorable experiences of their lives. Who knew school could be fun?
Familiarization: The college path can be intimidating! Take some time to introduce middle school students to basic college path terminology and concepts. Incorporate college-related terms into their vocabulary. When confronted with a barrage of college path information in high school, students will be familiar with, not overwhelmed by it.
Visualization. Visualization is one of the best ways to create motivation. Seeing yourself achieve a goal makes it more likely you will achieve it. Plan lessons and activities that help students see themselves as future college undergraduates. Tour campuses, watch a college game, adopt a college mascot, select a college to learn about, and have students wear the college’s colors. Encourage students to take that first step on the college path by visualizing themselves as college students.
The middle grades play a critical role in the national goal of graduating all students from high school prepared for college, career, and civic life. There are colleges, and excellent post-secondary opportunities for students of every academic level and interest. Get your students on the college path today!