2/26/14 Middle school students explore college careers

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Hawfields and Woodlawn Middle Schools visited Alamance Community College last week to see a college campus and learn about getting ready for college. Pictured left to right are Woodlawn Middle School students and counselors that toured Alamance Community College on Friday, Feb. 21. Caitlyn Graham, Mike Kane-counselor, Zabdiel Dinarte, Crystal Taylor-counselor, Jaylen Aguilar, Madison Bowden, and Ashleigh Taylor.

Karen Carter/ Mebane Enterprise

Hawfields and Woodlawn Middle Schools visited Alamance Community College last week to see a college campus and learn about getting ready for college. Pictured left to right are Woodlawn Middle School students and counselors that toured Alamance Community College on Friday, Feb. 21. Caitlyn Graham, Mike Kane-counselor, Zabdiel Dinarte, Crystal Taylor-counselor, Jaylen Aguilar, Madison Bowden, and Ashleigh Taylor.

Middle school students explore college careers
By KAREN CARTER, Enterprise Editor The Mebane Enterprise 2/26/14  
Reprinted with permission.

Woodlawn Middle School student Jaylen Aguilar said she really enjoyed touring the campus of Alamance Community College to find out about what the future holds for her and to see the Horticulture Department.

“I loved the greenhouse, and the plants, the flowers were so pretty,” said Aguilar.

About 65 students from Hawfields and Woodlawn Middle Schools visited the community college last Friday morning, a group of kids selected to explore college readiness.

Woodlawn Middle School counselor Crystal Taylor said, when middle school students visit a college campus, their eyes are opened to the possibilities, the future that lies ahead of them. Many may not have ever visited a college campus before middle school, a critical time in shaping a young person’s future.

For example, years ago students took Algebra I in high school. Now they take Algebra I in middle school and must pass the basics, learn the fundamentals, if they want to go on to reach their goals, said Taylor.

“I enjoyed the culinary classroom,” said Woodlawn Middle School student Ashleigh Taylor.

“The pretty cake—you couldn’t eat it. It was there for design. But when we toured the kitchen, they were pressing pastries.

The ACC students were dressed like cooks with chef outfits on. It got me to kind of thinking about my future.”

“What surprised me was that Alamance Community College was founded in 1958, I learned,” said Aguilar. “The building looks new; it didn’t seem that old.”

“What surprised me was the garden, the landscaping,” said Taylor.

“The garden used to be a hill before the students in the Horticulture Department made it pretty with the landscaping.

The living wall and the fountain they will build, and the kids there did it.”

“I liked the animated cat,” said Caitlyn Graham.

She said she could see why and how Alamance Community College won a first-place, blue ribbon in the N.C. State Fair for that exhibit.

Taylor said the students were also surprised to learn that the biggest degree, the degree most sought after at Alamance Community College is a degree for a college transfer. “They thought business was the degree most sought after but learned that more students today are starting off enrolling in a two-year community college because it is not as expensive and then transferring to a four-year institution after graduation.

“It’s a great joy to bring these students out to Alamance Community College,” said Woodlawn Middle School counselor Mike Kane. “When you take students to places they haven’t been to before, it opens their eyes.”

Taylor agreed and said that the community college starts a student off with a good future for a career.

She said kids are thinking about what they will be doing six to seven years down the road after high school.