Pathways to College Day Plants Seeds by Educating Kids on the Importance of College

May 04, 2009


In April, more than 200 third through fifth grade elementary students from Fern Creek and Lovell elementary schools took a field trip to Rollins to learn what it’s like to be a college student.  During their visit, children attended classes taught by Rollins professors, met with students and former Rollins president Thaddeus Seymour, had lunch, and took a campus tour of academic buildings and residence halls.

Students participated in a variety of classes that offered "college" activities geared toward elementary children.

Micki Meyer, director for the Office of Community Engagement said, “Children from Fern Creek and Lovell had the opportunity to participate in a college class taught by Rollins faculty. From physics and biology to language and reading, it was incredible to watch children participate in hands-on activities that brought learning to life."

Meredith Hein, assistant director for the Office of Community Engagement, emphasized the importance of this biannual event. “Pathways to College Day was designed to teach young children the importance of planning early for college,” she said. “The event demonstrates that college is a great place and an attainable goal for all students."

More than 60 faculty, staff and student volunteers helped with the event, which was designed to teach young children the importance of planning early for college. The Office of Community Engagement, in partnership with Professor of Biology Eileen Gregory and Rollins students, has organized “Pathways to College Day” since spring 2006. 

"Some of the children commented that this was their fourth time coming to Rollins and that Pathways is one of their favorite parts of the school year,” said Meyer. “Our hope is that this day of education will inspire children to start thinking about college as a part of their future--even as early as elementary school. Pathways to College allows Rollins students and faculty the opportunity to share their time and intellectual talent with children in our community."

Many students continue to partner with Fern Creek Elementary as mentors, spending several hours working with an individual student each week. Rollins students also participate in reading, math, science and parent's nights, and service projects throughout the year. Rollins faculty across disciplines partner with Fern Creek in academic service-learning courses and projects.

Pathways to College Day proved to be another example of Rollins’ commitment to building the next great community of leaders of all ages.

-- Ellease Bender, Class of 2011, contributed to this article

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