A “Welcome Mosaic 8th Graders” sign greeted students as they entered a quiet Acuity Technology Center building at UW-Sheboygan on April 29 for a morning campus tour.
First stop was a large, bright classroom. A get-acquainted activity had students talking and thinking about their interests and how those connect with majors in college. Then, in groups, students researched a team logo to determine which UW school it belonged to and facts about that school. They shared their findings about enrollment, majors, ACT and GPA requirements, and saw school locations on a map. Elisa Carr, High School Relations and Recruitment Coordinator, guided them through these activities and also gave a short presentation about the UW Colleges, which are the 13 2-year schools, and the 13 4-year UW universities. She stressed the importance of high school and what students can be doing now to prepare for success in college.
Next the group divided for a look at different departments and buildings on campus. Students spent time in an art gallery, visited the library and music rooms, and saw work happening in spacious art studios, academic classrooms and computer labs. A few IDEAS Academy grads were on hand along the way with waves and smiles of greeting.
After a stop in the Commons in front of the bookstore, students returned to the Brotz Science Building to reconvene in the Animal Biology Lab for a meeting with living creatures and tour of the aquaponics facility. The 8th graders had a chance to hear from the professor, hold live sea life, examine river insects through microscopes, observe skeletons and taxidermy and see how a college biology lab is set up. From their aquariums, schools of fish observed the students in this habitat.
Back at Mosaic, the students filled out Field Report Reflections to add to their Advisory Portfolios. The goal of this digital document is to provide notes about the experience that students can look back on when thinking about high school classes and future college choices. Students also shared out their responses about the trip and suggestions for upcoming college visits. The biggest suggestion was that they’d like to spend more time on a campus and dig into more details, like shadowing a student and sitting in on a class—fine Habits of Mind at work as they become more curious and questioning while wondering about college!
Campus visits are an important part of The Étude Schools’ College Readiness Program, seeking to help students be well-informed so they can make the best decisions about their futures.
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