EAGLE COUNTY, Colorado " Middle and high school students took a break from the beautiful outdoors on a recent Saturday to learn about going to college.
The Pre-Collegiate Development Program, run by the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, is a series of Saturday workshops and summer programs open to middle and high school students free of charge.
Josephine Benavidez, of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, and her colleagues taught the students about potential careers, scholarship opportunities and how to get help making the big after-high-school decisions.
"The best students are the ones who come prepared," Benavidez says. "Be a leader and get involved in extra-curricular activities in high school to prepare you for all the experiences to have in college."
Nicole Daigle, eighth grader at Eagle Valley Middle School, started the program last year.
"The information on scholarships, the SAT test and how to best prepare for college were a great help last year," Daigle says. "This year we focused on the many career paths available."
The Pre-Collegiate Development Program started more than 20 years ago at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs with 75 students and since served more than 700 students, including 85 from Eagle County.
Students in the program visited the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs in June to take part in a science, technology, engineering, and math program this past June. Daigle and twenty-two other students were able to stay in the dorms for a night and attend college-style workshops for two days.
The High School Summer Academic Program is offered to juniors for five weeks. Students have a chance to take courses for college credit, get started on the college application process, receive scholarship assistance and experience college life before they graduate.
A requirement for students who are interested in this program is that they come from families in which neither parent graduated from college. The students must maintain a grade point average of 3.0.