Increasingly, young learners are thinking about college. A partnership between Spalding University’s College of Education and Maupin Elementary in Louisville, Kentucky, allows fifth graders the unique opportunity to experience college firsthand with an on-site college visit. On April 18, nearly 85 fifth-graders from Maupin, who will be college bound in 2020, met with university professors in their anticipated degree-area of interest for conversation and hands-on learning mimicking a true college day experience.
“Young children today tell me that they want to be surgeons, architects and math specialists. It’s amazing,” says Dr. H.A. Hasan, associate professor in education. “At a very early age we are seeing students looking on to their future, so that’s amazing.”
Before arriving on campus, the fifth graders researched subjects and career choices and were prepared to ask questions and to learn more information from professors, who teach subjects of their interest. This preparation and on-site interaction allows students to be “college and career focused” prior to continuing their education through middle and high school.
While on campus students talked with professors about the differences in scheduling from elementary school to college, including class time and how students can chose electives based upon their interests; participated in mock-medical treatment in the simulation lab; walked the campus; and had a pizza lunch with professors.
“Following their past three visits, the fifth graders told the Maupin faculty and staff that visiting Spalding University’s campus was the best field trip they had ever taken,” says Spalding Dean of Education Beverly Keepers. “Our outcome for this experience is to introduce and nurture a college-going culture prior to this year’s fifth graders being promoted to middle school in the fall. This would not have been such a memorable experience if it had not been for the Spalding faculty and staff who contributed their time and shared valuable information with these students.”
This year marked the fourth college day experience hosted at Spalding—a tradition educators at Spalding and Maupin would like to see continue for generations to come.