In the news:
Gig 'em Eagles:
Pasadena High students
take tour of Texas A&M campus
High School students recently received a taste of Aggie tradition as
the top 10 percent of the junior class visited the Texas A&M campus
for a field trip.
Junior class counselor Connie Clark said she took the students on
the field trip because many haven't visited a college campus before
and she wanted the trip to serve as motivation for the students to
keep their grades up.
"I want these students to walk on a university campus so they know
what it feels like," Clark said. "It was such a wonderful
experience, and the top 10 percent of the class are guaranteed
admission if they remain in the top 10 percent."
After receiving the university's 2006 VIC (Very Important Counselor)
award, Clark said she wanted the students to experience the academic
excellence, tradition and courtesy that was demonstrated to her when
she visited the campus.
"This was a good experience for these kids because they could see
how extremely rewarding the college experience is," Clark said.
"Students will never really have a clear perception of college until
they tour a campus."
Among the college perks that could be seen just by walking around
the campus, Clark said her students noticed there aren't any bells
in college, kids were riding bikes, there isn't a dress code,
students were campaigning for political and civil rights causes and
students were studying intensely.
"This experience enhanced the desire for those who want to go to
college because they are ready to begin the quest for goals," Clark
said. "They could see there is so much more to college than what
they hear about it. Many students feel as though a junior college is
their only choice, but walking on a college campus helps inspire
them to look at other possibilities. Students also realize that even
if they do attend a two-year college, they have broader choices
beyond the Houston area after they complete their basic studies."
The students were able to tour the Kyle Field Sports Museum and eat
lunch at the Sbisa Dining Hall. After lunch, they walked the campus
and asked their tour guide questions. They learned traditional Aggie
chants and toured the Corps of Cadets hall and museum. The students
also attended an admissions session in which they learned about
submitting an application, degree plans, financial aid and housing.
While A&M is an excellent choice for a university, Clark said it may
not be the perfect one for each individual and that each student
must choose a college that will best help them achieve their goals.
"While in high school, students are greatly influenced by the
opinions of others," Clark said. "They may see a brochure and
immediately like a campus or listen to friends and choose a campus.
But the bottom line is that a student must feel comfortable with the
choice. I strongly suggest students tour as many campuses as
possible and select the one that fits with their needs and/or
Clark said it's important for students to start preparing for
college at the start of their high school career. She said the
biggest mistake most students make is taking it easy their senior
year in high school. Taking Advanced Placement courses all four
years, and including a math class every year are ways to help better
prepare for college, Clark said.
"Students must take the highest level classes, and they must take
math each year in high school," said Clark. "Many students are
beginning college in remedial math because they want to have an easy
senior year. One year without math is a huge deficit when beginning
college, and many students get discouraged and fail or drop out
because they weren't prepared for their first year of college."
Taking the PSAT and the SAT and ACT before the end of their junior
is also an important way for students to be prepared for their
senior year and for college. Clark said doing well on the exit TAKS
exams will also help students earn exemptions on the Texas THEA or
During their trip to A&M, the students also had the opportunity to
speak with a couple of recent Pasadena High graduates who are now
attending the university. Clark said she hopes this experience and
speaking with PHS graduates will help the students realize anything
"My goal for these students was for them to see that attending a
major university is very possible for them, especially since they
have excelled while in high school and have achieved the
requirements for admission," Clark said. "I believe any student can
go to college if he/she chooses to do so. Through this experience, I
hope my kids realized that higher education is the stepping stone
for achieving goals."