The College Board (the nonprofit behind the SAT and Advanced Placement exams) says that when students have parent, school, and community support, college is seen as the norm. It is the expectation rather than the exception.
In Metro Schools we want every student to see in him or herself the potential for higher education. We're working hard to create that expectation through a college-going culture at school. We know many of our families do the same at home, so we've come up with a few ideas on how we can all encourage that same drive in our children, no matter the age.
Tips for a Creating a College-going Culture at Any Age
- Are you a college graduate? Talk about your alma mater and what you studied and why you chose that school. Talk about the independence of college life and share some of your college experiences.
- Decorate your home with college touches. Hang college posters in your child's bedroom. Find photographs of college campus and display them on the wall or on the fridge. Check out books about colleges and campuses from the library and keep them on the coffee table.
- Is your child interested in sports? Following college sports is a great way to talk about different colleges around the country and what it means to be a college student. March Madness and football bowl games are a great way to get involved. Research the schools involved and talk with your child about what sets them apart. Where are they located? What are their specialties? Why do their students (and fans) take so much pride in their school? It's not just because they have a good ball team. Alumni support their school's teams because of the school pride that comes from graduating.
- Visit schools here in Nashville. Head over to Vanderbilt, TSU, Belmont, Fisk, Lipscomb, Trevecca, Nashville State, MTSU or any of the many schools in Middle Tennessee and take a stroll through campus. It doesn't even have to be a formal campus tour, just a walk through a lovely campus.
- Keep the college conversation going and keep it positive. In all conversations, speak about college as the expectation, not just an option.