Westfield 8th graders get a taste of college at Westfield State

Westfield 8th graders get a taste of college at Westfield State

 WESTFIELD, Mass., March 2, 2016- Westfield State University will welcome eighth grade students from North and South Middle School for its seventh annual College 101 program.

Created in 2010, the College 101 program is designed to allow the average 14-year-old student the opportunity to see college from an age-appropriate point of view.

Westfield State faculty, staff and interns take groups of students around the campus for an academic tour, visit a residence hall room, and have lunch in the dining commons.  The students learn about clubs on campus and opportunities outside of the classroom as well. Students participate in a science lab, sit through a mini lecture from a Westfield State professor, and attend an International Programs presentation where they will about the different study-abroad opportunities the university has to offer.

The annual event is coordinated by the Westfield State University Advancement and University Relations program and is organized by Ken Magarian, director of Advancement and University Relations, and students Max Centrella ’16 of Andover, Mass. and Kate Daponte ’16 of East Longmeadow, Mass.

Centralla said he most enjoys engaging with the middle school students.

“I love when the kids get excited about the possibility of higher education and I enjoy when they are fully engaged in the program and ask questions,” Centrella said.

For Daponte, the highlight of College 101 is getting the students to think about their future.

“I feel like I am really making a difference for the participants,” Daponte said. “When I was in eighth grade, college wasn’t on my mind, so it’s important to introduce the idea of college to students at an early age.”

College 101 ties to the university’s Westfield Engages initiative which launched last year. Since then, Westfield State students, faculty, and staff, have made a conscious effort to partner with City of Westfield. By introducing students to campus life, Westfield State students are allowing the middle schoolers to start thinking about and planning their futures.

Visits from North Middle School students took place on Friday, February 26, Monday, February 29, and two additional visits are scheduled for Wednesday, March 2, and Friday, March 4. South Middle School students will visit the university Monday, April 11 and Friday, April 15.

Students will arrive on campus at 9:15 a.m. and leave at 1:30 p.m.  For more information on College 101, contact Ken Magarian at 513-572-5406.