Kick Off to College 2015

On October 14, 2015 the Perris Union High School District implemented our first ever Kick Off to College all day event.  This was first inspired by the Riverside County Office of Education and then organized internally by our guidance counselors from each school site across the district.  College and career readiness is a huge focus in every school across the nation, especially when 90 percent of the fastest-growing careers need some form of training beyond high school.

The major push for the Kick Off to College event was raising awareness and helping students prepare for the next step in their education and career.  This included: completing college applications, filling out financial aid paperwork, exploring potential careers with analysis from personality assessments, and participating in the PSAT assessment to measure progress toward college and career readiness.  No matter the activity, students were able to personalize the experience and make it matter for their individual futures.

A few students also shared their perspectives on the Kick Off to College events and activities.  A male and female student that were walking on campus spoke on how it had impacted them.  The girl had glowing reviews.  She enjoyed the activities and actually felt more excited about her future now that she had gone through this process.  The male student remarked, “The only negative thing I could say, is that I wish I had this event my other 3 years of high school.  It was good and I wish I did what the other 9, 10, and 11th graders got to do.”

A student from PUHSD posted a tweet thanking the organizers for supporting his college and career readiness preparations. In a follow up interview with the student he shared the his comments about the experience:
“Learning about the college application process was helpful because honestly, I wasn’t sure where to start.  I knew what colleges were good to apply for, but this also helped me see which ones match up best for me and why.  It helped me use my transcript and my interests to see what steps for next year would work well for me.  Before that day I was super scared.  Now I feel like I have some time, I can breathe.  This has made the college opportunity more like a reality for me.”

One of the ASB officers at a PUHSD school also shared some of her thoughts:
“I was learning how to fill out college apps and FAFSA setup.  My big takeaway was how important the application process was and making sure you do it correctly.  Without this event I’m not sure that I would have been able to do as much preparation for college otherwise.  I’m so glad I was at school today. It was brand new and I wasn’t sure what to expect good or bad.  It was definitely great!”

The event was a huge success with teachers and staff across the district offering support and adapting to the needs of the students. Throughout the day, students, staff, and faculty were sharing over social media comments and pictures from the event with the hashtag #KOTC15.  Our district flooded the stream with positive messages, gratitude, and excitement about looking forward to the next step.

Below is a collection of some of those tweets.