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College Month

College Month
Posted on 10/01/2018
Photo of Duggan Class of 2018 graduateIf it’s October, that means Springfield Public Schools are abuzz about college and career! Continuing an annual tradition, Superintendent of Schools Daniel Warwick and the School Committee join Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno in proclaiming October as “College and Career Awareness Month” in the City of Springfield.   

“College and Career Awareness Month” builds on pre-existing events that take place in October, such as the administration of the PSAT and local college fairs, to spread the message of college awareness to students throughout the district. October is the “kick off” month for activities that students and parents will be engaged in throughout the school year, said Warwick, adding that district offers college access programs and services throughout the year in partnership with area colleges, universities and community organizations. 
“Getting our students ready for and thinking about college is woven into what we do every day, but College and Career Awareness Month is special because the conversations intensify, the activities are increased and the energy around college and career awareness is shared and celebrated by everyone,” said Warwick.  

Sarno pointed out the relevance of College Career Awareness Month for the City of Springfield:  “It is critically important for our young people to know about, talk about and most importantly, have aspirations about attending college – even if they will be the first person in their family to do so; maybe even especially if they are the first person in their family to go to college because we know that a college degree helps breaks the chains of poverty,” said Sarno, adding that college graduates are more likely to get jobs with health insurance and it is easier for them to find and hold jobs.  
Some of the highlights of “College and Career Awareness Month” include:

• Go Higher College Fair on October 2nd and 3rd at the Basketball Hall of Fame

• Free PSAT (10th & 11th Grade) testing on Wednesday, October 10th

• FAFSA Frenzy Activities to provide financial aid and scholarship assistance and workshops offered at our high schools throughout October and the school year

• Several college tours and career fairs provide students and their families with opportunities to learn more about particular colleges and other important considerations for higher education. 

• Springfield schools at all levels – kindergarten through high school – will have opportunities to coordinate school and classroom college and career awareness activities to help students and families focus on and prepare for higher education.  

• The district has declared every Friday in October as “College Friday,”, when all teachers, principals, central office staff and other employees are encouraged to wear apparel representing the college from which they graduated or any other college. College Fridays are designed to foster conversations among students and adults about the college experience and to reinforce the message that a college degree is an important component of career success. 
Warwick said that more Springfield students are enrolling in college than ever before.  Last June, 79 percent of our graduating seniors stated that their plan was to attend a two- or four-year college or university and SPS college-bound graduates reported receiving over 13 million dollars in scholarships.  

Warwick pointed to several district initiatives aimed at increasing the number of seniors who apply and become accepted to college such as expanding Advanced Placement (AP) courses and International Baccalaureate programs – to give students a rigorous, college-like academic experience in high school so that they are better prepared for the transition to higher education. In addition, the district is providing students with academic enrichment opportunities to enter college without taking remedial courses.  

And, be sure to follow College Awareness Month excitement on SPS’s twitter #spscollegemonth.

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