Collier County seventh-graders get early look at college


FORT MYERS, Fla. — Collier County seventh-graders are getting a sneak preview of college life.

The school district is arranging for thousands of students to tour the Florida Gulf Coast University campus, sit in on classes, visit the library and get an up-close look at what it’s like to attend college. The experience makes it easier for some of the children to see the value of a higher education.

“You get a better chance at getting a better job, instead of being at stores and just saying, ‘Your total is this much,'” seventh-grader Azucena Cruz said.

Thursday marked the first time Cruz had ever visited a college, and she plans to become the first member of her family to attend one.

“We have many many, many of our kids that come from homes where you hear the word college, university but it’s very abstract,” said Dr. Kamela Patton, Collier County school superintendent. “This makes it real for them.”

The partnership between FGCU and the Collier schools is in its second year. Every Collier seventh-grader has the chance to participate.


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