"College Quest" Program
The mayor's office and Johns Hopkins University's Center for the Social Organization of Schools (CSOS) are teaming up to present "College Quest," a program to promote awareness of career and collegiate opportunities among students at eight schools in Baltimore's youth empowerment zone.
Starting this fall, students at Diggs-Johnson, Harlem Park, Lombard and Thurgood Marshall middle schools and Frederick Douglass, Patterson, Southern and Southwestern high schools are being offered college preparation instruction from CSOS staffers. The awareness program aims to make the overwhelming task of applying to college less daunting, providing direction to students who might not know where to begin. It will cover topics such as college entrance exams, how to apply for financial aid and choosing the right school for their interests.
To get a feel for campus life, students will also take field trips to and participate in overnight stays at several local university campuses, including Johns Hopkins' Homewood campus. Thirty students culled from all four participating high schools will attend the first sleep-over at Johns Hopkins on Friday, Nov. 15.
Services provided by CSOS will include:
In-school learning activities on major topics of awareness and preparation for post-secondary educational opportunities.
Visits to college campuses around the Maryland region. Students from Southern High School will visit Frostburg State University in November.
The creation of Career and College Resource Centers in the middle schools and college-planning resources for counselors in the high schools.
Forums with Johns Hopkins students on and off campus to discuss real-life college life issues.
Assistance in the development of PSAT/SAT prep sessions. Students at Patterson and Southern high schools will be attending prep sessions in November.
Assistance for select students in enrolling in pre-college programs throughout the region.
The encouragement of parental involvement by offering college planning workshops and counseling sessions with an emphasis on how to pay for college.
Assistance in the development of School-to-College Advisory Boards with other post-secondary education institutions to provide technical support and outreach to area schools.
The CSOS college awareness program will receive its funding through a portion of a United States Department of Labor Rewarding Youth Achievement grant awarded to the city's Office of Employment and Development. The CSOS contract with the city runs through June 30, 2002.
The Center for Social Organization of Schools was established in 1966 as an educational research and development center at The Johns Hopkins University. CSOS maintains a staff of full-time sociologists, psychologists, social psychologists, and educators who conduct research to improve the education system, as well as full-time support staff engaged in developing curricula and providing technical assistance to help schools use the center's research. Its purpose is to study how changes in the social organization of schools can make them more effective for all students in promoting academic achievement, development of potential, and eventual career success.
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