Trip to UC Berkeley to help students picture their College Futures - Student Research Foundation

How a Trip to UC Berkeley Helps Students Picture Their College Futures

Ms. Place’s Ninth-Grade Students Visit UC Berkeley to Picture their College Futures

Only three years ago, students at Mt Diablo High School in Concord, CA had only a vague idea of what they wanted to achieve in their lives. When asked, many simply replied that they wanted to make their parents proud.

That was when their teacher, Ms. Place, decided that a yearly trip to visit the University of California, Berkeley, could play a big role in helping her students see college as a tool to build their futures. So she launched an annual trip there for her students. And now, the yearly field trip is something they value and look forward to.

Trip to UC Berkeley to help students picture their College Futures Partially Funded by the Student Research Foundation

“It is hard to believe this will be our third year of taking our 9th-grade students to UC Berkeley as a part of our college readiness program,” Ms. Place writes. “Students at my high school commute miles to get to school. Yet, they are in class every day eager to learn. They are curious and motivated learners but lack exposure to opportunities beyond high school. Most students will be first-generation college attendees. My students are Dreamers and scholastic achievers. They simply need the tools and exposure to understand the potential in their future stories. When asked what they want in their future, they want to make their parents proud and provide for their families. My students simply do not have the tools to achieve what most of us take for granted.”

To fund her third annual trip, Ms. Place decided to post it as a project on DonorsChoose.org. The cost of the trip this year, at $329.05, was modest. (A total of $246.00 went to pay transportation costs on the Bay Area Rapid Transit, or BART, San Francisco’s transit system.) But thanks to donations from The Student Research Foundation and other benefactors, the trip happened. And today, her students have an exciting vision of what college can do for them.

Trip to UC Berkeley to help students picture their College Futures partially funded by the Student Research Foundation

Quotes from Ms. Place’s Students who Visited Berkeley

  • “I would give the field trip a 10. I would give it a 10 because I had a lot of fun. It was a really good experience. I think BART was a really good way to get there. I think this because it’s a different means of travel and some of us hadn’t even been on it before. My favorite part of the field trip was all the new information I got about Berkeley, considering it as a choice for college.”
  • “On a scale of 1 to 10, I rate my visit to UC Berkeley a 10. UC Berkeley was one of the best experiences of my life and it was so much fun.”
  • “My favorite things about UCB were Telegraph Avenue, the diversity of students and the architecture.”
  • “On a scale of 1 to 10, I say 11 because UC Berkeley is so beautiful and it’s my first time being there.”

Thanks from Ms. Place

Learning about means of getting to college, college choice and what to expect at school continues to be part of the class curriculum. Students are researching safe, match and reach school choices. Upon completion of their research, students will teach (using a Slides presentation) their peers about a post-high school, educational opportunities (community, state, university, private, trade and military options) with the idea that students will be introduced to nearly 30 schools using jigsaw learning. Learning doesn’t stop once the field trip is over.

Thank you for your continued support of my students and this opportunity for them to visit Cal Berkeley. We will be back next year hoping for another round of support for this learning experience.

With gratitude,
Ms. Place

Exploring College Options Early

Thanks to this day trip a class of students is now thinking about college pathways. Will they all end up at UC Berkeley? Time will tell, but whatever happens, they all now have a better appreciation for post-high school options. We are proud to have played a small part in helping Ms. Place bring this project come to life.

We look forward to writing about the success of more DonorsChoose.org teacher projects here on the Student Research Foundation blog. Stay tuned!

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