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May 21, 2013

North Union Mini Grant Update

by Elaine Cook

College Photo April 2013 Visit

North Union MIni Grant – College Visit April 2013

North Union was awarded a mini-grant from Prairie Lakes AEA Transition Department, in cooperation with the SPDG grant, to broaden high school special education students and teachers perception of future career options and opportunities.  North Union High School applied and was granted two grants.  This is the story of how six students facilitated their own learning and decided to try and get a feel for a college campus using one of those grants.  Our visit and campus tour was to Iowa Lakes Community College S.A.V.E. Program on April 15th.  The students determined early on that they needed to get a firsthand look at the different buildings and departments. The tour was set up with ambassador students so real life questions could be asked and they could discover a taste of what life on the campus is actually like while school was in session.

Students were able to sit in on and visit classes in the discipline area they were considering as a field of study.  They were able to see how professors and students interacted with each other and how many students were in each classroom visited.  The most important question answered was how comfortable they felt in this new learning environment.

Students were able to see a few different dorm styles and able to eat meals in the cafeteria.  It was established early on that food was an important factor when considering a college.  This was going to be a place that you would be calling home for awhile and you needed to make sure you could stomach the meals.

The students felt like they saw the major highlights of the physical facility.  They were able to ask real live students what they thought of their school and enjoyed some good food.  The student’s final step in the campus-visit process was to discuss with their family what they saw, learned, and their overall impression of the college campus for future consideration.  A wealth of knowledge and foresight was obtained from the ILCC visit.  The students and teachers of North Union High School who attended thank the Prairie Lakes AEA for the mini-grant and the opportunity provided them.

For additional information, please contact Pam Hansen, from North Union High School.

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