College tours can have a dramatic effect on current HISD students as they prepare for life after high school. They can encourage students to set goals, take more rigorous classes, improve grades, and participate in extracurricular activities that may increase their chances of being admitted to the college or university of their choice.
HISD College Success Manager Rick Rodriguez led a group of 16 parents and students on a walking tour of Texas A&M in College Station recently. The day began bright and early at 9 a.m. with student leaders who told visitors about such Aggie traditions as the infamous “Howdy!” greeting. The students also learned about the university’s rich history dating back to 1876, when Texas A&M became the state’s first public institution of higher learning.
The group included a parent and her sixth-grader, who is currently attending Baylor College of Medicine at Ryan Middle School; the plan is to expose him to college life as early as possible. A rising senior at Energy Institute student has been dreaming of attending A&M since second grade and now knows how to apply, thanks to Director of Recruitment Lynn Barnes. He told students what to do NOW to increase their chances of being admitted to this highly competitive university. A representative from the Office of Financial Aid shared information on various opportunities for federal, state, and institutional aid available to students.
A highlight of the tour was a visit to the recently renovated Kyle Field, including the public areas, suites, and even a chance to walk on the field itself. The students also visited the Memorial Student Center and campus dorms.
After lunch, there was a student panel during which parents and students were able to ask specific questions in regard to transitioning into life as an Aggie, campus culture, and possible leadership/career opportunities. Several A&M students shared what it meant to be a first-generation college student.