Sophomores get college preview

Sophomores that visited Emory on the 2012 college trip.

Beth McMahon

Sophomores that visited Emory on the 2012 college trip.

Beginning last year, sophomores have embarked on a view-altering trip, one that gives them a glimpse into adulthood. It’s a trip that serves as a stepping stone to one of the biggest decisions that a person will make: what college to attend. The 10th Grade College Trip is a field trip that takes Decatur’s sophomores to several schools in the area, as a means to introduce students to college. The schools attended are Clayton State, Emory, Georgia Gwinnett, Georgia Tech, Georgia State, and Kennesaw State. The trip consists of an admissions info session, tours of the campuses, provided food, classroom demonstrations, sessions with students, and other activities. Counselor Ken Jackson supplied us with more details about the trip.

Sophomores Swani Vinton and Sally Vaughan relax in between college activities.

According to Jackson, “The goal is to increase students’ awareness of what is involved in college and college life, to increase interest in college, and to increase knowledge of ‘likely’ schools based on the student’s current GPAs and course selections”. The schools that the students visit are also chosen based on their courses, GPA, and the likelihood of getting accepted into that school.

Jackson also added that “The trip is less about students visiting a college that they may actually want to attend, and more about seeing what a four year college looks like. We base selection of where a student goes on (one) rigor of the student’s current courses and GPA and (two) random selection. We are not saying a student may want to go to the college they visit, or even should; it is to give students a chance to see beyond high school”. So, the trip not only dives deep into the college selection process by introducing the big concepts, but it also helps to showcase neighboring schools to the students who may want to stay local for their college years.

Based on feedback from parents and this year’s juniors, the trip was beneficial and encouraging. According to Jackson, many juniors have used the field trip as a reference when discussing their future college plans.

“The trip was good, it showed us why college is good, and the benefits” said Ky-Nam Nguyen. “It made me interact with the college people.”

“I can’t wait for college.” said Janiyah Pankey.”The trip intimidated me, but it was a wake up call to being responsible.”

Girls take a break after a scavenger hunt hosted that was hosted at the colleges.