MSU pre-college programs: Collectively preparing youth for higher education

Pre-college programs at Michigan State University are collectively raising the bar to prepare youth for higher education and career success.

The intended outcome of pre-college programs is to build developmental assets and prepare students for college. This is the second article in a series by Michigan State University (MSU) Extension about pre-college program efforts in Michigan that features collective efforts at MSU.

MSU departments collectively offer more than 50 pre-college programs designed to educate middle school and high school students. For information about each of these programs, as well as other MSU opportunities for pre-college aged youth, visit Spartan Youth Programs. The pre-college programs offered by MSU feature a wealth of diversity in terms of content and target audiences, but regardless of the specific focus and objectives, all are:

  • Designed to educate pre-college age students
  • Offered and delivered by MSU faculty and staff or under the guidance of MSU representatives
  • Intense in their level of content and number of intentional contact hours
  • Purposeful in exposing students to potential careers and academic programs, particularly at MSU
  • Intentional in their efforts to increase participants’ overall interest in college and build skills necessary for success

With reform efforts sweeping K-12 education systems and increasing pressure for accountability on higher education from governments and the public, pre-college programs should measure and report their program outcomes and impacts. Many of the pre-college programs at MSU are doing just that. Collective outcome measures using common MSU pre-college program metrics were developed in 2011 by the committee at the urging of MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon. This committee is comprised of program directors who meet monthly during the academic year to share best practices and resources and focus on collective goals, assessment and professional development. Annual Executive Summaries chronicle the collective progress. Since 2010, Individual program reports using a common one-page format are prepared annually to show how programs advance knowledge and transform the lives of youth as they develop valuable skills – both academic and social, get a  taste of college life and get excited about going to college.

In addition to building academic and social skills through their program attendance, students who attend MSU pre-college programs are given added consideration towards their application for admission to MSU when they become college age. Parrticipants are also eligible for MSU college scholarships only available to students who invest their time in attending pre-college programs through MSU.

Promotion for the next round of MSU pre-college programs will begin in early 2015. Families should take advantage of these programs that help youth develop valuable skills and prepare them for higher education success.  

Other articles in this series by MSU Extension:

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