Riding a bus with 44 teenagers is an honor. We loaded at 4:30 a.m. and, with the goal of visiting 11 colleges in five days, haven’t stopped moving. We’ve been to Ohio, South Carolina, Georgia—too many places to name!

This is not for the faint of heart. If I post a blog next week that means I am alive. If not I need you to send  plenty of water and a massage therapist.

The admissions sessions at the colleges we’re stopping at are very informative, yet these youth know what they want to know.The Detroit Area Pre-College Engineering Program Students better known as DAPCEP are used to exposure to colleges. DAPCEP hosts in state tours throughout the entire summer. This however is the first year that students would visit 11 STEM colleges in one week.

Students are asking the questions that matter most to rising 11th and 12th graders. Questions that will help them make best choices when selecting a college.

How much does the average student here pay for tuition, both in state and out of state?

What is the average ACT/SAT score of students enrolled here?

How many students do you accept a year to your engineering program?

How did you manage your time as a student on campus?

And the win: What scholarships will you offer students to make sure I don’t have to take out loans?

Students are attentive. And every tour was an opportunity to see the major landmarks of the college.

Parents, if you are planning a family trip this summer call one or two universities in the area and take a tour. Exposing youth to college life as early as possible will help them make better choices and know how to prepare.
And the colleges will be welcoming indeed. Most want the mix of motivated young people from all walks of life that make a campus a diverse and dynamic community.

In fact, the college reps we met with offered their personal contact info for students to connect with them. As an added attraction our group met Christian Wilkins, #42 of the Clemson Tigers.

Well, we are on day three and school number 7. I need to get back to chaperoning. The students are currently doing experiments at Georgia Tech in Atlanta and the facilitator just asked the students to make sure they don’t tip over bottle 3&4 in this next test.

Remember to visit some schools on summer vacation and take your good walking shoes.


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