Bringing The College Dream Closer To Reality For Area Students

LA PLUME TOWNSHIP -- For some teenage students, the idea of going to college can seem out of reach.

But one teacher in Susquehanna County is trying to change that mindset in her students, even if they are just in sixth grade.

Krista Tully teaches language arts at Forest City Regional School District and brought along her sixth graders to her alma mater, Keystone College after she was surprised by what so many students wrote about their own futures.

"I was kind of shocked to find how many students kind of had a little idea what college was," said Tully. "Some had no idea, some thought they couldn't attend because they would be the first one in their family or through it was too expensive."

The college hosted 60 sixth graders and showed off some of the things you can learn at the school including fingerprinting, how to use radar, and even bird branding.

"It gives me a lot of time to think about it," said sixth-grader Bryce Armstrong. "It's a nice idea to have before I choose what profession I might want to have."

While it will be a couple of years before these students actually apply to college, educators at Keystone College emphasize it's never too early to get the idea out there.

"We need to orient them to the kinds of occupations they can have access to with a college education," said Fran Langan, Dean at the School of Professional Studies at Keystone College.

Whether it's becoming a teacher or something else, the idea of college for these students is already making an impact.

"Once they have something they're interested in, they'll work ten times harder, especially if it's something they're going to be doing for the rest of their life," Tully added.

This is the first time Forest City Regional School District has taken sixth-graders on a field trip to Keystone College to talk about life after graduation. Tully hopes to bring back a new batch of students to Keystone College next year.

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