JCJC’s “College for a Day” inspires young learners

Written By: Teresa Martin
Email Address: teresa.martin@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2011-12-13 15:59:56

ELLISVILLE – Getting a college education may seem like a hassle because of finances and the work involved in getting a degree. However, Jones County Junior College’s honor society, Phi Theta Kappa has set out to prove differently by introducing first graders to college.
“‘College for a Day’ is part of the Honors in Action project for PTK as a way to introduce first graders to the college,” said project coordinator and PTK advisor, Austin Smith. “We believe if young students are exposed to college they will begin thinking about going to college and make it a part of their long-range goals.”
From the facial expressions and gleeful responses, these young ‘college’ students seem to get the intended message. The 154 first graders from South Jones Elementary school visited five college classes with the instructors and JCJC students sharing in the learning experience. The class saw how electricity works, what our bones look like, how a sheep’s heart is similar to a human heart, they created art, toured an ambulance, and learned about the importance of recycling.
“We wanted to give these young students an opportunity to see and get hands-on experience with a variety of subject areas. Learning can be fun and we hope this visit will motivate them and get them thinking about their future,” said Smith. 
Showing five and six-year olds ‘neat’ things they can learn was an inspiring encounter for college students too.
The “College for a Day” program spearheaded by PTK is also a part of the honor society’s mission to inspire its own students to graduate from college with the “Tassel’s worth the Hassle” program. JCJC president Dr. Jesse Smith, PTK executive director, Dr. Rod Risley and five academic organizations have embarked on a mission to get more Americans to not only seek a college education but to also graduate with a degree. A skilled and competitive workforce translates to more earning potential individually, and a stronger nation, they reason.  JCJC’s PTK members were instrumental in coordinating both programs in an effort to get everyone to understand the importance of a college education and graduating.


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