KCPS sixth-graders check out college life at MCC

At a session on nursing, sixth-graders enjoy meeting and checking the vital signs of this “patient.” Evelyn Claiborne (left) is director of nursing at MCC’s Health Science Institute. (Photos by Christina Medina, Clare Otto, Ernie Webb III and Jordan Williams/MCC)

Kansas City Public Schools sixth-graders from 19 schools recently turned into college students, at least for a couple of hours.

About 900 students were expected on the MCC-Penn Valley and MCC-Business & Technology campuses Feb. 28 and March 1. The groups were split into morning and afternoon sessions both days.

Kids2College is a national initiative that inspires a “college-going culture” among young students. The sixth-graders participated in breakout sessions about programs and degrees and toured the campus. MCC students were on hand along with administrators and faculty members.

Prior to their campus visits, the sixth-graders took part in Kids2College lessons led by school counselors. The classroom activities reinforce the importance of setting students’ sights on college.

At MCC-Penn Valley, students get their hands dirty by incorporating ink and art.
Sixth-graders from Pitcher Elementary take a selfie at MCC-Business & Technology with MCC staffer Ernie Webb.
In this breakout session at Penn Valley, the sixth-graders pick up some tips on how to draw an eye. MCC art instructor Bernadette Torres is at center.
Garfield Elementary students do some writing at MCC-Penn Valley.
At MCC-Business & Technology, students are introduced to big rigs and the commercial driver’s license (CDL) program.
Instructor Aaron Gibbs leads a session on welding at MCC-Business & Technology.
Students get artistic in a session at MCC-Penn Valley.
Who turns the power back on after a bad storm? The sixth-graders found out by visiting the lineman yard at MCC-Business & Technology.
Terrell Tigner, MCC-Penn Valley associate dean of student development, is interviewed by Nicole DiAntonio of Fox 4 News.

Kids2College was launched in 1992 by the Sallie Mae Fund, which provides the curriculum free of charge to educational partners across the country. The program “uses the prism of career aspirations to expose low-income and minority sixth-grade students to the value and accessibility of a higher education.”

The Sallie Mae Fund’s mission is to increase college access for America’s students. The charitable organization is sponsored by student loan company Sallie Mae.