One of Hemet Unified School District’s goals is to ensure students graduate from our schools college and career ready. One way Hemet Unified gets students excited and thinking about their future is by participating in Riverside County Office of Education’s Race to Submit College Kickoff event! This event encourages students all over Riverside County to submit their Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) to help pay for college. However, this is just one portion for Hemet Unified students. In order to get students excited for life after high school, staff members have introduced a variety of activities and events to ensure students are taking the necessary steps for a life of success.
Some people may hear “college or career opportunities” and believe that those topics are only for high school students, but at Hemet Unified we believe these conversations should begin at the elementary level. In fact, during the month of October, all of our elementary schools provided some type of event to get students excited about their futures. Events included presentations, dress-up days, peer interviews, and even resume building!
During the month of October, students in middle school were able to take their dreams of going to college or pursuing a career field into a more concrete plan. All 7th and 8th grade students were given the PSAT so that they will be more familiar with the process when they take the SAT their senior year. In addition to the PSATs, students set up their accounts for California College Guidance Initiative (CCGI) where they were able to explore different career fields that met their interests, colleges that would be a good fit based on their career interests, and what schooling would be required for them in order to pursue their dream job. In addition to these activities, schools created other activities to excite students about the prospect of college, such as college wear Wednesdays, a school-wide Pep Rally College Scavenger Hunt, and the ability to meet with counselors to pick out high school courses that meet A-G requirements.
High school students were able to attend FAFSA workshops, college application workshops, college visit workshops, ASVAB informational workshops, listen to guest speakers, and participate in other various pep rallies and activities. In addition to the workshops, students in grades 9-11 were able to take the PSAT, or the SAT for students in 12th grade, or the ASVAB at no charge.
As a District, we have seen a significant increase in the amount of students taking the PSATs and SATs over the last few years. Hemet Unified staff saw that a barrier for students to attend college was the inability to pay for the SAT. Since the District began paying for students to take the test, the number of students jumped from 268 students taking the SAT in the 2014-15 school year to 1,250 students taking it this school year. In addition, the number of students taking the PSATs jumped from 464 in 2014-15 to 4,495 students this school year; however, this number does not include the 7th and 8th grade students that took it.
The District also hosted its 3rd annual College and Career Night, where over a thousand people were able to talk to representatives from Universities, private colleges, California State Universities, and various career fields. In addition to the vendors, students and their families were able to attend three different workshops to learn how to setup a CCGI account, how students can meet entrance requirements for college, and how to afford college in a financial literacy class.
Thank you to all of Hemet Unified staff members for piquing an interest in students and getting them to think about life after high school. We are so proud of all of our students and we look forward to seeing their hard work pay off!