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How High School Students Can Get a Jump Start on College

(ARA) – For North Ft. Myers high school student Robert Helin, getting up three hours earlier than his classmates to get to school by 9:00 a.m. is no big deal.  Not when you consider that his first class is in college, not high school. Robert is making that long drive to attend classes at DeVry University’s South Florida campus and earning credit toward a college degree.

He is enrolled in Passport2College, one of many programs offered by DeVry University as part of its ongoing effort to make a college degree and the college experience accessible, affordable and a reality for high school students. DeVry also offers CareerShop, HerWorld, FIRST robotics events and SAT prep classes to help high school students who want to maximize the time remaining in high school and either earn college credit or simply have the opportunity to spend time on a college campus.

According to David J. Pauldine, president of DeVry University, “We visit approximately 7,000 high schools each year and speak to some 800,000 students.”  Response to programs aimed at high school students has been, he says, “extraordinarily positive.”  

Helin came across Passport2College at a college fair sponsored by his high school.  After speaking to a college advisor, he decided to try and jumpstart his career in Information Systems or Computer Engineering by taking classes while still in high school.  

“I recognized immediately the advantages of taking a college-level course while still in high school and I also knew it would give me the chance to become familiar with a college campus and provide me with a general sense of university life,” Robert says.

For students who don’t want to take college classes in high school, but still want the experience of being on a college campus, meeting faculty and other college students, DeVry offers many other options including:

* FIRST Robotics – for high school students interested in technology, science and friendly-competitions, FIRST Robotics events encourage team building, problem solving and healthy competition among high school robotic teams.  Partners like Disney and NASA make these events an opportunity for students to meet career role models and potential employers.

* HerWorld  – events are technology and science conferences aimed at high schools and designed to demonstrate that careers in technology, business and science are not only cool for girls, but great careers paths too. Girls participate in career workshops, discussion groups, and also have some fun building robotic mice that are used for team building exercises at the culmination of day-long HerWorld activities.

* NAACP National Day of College Preparation – NAACP college prep day, held at DeVry’s South Florida campus is a wonderful opportunity for students to have access to free college prep help and attend financial aid workshops with their families.

* CareerShop – is a highly interactive workshop where students explore various careers that match their individual personality profiles and compare colleges that are best suited for them. Using a high-tech PDA to gather information, CareerShop gives students an opportunity to see where their strengths and interests lie, and how they can turn their academic passions into a future career.

* Scholarship Opportunities – DeVry University partners with several organizations and corporations to offer high school students financial help to attend college. Banco Popular and, a social networking site for Latino students, are organizations that see the value in supporting the education of young people through college scholarships. As one scholarship provider explains, “It makes social and economic sense that we ensure our future workforce is educated, engaged and responsible about the future.”

According to Pauldine, DeVry University’s outreach efforts to high school students are not just about engaging future students. “We’re committed to strengthening our communities through education, and one way we demonstrate this is through our laptop and computer donations,” he says. Many DeVry University campuses partner with local school systems and donate new or reconditioned computers for elementary and high school use. “Technology is so integrated with teaching we feel it’s critical to be able to offer students the best tools possible.  It’s a scenario where everyone benefits,” Pauldine adds.

For more information on DeVry University high school programs, visit

Courtesy of ARAcontent