Apache Junction Unified School District students from the Advancement Via Individual Determination program traveled to Northern Arizona University on Jan. 29 and visited the NAU campus, learned about admissions requirements and asked representatives college-related questions.
The tour included a visit to the recreation center, a residence hall --- including a dorm room, the aquatics center and a meal at the “all you care for” restaurant that features seven meal bars, according to a release.
Regan Roach, one of the AVID teachers who attended the trip, said an added bonus was seeing snow as it began to fall as they were returning back to the Valley.
While it was an enjoyable experience for the teachers and staff who made the trip, the benefits run deeper. Studies have shown that when students set foot on a college campus it makes it easier for them to imagine themselves attending college after graduating from high school, the release states.
AJUSD’s AVID students previously visited Arizona State University, University of Arizona and Central Arizona College.
The AVID curriculum covers writing, inquiry, collaboration, organization and reading. AVID students also receive extensive help in preparing college applications and financial aid forms.
AJUSD has 27 AVID students and five leadership students in seventh grade and 31 students in eighth grade at Cactus Canyon Junior High School. The Apache Junction High School program has 20 students in ninth grade and the program is expected to expand in the 2020-21 school year.
"Many AVID participants are students with potential to succeed in college but may not have considered the possibility due to their life circumstances," the release states.
"AVID helps meet the needs of these students by helping them develop college-level entry skills in areas such as critical thinking, working collaboratively, developing better 'coping techniques' and they receive encouragement and academic assistance from their teachers so the students can pursue ambitious long-term goals," the release states.
The students sold concessions at school games to earn money for the trip and also received private contributions. The AVID program also accepts donations to help fund college-related trips and activities.
The tax-deductible donation can be made through the Cactus Canyon PTO. For more information about AJUSD schools call 480-982-1110 or go to ajusd.org.