Discover ASTEPDiscover ASTEP (African-American Success Through Excellence and Persistence) took place on February 20, 2019 and served 30 students from Capuchino High School and McClymonds High School. Students were able to sit in on Intro to Business, College Success (COUN 100), General Psychology, Elementary Communication, Engineering Graphics, Visual Theory/Practice: Ceramics, Gender & Communication, Literature & Critical Thinking (ENGL 110), General Psychology, Psychobiology and Introduction to Sociology. Additionally, students were able to visit the Mobile Black History Museum and hear from museum curator Khalid El-Hakim.

Organized in collaboration with the ASTEP Learning Community, Discover ASTEP provided students with an opportunity to engage with culturally similar faculty, staff and students, which provided a safe space to learn and ask questions. Feedback received on the post-event evaluation included:

“Skyline College can offer me many benefits for my future”

“I learned that business could be interesting”

“What to expect in college”

“I learned a little more about Black history”

Additionally, pre- and post- event surveys displayed an increase in both students’ “college knowledge” as well as their interest in attending Skyline College after high school. When asked about their current level of “college knowledge” prior to the event, only 18% of students reported very good (none reported having an excellent level of college knowledge). Most students (40%) reported having a fair understanding of college for community colleges. After the event, 55% of students reported having an excellent/very good level of college knowledge with the majority reporting very good (40% very good vs. 11% excellent). There was also a decrease in those having only fair college knowledge for community college with only 7% selecting that option.

A tremendous thank you to everyone involved for the success of this event: Danielle Powell and the ASTEP Learning Community, Grace Beltran, Outreach Ambassadors Angelica Alvarez, Cara Loo, Rex Chow, Yatin Kumar, and the professors and students that opened their classes to welcome the student visitors: Soleded McCarthy, Kwame Thomas, Jennifer Merrill-Sinarle, Ryan Lescure, Maryam Khan, Tiffany Schmierer, Nathan Jones, Tony Jackson and Rika Fabian.

A special thank you to Khalid El-Hakim for spending time with the Discover ASTEP students during the Mobile Black History Museum exhibit. Finally, thank you, as always to the Events and Facilities Team, Media Services (Roger Marcelo), and Eric Imahara for ensuring that our space was welcoming and prepared for our guests.

Discover ASTEP is a part of the Discover Days initiative, which hosts shadow days for underserved high school students to help them better connect to Skyline College and develop a level of comfort with higher education. Discover Days is graciously funded by the President’s Innovation Fund and supported by the President’s Council.

Article by Lauren Ford | Photo by Lasana Hotep

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