COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., (KRDO)-- If you are looking to start preparing your kid for college, The University of Colorado at Colorado Springs is looking for applicants for their Pre-Collegiate program, which is aimed at helping first-generation and military family students.
The UCCS Pre-Collegiate program says participation is down right now and it is partly due to the pandemic forcing them to host their meetings online, but with things slowly opening back up, they're hoping next year things will be different. The UCCS Pre-collegiate program is recruiting 7th and 9th-grade students looking to prepare for college early on.
Nancy Hernandez, the director of the program, believes this is a great tool for those looking to get a head start.
"If a student wants to go to college we will work with them to make sure that they are ready, that they understand the application process and all of the skills that will make them successful," said Hernandez.
The program is going into its 34th year and it offers mentorship to students through workshops and conferences led by current students and professionals.
Christopher Marcell Cortez, an undergrad student at UCCS majoring in Spanish and a product of this program, believes the program has been a key to his success.
"I encourage students to apply to this program because it helped me a lot and I've accomplished everything that I have accomplished so far thanks to the program," added Marcell-Cortez.
For Marcell-Cortez, a first-generation college student, going to college means breaking barriers in his family.
"I learned time management, academic skills and tips that were really crucial in my academic career and high school," said Marcell-Cortez.
The competitive program is funded by the university, the CU system, and donors. Students also get to learn about different careers and earn college credits while in high school.
"Any student can be successful in college, but there are some skills and some tricks that you can learn before you get to college to make sure you have a great experience your first year," added Hernandez.
Students who complete the pre-collegiate program get scholarships to attend UCCS and other CU system schools.
Applicants should have a minimum 2.5 GPA, a recommendation form from an educator in a core content area, an essay, and a strong desire to learn academic and socio-emotional skills and to explore potential careers and post-secondary opportunities, according to the school.
Selected students will be notified in December. Students participate in a new student orientation in January and begin participating in activities by Spring 2022.
The program is free but requires active participation in monthly after-school activities during the school year and has a mandatory summer program in June.
The deadline to apply is October 31. To apply for 9th-grade students click here. To apply for 7th-grade students click here.