School tries to clear higher education obstacles Seminar targets families that rule out college

November 19, 1998|By James M. Coram | James M. Coram,SUN STAFF

Officials at Francis Key Scott High School in New Windsor will conduct a college information seminar tonight for Carroll students and parents who assume that higher education is out of the question.

"We want to show parents what resources are available," said Lorraine Fogle, the Francis Scott Key guidance counselor who designed tonight's program.

"It is our desire to see more of our students from all ethnic and racial backgrounds successfully pursue post-secondary education," Fogle said.

Many students whose parents never went to college are not planning to attend either "because most assume it is out of the question because of financing," she said. "We want to encourage more to attend."

Traditionally, such students and their parents did not attend the college information nights that each Carroll high school provides in January, Fogle said.

"We have not gotten a lot of participation from first-generation college students" -- especially minority students, she said.

Financial aid will be high on the list of topics discussed tonight.

"We want to provide enough information that students and their parents can make a more informed choice" about whether to attend college, Fogle said.

Fogle, who has been at Francis Scott Key for three years, came up with the idea of tonight's program after visiting local churches talk about sponsoring youth mentoring programs.

While making those presentations, "We had parents telling us lots of questions were not being addressed," she said. "We decided to open this up to the community.

One of the problems is that the school system needs more minority teachers, but that situation will not improve if many minority students choose not to go to college, she said.

One of tonight's goals will be to inform minority students and their parents about career opportunities available for minority educators.

Carroll's minority population -- which Fogle estimated at about 2.5 percent for African-Americans and 5 percent for all minorities -- "is such a small number that some colleges are not even recruiting" minorities in Carroll County, she said.

Fogle brought together representatives of three of Maryland's historically black colleges -- Bowie State University, Morgan State University, and Coppin State College -- to talk tonight about the advantages of attending a historically black college and about available financial aid packages.

A representative of Carroll Community College will discuss the advantages academically and financially of first attending a two-year community college.

Speakers will discuss college admission requirements and procedures, financial aid programs and "stumbling blocks in pursuing post-secondary education," Fogle said.

After the presentations, students and their parents can meet with representatives individually, including someone who will answer questions about what learning-disabled students should consider when selecting a college, Fogle said.

Although the seminar is designed especially for minority students and their parents, everyone from middle school and older is invited, she said.

The program will begin at 7 p.m. in the school cafeteria.

Pub Date: 11/19/98

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