Willimantic, CT. – On May 24, 25 and 26, Eastern Connecticut State University invited 26 schools to participate in the annual “College Knowledge Day” event. 950 students in grades 5-9 gathered in the Betty R. Tipton Room in the Student Center to attend workshops and sessions over the three-day program. “We only invited inner-city schools, as we wanted to target students who didn’t easily have access to this type of information,” said Dmitry Satsuk, associate director of admissions. The students came from Bridgeport, Hartford, Norwich, New Britain, New Haven, Willimantic and other school districts.
The students participated in a number of lectures and group activities organized by various Eastern departments. The different sessions were designed to educate students on how to prepare for college, and stressed the importance of completing high school. “It is important to generate awareness about the importance of doing well and staying involved,” said Satsuk.
The admissions office coordinated the event with the help of various departments across Eastern’s campus. The Financial Aid Office hosted the session “Finance Future,” which was directed toward loans, grants, scholarships and budgeting throughout college. The Center for Internships and Career Development hosted the presentation, “When I grow up,” where students were able to find out what they needed to study in order to get the job they desire to pursue as an adult. The Advising Center put on the information session, “Building Success,” which instructed students about interpersonal communication, as well as ways to network in the business world.
Eastern started this program in 2009 and was the first four-year college in Connecticut to host such a program. Now other colleges and universities host this type of program in hopes of educating inner-city school students. “75 percent of the students invited will be first-generation college students upon attendance,” said Satsuk. “Our goal was to generate a basic understanding on how to succeed in college and the career world.”