College Tour Expands Horizons and Opportunities

College Tour Expands Horizons and Opportunities for Jupiter Middle School Students
Posted on 06/22/2021
Stucent with teacher

Just before the end of the school year, a group of Spanish-speaking eighth grade English Language Learner (ELL) students from Jupiter Middle School had the chance to tour Palm Beach State College (PBSC). The tour was conducted in Spanish, a valuable aspect of the excursion, especially for a group of young people still adjusting to life in the United States.

"Taking time to ensure our ELL students have hands-on learning experiences is critical for their long-term academic achievement,” said Francisco “Harvey” Oaxaca, Director of Multicultural Education. “I am so proud to see how this program continues to grow and foster excitement for learning while also honoring students' native language."

Student working in a school labThis is the fourth year the ELL students have visited the college’s Palm Beach Gardens campus. The purpose of the tour is to give students the opportunity to visit colleges they may consider attending, while also offering insight about potential career paths.

"Even during a pandemic year, Palm Beach State College and Jupiter Middle School have continued our valuable partnership program that creates such an important opportunity for our ELL students,” said Jody Nolf, North Region ESOL Coordinator. “This exciting event also promotes equity for them, some of whom are still relatively new to the U.S. Every learner deserves a chance to realize what they can achieve, and this tour provides an important first step.

Following the tour, the students visited the college’s Biotechnology Program lab to collaborate with PBSC students on a scientific learning activity involving studying and extracting DNA. In connecting with District kids, the PBSC students served as role models and examples of what was possible to achieve in the future.

“Being able to visit a college with eighth graders is an extremely rewarding experience,” said Julio C. Vega Ortiz, ESOL School Counselor. “Having an experience in a classroom laboratory and seeing their faces full of emotion thinking about the future, really shows that it is important that career planning is carried out at all levels. This experience contributes to better planning for careers in the future.”

The School District of Palm Beach County