Unique field trip takes college recruiting to new level - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Unique 3rd and 4th grade field trip takes college recruiting to new level

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Menomonie (WQOW) - A unique field trip takes college recruiting to a new level. The halls of UW Stout were rumbling Friday with a lot of new feet on campus for the first time. 

"Plant the dream early, dream the big dream, and then keep pursuing that," says UW-Stout Chancellor, Charles Sorensen.  

28 3rd and 4th grade students from Almena Elementary in Barron County were introduced to UW Stout's campus Friday. 

Cari Schlosser, a 3rd and 4th grade Teacher for Almena Elementary, says, "I had this field trip for the first time last year and the kids loved it and the climate, I mean going home and they're talking about where they want to go school and what they wanted to do. You can talk about college in the classroom, which I have, but last year putting them on the campus was a whole different experience."

From an introduction to the chancellor, to an intro to graphic design, the wide eyed students didn't have a dull moment to daydream. 

Schlosser says, "Some of the students at Almena Elementary will be first generation students."

"I was a first generation student myself and so I understand what they don't know about college," says Sorensen.  

And figuring out how to pay for a college education is one of those unknowns. 

Schlosser says, "Sometimes they're worried, they don't want to ask for money, they know it can be hard on their family.

Which is why the knowledge about a program like the ROTC was included in the list of activities.

"We teach them about writing scholarships and we really encourage them to get good grades. All of these programs, we wanted them to know that there is a way to go," says Schlosser.  

Sorensen says, "This country has to involve more people in post secondary education, or the economy will never sustain itself."

And it wasn't just the students who were inspired by the experience... "My students talking, and the way that they were so excited about their dreams, made my kind of realize that I have some dreams too that I didn't pursue. So, I'm applying for Harvard University this fall," says Schlosser.

The field trip was an extension of one of the students units where they've been researching colleges as part of the curriculum. 

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