The College Focus: Why It’s Important Now
National Heritage Academies Celebrates National Charter Schools Week
GRAND RAPIDS, Mich., May 08, 2014—While college seems a long way off to most elementary and middle school students, National Heritage Academies (NHA) stresses the importance of college readiness from the moment students enter kindergarten. The NHA CollegeBoundTM Scholars program is designed to encourage students and their parents to think about college choices while still in their primary education years.
NHA classrooms across the country feature college flags, posters, mascots, and T-shirts as students work daily toward the ultimate goal of a college education. Partnerships with local community colleges and universities are evident at every NHA school. Students visit college campuses, learn about the admissions process, and receive in-school visits from college ambassadors to learn more about their options.
“At NHA, we believe that talking about college with students at every grade level helps makes that goal feel more real and attainable,” said President and CEO of National Heritage Academies Chip Hurlburt. “Creating an atmosphere of college readiness in our schools helps us fulfill our goal of preparing students for success in high school, college, and life.”
The CollegeBound Scholars program is a resource for NHA school families to not only learn more about college options, but also understand the admissions process, learn about available scholarships and financial aid, and better understand how to help their student make the best college choice. The program encourages students to make college a goal now and to start the process of preparing themselves for higher education from a young age.
“I have been in our schools around the country listening to our youngest students talk about where they would like to attend college,” said Hurlburt. “When a third-grade student tells you where they would like to attend college and study, that is a powerful moment.”
NHA also offers a college scholarship of $5,000 to four eighth-grade students each spring. Students must submit an essay based on selected topics in order to be eligible for the scholarship. 93.5 percent of the scholarship money comes directly from NHA employee donations. Many NHA employees see the scholarship fund as a way to further support students and help them on the path toward college readiness.
National Heritage Academies is joining charter schools across the country in celebrating National Charter Schools week May 4 – 10. The week is designed to help raise awareness about how charter schools operate and the educational choice they provide parents. NHA students and staff will share their school pride with each other this week and reflect on the academic achievements met so far this year.
National Heritage Academies is a charter school management company operating 76 schools in nine states for the 2013-2014 school year. It is currently serving more than 50,000 students in grades kindergarten through eighth.