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140 sixth graders attend college-preparation program at Chandler-Gilbert Community College

About 140 sixth grade students from five local elementary schools recently began participation in Chandler-Gilbert Community College's Destination College, a program that exposes elementary students and their families to the college experience.

For two weeks ending June 20, students from Bologna, Frye, Galveston, Hartford, Knox and San Marcos elementary schools will learn about a variety of career fields as well as attend classes in the areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). This year's program will focus heavily on green engineering, according to a press release

Daily guest speakers including members from CGCC’s math and science departments, Intel and Allied Health help students explore career opportunities available through STEM education. CGCC's Career Services Office will also help students investigate other careers in the STEM field through a variety of activities.

"Many young students are not aware of the opportunities available in technology, or what it takes to be an engineer, scientist or a technical professional," said Lourdes Neito, Destination College coordinator. "The STEM curriculum encourages lessons driven by problem-solving and discovery. Students will be actively engaged in learning throughout the program at the college and will be able to apply what they are learning in the real world."

According to Ms. Nieto, many of the students are first-generation citizens and future first-generation college students. "The students love being on the CGCC campus," said Md. Neito. "Destination College allows these students to experience a college campus and consider the idea of attending college. Our hope is that we ultimately plant the seeds for the future fulfillment of their higher-education goals."

Destination College culminates with a graduation ceremony and reception for students and their families 5:30-8 p.m. Thursday, June 20. The program is sponsored by the Chandler Unified School District, Chandler-Gilbert Community College, The Chandler Education Foundation and The City of Chandler.

Chandler-Gilbert Community College is one of 10 Maricopa County Community Colleges. CGCC serves the higher education needs of more than 20,000 students at three locations in the Southeast Valley of the Phoenix metropolitan area — the Pecos Campus in Chandler, the Williams Campus in Mesa, and the Sun Lakes Center in Sun Lakes. CGCC offers degrees and certificates in a variety of fields, university transfer, workforce development programs and continuing education, along with nationally recognized programs in service learning, learning communities, and civic engagement. For more information, visit the website or call 480-732-7000.

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