More than 100 Sinton Students Learn about Island University with Campus Tours and Orientations

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – The transition from high school to college can be full of uncertainty, however, students at Sinton Independent School District (ISD) are better prepared for this transition thanks to a program led by Project GRAD at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. The Island University opened its doors to welcome 64 middle school students and 51 high school students during two separate trips in April where they explored the campus and learned about the opportunities available to them.

One of the students in the tour was Mason Hopkins, a Sinton ISD senior, who recently signed to play with Islanders Baseball.

“I cannot wait to be part of the Islander family,” shared Hopkins. “This tour was personal, and I was able to view students in action during their daily routines. I feel good about my decision to play baseball for the Islanders.”

Sinton ISD students started the trip with a guided tour around Island University facilities and main buildings. Then, they engaged in different workshops and orientations that helped them understand academic life. Students also explored their career options and learned about potential job earnings after graduation.

“The preparedness and welcoming feeling we had from the University was amazing,” said Alicia Hall, Sinton ISD AVID elective teacher and basketball and track coach. “I loved the visit and the attention that was given to our students. The Island University is a viable option for Sinton graduates and I think many of our students feel the same way.”

Project GRAD staff and cohort members also shared information about the importance of preparing for the Texas Success Initiative Assessment (TSIA), an evaluation to determine if a student is ready for college-level education. Students who pass the TSIA eliminate the need to take developmental courses during their first year at the University.

“College readiness is about more than a standardized test,” said Deshawna Colvin, Project GRAD manager at A&M-Corpus Christi. “Students need to understand the expectation of being in college and that starts before their senior year of high school. Through career interest assessments and college campus visits, students make more informed decisions about colleges, majors and careers.”

The visit concluded with a photo scavenger hunt, where Sinton students took pictures across the island and had a Q&A opportunity with campus departments.

A&M-Corpus Christi’s Project GRAD offers college readiness and preparedness for the TSIA through its Summer Prep Academy. The three-week program prepares qualified students in the general area of mathematic, reading and writing. Application are now being accepted for the 2018 TSIA Summer Prep Academy, which is free and includes many benefits like a peer mentor, a textbook leading library and free school supplies. Click here for more information.