The “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles seeks to empower and educate entire communities with its programs. While we primarily work directly with our students (whom we call “Dreamers”), we also strive to involve Dreamer parents and families in their children’s education whenever possible. One important period during which parent engagement is critical is during Dreamers’ transition from high school to college. Students can easily become overwhelmed during this transition, and parental support can make a big difference. In September, the “I Have A Dream” Foundation – Los Angeles held the first of six monthly Transition to College workshops to promote parent engagement and help Dreamer parents effectively support their graduating seniors during the critical college transition period.
IHADLA College Workshop Focused on Parent Engagement
The first workshop, which was held in Century Community Charter School, focused on the importance of parent involvement during the college process and was open to parents of Dreamers in their senior year of high school. College Manager Kelly Trivino and Program Coordinator Chaznae Walker, who facilitated the workshop, used a curriculum developed by Families in Schools, an organization that helps parents engage in their children’s education.
The workshop covered a variety of topics, including general college entrance requirements and strategies parents can use to get involved during their child’s college experience. The parents were eager to learn and excited to gain new skills to help their children. Thanks to their strong relationships with the IHADLA program coordinators, the parents felt comfortable asking questions and being open about their concerns.
Parent Engagement Workshop Included Discussion of College “Match” and “Fit”
Two key concepts discussed during the workshop were college “match” and “fit”. Parents and their Dreamers can organize their college search around these concepts to find a college that is a good fit for the Dreamer’s needs, personality, goals, and learning style. Parents received a comprehensive “college match and fit” handout, which incorporates criteria such as location, learning environment, and majors offered. The Dreamer parents can use the template to ensure their Dreamer will be comfortable at his or her school, and therefore more likely to succeed. The workshop also included time for the parents to ask questions about how the template can apply to their Dreamer’s specific situation.
IHADLA Dreamer Parents Learned About Students’ Transition to College Experience
The Dreamer parents left the first workshop with a comprehensive overview of what the college experience entails and how they can support their child’s transition to college. They are now ready for this month’s workshop, which will address financial planning for college. We look forward to seeing them continue building their skills and helping their children transition into college.