College Tours for Tweens

Did you know that middle school is a great time for kids to start thinking about future plans? One of the best family engagement strategies for middle schoolers is “academic socialization” (e.g. Hill & Tyson, 2009). Academic socialization includes families communicating their expectations for education, linking academics to current events, helping to create future career and educational goals, and talking about learning strategies.

College visits for tweens can help them start dreaming about their future, which can translate to increased motivation in the present. Scheduling college tours is free, and your tween can learn all about the many options available. Ohio has over 100 public and private colleges and universities!

Here are some tips to start your visits:

  1. Plan college visits to happen during other road trips around the state. No matter where you go in Ohio, there’s a college nearby!
  2. Expect some “boring” parts of the visit, like when admissions officers talk about financial aid, but your middle schooler will perk up on student-led tours.
  3. Help your middle schooler imagine the possibilities: Here’s the best place for pizza! You’ll buy your books here! If you are a biology student, this will be your building!
  4. Once they latch onto a dream (“I want to go to school there!”), help them start thinking through the steps to get them there. Keep your planning positive (“You can do this! Here’s the first step…”) and communicate confidence in their abilities.
  5. Talk about their dreams and the steps to get there anytime you notice motivation for the daily routines of school lagging.

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