Another Successful Summer College Experience

Several rising 10th graders in the Hampton City Schools division didn’t have as much free time this summer as usual. A joint venture between Hampton City Schools and Virginia Peninsula Community College called the Summer College Experience occupied their time.

During the five-week program at the College’s Hampton campus the 13 students studied the nature of science and Earth science. Covered in the latter were plate tectonics, volcanoes, earthquakes, Earth’s history, and the geologic provinces of Virginia. 

The learning experiences also occurred off campus with field trips as the students explored Luray Caverns, collected and analyzed data on dinosaur footprints at a quarry in Culpeper, and studied strata and fossils at Chippokes State Park in Surry and Cornwallis Cave in Yorktown.

“Students met, formed friendships, and collaborated with students from various high schools in Hampton City Schools, and importantly they built meaningful relationships with college faculty,” Lisa Hall, an adjunct professor at VPCC, and Maggie Haley, the College’s dual enrollment coordinator, wrote in summarizing the experience.

A July 27 celebration wrapped up the summer program. Students earned three college credits from VPCC and were introduced to dual enrollment with the goal of having them continue that experience throughout their junior and senior years of high school. Coordinators hope many participants will continue their higher education journey at VPCC.

The Summer College Experience began in 2021 with former Hampton City Schools Superintendent Dr. Jeffery Smith and VPCC President Dr. Towuanna Porter Brannon collaborating on a new way to introduce students to a college experience early on in their high school careers. Smith and Brannon are hoping a positive experience in the program will show them college can be in their future.

Wrote Hall and Haley: “The Summer College Experience gives these young people the opportunity to develop their study skills, learn outside of a classroom, and be in an atmosphere of higher learning.”

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