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College reps to meet with Park High parents, students

Local legislators and school officials are trying to provide a little extra information for parents and students struggling with college decisions.

State. Rep Karla Bigham, State Sen. Katie Sieben, Park High School Principal Efe Agbamu and other Park High faculty are gathering speakers from Minnesota colleges at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 8, in the Park High School cafeteria.

"This is not a promotional talk," Bigham said. "Having conversations about higher education is both exciting and scary. Parents and students need to hear the same information to take the next important step in their lives," she said.

Information about two-year colleges will also be available.

Getting financial aid information is often critical to making college choices, Bigham said.

Representatives from the University of Minnesota, state colleges and the Minnesota Private College Council will be there to talk about choosing a college. Each institution will make a 20-minute presentation and answer questions.

School District 833 secondary educators are currently engaged in a process to re-design how high schools deliver education with recommendations to be submitted to the school board this spring.

One of the goals is to make sure all graduates have the tools to go to college if they choose to.

"The ability to continue on is primary," Bigham said.

Agbamu favors instituting the International Baccalaureate program at Park in the next two years if a Minnesota Department of Education grant can be secured.

"Park High School's goal is to prepare all students for higher education," Agbamu said. "At this event parents and their children will learn about college requirements and gain knowledge of what is available, such as grants and other financial aid, directly from college representatives."

High school students should be taking the most challenging courses they can possibly handle, Agbamu said. They should attend college fairs, visit colleges and talk to college representatives who visit high school career centers and learn about financial aid.

Parents of junior high students should also attend, Agbamu said.

"Middle school students should learn about college requirements and consider taking challenging courses to get ready for high school and college," she said.

Judy Spooner can be reached at

Judy Spooner
Judy Spooner is the longest-serving staff writer at the South Washington County Bulletin. Spooner, who covers education and features in addition to writing a weekly column, has been with the newspaper for over 30 years.
(651) 459-7600