Middle School Students Get a Taste of College

December 2019

For the third consecutive year, 20 eighth grade English Language Learner (ELL) students from Jupiter Middle School visited Palm Beach State College for a tour of the campus and an introduction to higher education.

The tour was conducted in Spanish, and most of the students are newcomers to the U.S., getting the chance to experience college for the first time. The tour was established in 2017 as a result of the partnership between Jupiter Middle and Palm Beach State College.

“This gives ELL students a taste of what they can achieve,” said Jody Nolf, the ESOL Coordinator at Jupiter Middle. “It opens their eyes to opportunities to post-graduate success.”

The goal of the partnership is to expose ELL students to the college curriculum, including a visit to a hands-on biology lab taught completely in Spanish. The tour is the first step in planting a seed in the students’ minds, giving them insight into possible future professions.

“Today’s field trip to PBSC provided an invaluable opportunity for ELL students at Jupiter Middle to be exposed to career paths which they otherwise might not know about,” said Lynette Matey, the ESOL North Region Instructional Specialist. “They can embrace new visions and dreams for their futures as engineers, biologists, scientists and so much more.”

During the students’ visit to the engineering department and the biotechnology lab, they participated in experiments in which they were able to extract their own DNA.

“Students normally don’t have a lot of experimental contact with science, but when you bring them here, they can materialize what they see in the books and this opens new horizons,” said Edison Majia, a Biotechnology Lab Specialist at the College.

“I believe this is an excellent opportunity because through this experience they will have more information to be able to make a better career decision,” said Julio Vega Ortiz, an ESOL School Counselor at Jupiter Middle. 

Teachers and Counslers in lab class

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