Florida Gulf Coast University wants to do more than just be a college option for Tribal students; it wants to prepare them for success at any college, starting in high school.
Five Tribal junior and senior high school students attended a two-session ACT preparation course hosted by FGCU in October. FGCU alumna Kathleen Jaspar, owner and CEO of ACT testing preparation company NavaEd, hosted the free sessions. Rather than just going over subject matter for the test, she provided test-taking strategies to help students answer questions as quickly and accurately as possible in the time allotted during the exam.
J. Webb Horton, FGCU assistant director of Community Outreach, described Jaspar as the force behind student test-taking success.
“What makes this test prep different is that you’re in a small one-on-one setting,” he said. “You have seven kids for three hours with an expert going through the whole thing.”
The idea for the ACT prep came from FGCU’s STEM camp program the school has hosted the past five years. The camp, offered to high school students over the summer, usually incorporates some SAT preparation as well, but Horton said they wanted to turn their attention to ACT prep instead. Additionally, FGCU wants to further its collaboration with the Tribe to get Tribal students more involved in the science, technology, math and engineering (STEM) fields.
“We’re trying to work with the Tribe to get some kids to come to the camp and see what it is,” he said. “We want to expand and get more Seminole students involved with STEM. … We have this great resource, so why wouldn’t we offer it to our partners?”
FGCU plans to host the ACT preparation course again in the future.