Expect More Arizona Spotlight AwardThe joint NAU-Yuma and Arizona Western College program, I’m Going to College, received an Excellence Spotlight Award from Expect More Arizona.

The program received one of the three awards recognizing education excellence in Yuma and La Paz counties.

The I’m Going to College program is a semiannual event that targets fifth-grade students from Yuma and La Paz counties and is designed to create an awareness of the opportunities of a college education and to instill the idea that going to college is an attainable goal.

Fifth-grade classes that participate in the event receive workbooks that introduce to the benefits of a college education, majors and careers, financial aid, and good study habits to prepare for college.

The event culminates with a field trip to the AWC and NAU-Yuma campus where students spend the day as a college student.

“The field trip to campus is the key component of this event,” said Tara Cobourn, program committee member from NAU. “Students get an idea of what it’s like to be a real college student and are able to take classes from actual college professors.”

Participants receive annual postcards congratulating them on the completion of each year in fifth through 12th grades and directing them to website where they can download a list of things to do each year to prepare for college. Also included is a bilingual Parent Packet that includes information and numerous resources of ways to save and pay for a college education.

Since its inception in spring 2010, the I’m Going to College program has hosted roughly 1,000 students from 27 different schools in Yuma and La Paz counties.