College plans family convocation day

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Experts will empower parents to steer high school seniors to college.

Alan Torres

The office of outreach and recruitment is planning the first family convocation for this college Feb 7.

The purpose of this event is to encourage parents to be active in the planning process for high school seniors seeking higher education.

Parental network coordinator Helen Torres said in an interview Oct. 16 she hopes the event will attract parents and high school seniors before they graduate high school.

“We know where we are located, so we try and reach out to our backyard community first, Jefferson, Edison and Lanier high schools,” she said.

The outreach and recruitment office sends representatives to the high schools. At the school, counselors gather the seniors to hear a presentation given by the representatives of this college.

“A lot of students listen to our presentations about the college, and that is it. They don’t tell their parents and the parents do not ask, simply because they do not know,” she said. “A lot of parents from these schools do not have a college education. They work and they are busy providing for their families, so they do not know about college or how it works.”

“That’s what this event is for, to teach parents about college and empower them to take action in their sons’ and daughters’ educational lives,” she said. “We want to create a college-going culture.”

The event’s keynote speaker will be Adrianna Arredondo, principal of Travis Early College High School, which has a 100 percent graduation rate and recruits students from as early as middle school.

Arredondo will speak on ways to be accepted into the school, Torres said.

Other speakers will include Torres and Kim Baumgardner, educational specialist program manager at the Parent Leadership Academy.

The academy is a series of 12 classes at this college where parents sign up to learn about leadership and how to help with the academic success of their sons and daughters.

“In the 12 classes, a parent can learn how to navigate school and how to do it successfully — not just college but even elementary schools,” Torres said. “A lot of parents do not know how to help their kids when they have trouble in school. Here we teach them how to talk to the student and even the teacher.”

Torres said the academy teaches parents how to have simple family dinner conversation and empowers them to ask the tough questions.

“Parents feel so empowered after the classes that we have had parents decided to go back to school,” Torres said.

Herlinda Sifuentes, executive director of Hispanics Inspiring Student Performance Achievement, will speak about the importance of parent engagement.

This is a nonprofit organization that connects Hispanic professionals with students to help their academic performance.

The event also will present a panel including a graduate of the Parent Leadership Academy, students at this college, parent and family school liaisons and counselors from Travis, Jefferson and Edison high schools, Torres said.

At the end of the panel discussion, which will be translated to Spanish if needed, there will be a closing remark by President Robert Vela and a question-and-answer segment.

Information will be mailed to parents of seniors in those high schools, Torres said.

For information, call Torres at 210-486-0947


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