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Dream Team Tour Set to Hit the Road
March 3, 2006

An innovative tour from the Calvin College office of pre-college programs will help high school students fulfill their college dreams.

The 2006 Calvin College Dream Team Tour will be visiting churches in Grand Rapids and Muskegon, Michigan, to teach students, along with their parents, everything they need to know to prepare for and attend college.

"Our hope is to provide families with the tools that they need to make college happen for their kids," says Calvin's associate director of admissions Tasha Paul.

The Dream Team will visit New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Grand Rapids from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 pm. on Saturday, March 11 and Holy Trinity Church of God in Christ in Muskegon from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, April 22.

Both events are free and open to the public, and a continental breakfast will be provided.

"It's not just for the members of the congregation but for the broader community," Paul says, adding with a smile: "And we might as well meet and eat."

A general session at 9:30 a.m. for both students and their parents will give an overview of the morning’s workshops. Students will pick two from the six workshops offered on various aspects of college preparation: standardized tests, the college application process, financial aid information, finding the right school, college visits and preparation needed in high school.

"Calvin students will be conducting those workshops, and they'll be doing it in fun and interactive ways," Paul says.

Families will be given a book with a checklist, calendars and other information to keep students on track through the college selection process. The high school students who attend will also have the opportunity to sign up for a mentor to help them through the process.

Students and their parents do not have to make Calvin their college of choice to take advantage of the Dream Team Tour.

"Of course, we're hoping that they will consider Calvin," Paul says, "but any college they attend—we would consider that a success."

Paul says the tour was inspired in part by her years working in the Calvin admissions office, screening the files of applicants who had missed one or more crucial steps of preparation to attend college.

"In so many cases, they could have been accepted if they had been prepared," she says. "For instance, they often have the grades, but they don't know they needed a certain amount of math or English to attend college—and now they can't come."

In previous years, Calvin prepared high school students for college through the Discovery Club Fellowship, a six-week series of workshops on the Calvin campus. This fall, Paul says, the staff behind Discovery Club thought it made more sense to take the program on the road.

And they are determined to get the message out, says Paul.

"We're not going to assume they’re getting it someplace else. And if they’re getting it someplace else, that's wonderful. Then this is just reinforcement."

~written by media relations staff writer Myrna Anderson