Harding students Ricardo and Isaac during their field trip to UCSB organized by the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Magali Gauthier

Harding students Ricardo and Isaac during their field trip to UCSB organized by the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education

Harding Kids Get Taste of College Education

Field Trip to UCSB Pairs Learning and Fun for 400 Students

Monday, May 20, 2013
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Since forging a collaborative alliance with UC Santa Barbara’s Gevirtz Graduate School of Education in 2010, Harding University Partnership School has gone out of its way to introduce its students to the wonders of higher education.

Last Friday, Harding’s 400-plus pre-school through sixth grade students took a field trip to UCSB, where they spent the day engaging in a wide range of educational activities. Specifically tailored to suit the appropriate academic standards for each grade level, these activities varied widely but shared a common goal: to encourage each and every youngster to put college in his or her future.

“This is the fourth year that UCSB, led by the Gevirtz School, has had the wonderful opportunity to bring all of the Harding University Partnership School to the UCSB campus,” said Gevirtz’s Communications Coordinator, George Yatchisin. “We see this event as an essential way to bridge the town-and-gown gap many often feel, but more importantly to give the pre-K through sixth graders at Harding the chance to see that college isn’t just nearby, it’s within their reach.”

According to Yatchisin, opportunities like this give each child at Harding a sense of possibility. Inviting the students to UCSB’s bustling campus to interact with higher learning coursework in new and exciting ways, these field trips show young students that “college” is not some abstract, unattainable concept, but rather an actual place where they can go to enjoy themselves while enriching their minds.

What’s more, Friday’s activities — which included a visit to the Marine Science Institute’s state-of-the-art touch tanks, nature walks for Harding’s budding botanists, and thrilling, hands-on science experiments — were overseen by UCSB professors and esteemed Santa Barbara figures. Danielle Harlow, an assistant professor of science education at Gevirtz, elicited a chorus of “oohs” and “aahs” from around 30 third graders when she mixed Mentos and Diet Coke, creating a reaction that shot geysers of cola 20 feet into the air.

Elsewhere, Santa Barbara Poet Laureate Chryss Yost lent her talents to a poetry-writing workshop, presiding over small groups of fourth graders as they worked together to craft short poems and pair them with their own nature photography. When finished, the students’ work was compiled into an e-book, which will soon be published on Gevirtz’s website and sent to Harding School.

Throughout Friday’s field trip, students of all ages donned T-shirts proudly proclaiming, “I’m going to college!” and were visibly elated at the prospect of taking their education to new heights. When asked what she would take away from the day’s activities, one fourth grade girl said rather succinctly, “You learn a lot of stuff from UCSB. You have fun, but you learn.”


Independent Discussion Guidelines

Dear Class of ’13: You’ve been scammed
Commentary: How the College-Industrial Complex drove tuition so high...

In constant dollars, the price of a degree is 300% more now than 30 years ago.

Part of the answer lies in the arms race of fancy facilities being built by colleges. Part of the answer lies in escalating salaries, especially for academic “divas,” the marquee names recruited at great expense to bring in the customers ... er, students. Part of the answer lies in institutional metastasis: the expansion of bureaucracy, like any bureaucracy.

sa1 (anonymous profile)
May 20, 2013 at 7:40 p.m. (Suggest removal)

great article, and how cool that Harding children got to visit UCSB! Sure, college costs are going out of the roof. Why be cynical?
It is crucial for the students to see the big campus and to have their dreams encouraged like this. Kudos to Harding University Partnership School and Gevirtz Grad School at UCSB.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 20, 2013 at 7:50 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It happened when they started corporatizing education.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
May 20, 2013 at 8:24 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm not cynical DrDan,

I'm simply pointing out the taking of our inalienable rights and the financial enslavement being perpetrated upon an entire generation.

I'd like a financially capable population to pay my SS and Medicare just like I have to pay for "The Greatest Generation's" now.

The perpetrators are the usual suspects: the very rich and the government cabals that take by force...I'm sure $1000 speeding tickets and $200K cops and hose holders are right around the corner. Red light cameras and .05 BAC anyone?

"In an op-ed this week for the New York Times, Nobel Prize winner Joseph Stiglitz warned that excessive student debt is dampening economic recovery, especially in housing, as graduates curb their consumption and delay establishing a household.

“It’s a vicious cycle,” Stiglitz wrote. “Lack of demand for housing contributes to a lack of jobs, which contributes to weak household formation, which contributes to a lack of demand for housing.”

sa1 (anonymous profile)
May 20, 2013 at 8:33 p.m. (Suggest removal)

sa1, we're not in disagreement. The Right and the Left could unite on legislation...which has been discussed... to penalize colleges whose fees/tuition continue to skyrocket: and agreed, those costs are crazy high and really hurt young Americans, and indeed the entire country.
I do think we could celebrate these 400 students' chance to tour a beautiful UC campus and hold that out there as an academic possibility.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
May 21, 2013 at 6:13 a.m. (Suggest removal)

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