More than 300 students and school staff from the Dallas Independent School District responded to an invitation from Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp to be “Aggies-for-a-day.”
Texas A&M officials say the program focused on DISD students in the top 15 percent of their high school class.
“The idea was for the students to experience Aggieland and learn what college is about,” notes Lynn Barnes Jr., director of recruitment with Texas A&M’s Office of Admissions, recalling the campus visit during a recent football game. “Collaborating with the Chancellor’s Office, the Texas A&M Black Former Student Network, Texas Representative Eric Johnson’s office in Dallas and the Office of Public Partnership and Outreach here on campus, the Office of Admissions was able to bring 280 students and 63 school staff and community leaders from the Dallas area to Aggieland for a very memorable visit.”
The day’s activities included attending a football game, but emphasized the importance of committing to higher education. The DISD students also had a chance to interact with current Aggie students and Texas A&M President R. Bowen Loftin.
“Being able to bring a large group of prospective students to an Aggie football game is one of the best recruiting tools we have to showcase the campus,” Barnes added.
“I’m pleased to partner with Chancellor Sharp, President Loftin and Texas A&M University to increase the number of students from my district who will attend one of our state’s flagship universities,” State Representative Eric Johnson said, “We all know the benefits of a college degree – it changes lives and therefore a community. I want to ensure that our bright and talented students continue to have the best possible options for higher education.”
If student reaction is an indicator, Johnson’s vision will become reality.
“Thank you so much for taking us to A&M,” said Megan Varughese, a student from Townview Center. “The experience was absolutely incredible and I had a blast at the football game. This month has been putting me on edge, as a prospective college student I have no idea where I want to go. A&M has been on my mind as one of my top choices, and visiting A&M and seeing the campus and the atmosphere made it my No. 1 choice!”
Barnes said that like Megan, the majority of the students had never been to Texas A&M and were very excited to see the campus. “Our recruiting staff in Dallas will be working hard to help them complete their admissions and scholarship application.”
The Dallas recruiting staff that Barnes mentions works at Texas A&M’s Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Prospective Student Center. The university has centers in the major regional areas of the state such as Corpus Christi, Houston, Laredo, San Antonio and the Rio Grande Valley area. Each center was established to provide information and counseling to students and parents and to encourage high school students to consider attending a college or university.
“Hopefully, visiting Aggieland and getting to experience the Aggie spirit and hospitality first-hand will make a lasting impression for these prospective students,” Barnes said.