Area fifth graders learn all about college during Compass 2 Campus tour day

Western Today editor
Wednesday, October 26, 2011 - 1:52pm

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WWU student Crystal Mendoza, right, helps Stephanie Diaz play with robots during associate professor Jianna Zhang's robotics class during Compass 2 Campus on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
WWU student Crystal Mendoza, right, helps Stephanie Diaz play with robots during associate professor Jianna Zhang's robotics class during Compass 2 Campus on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Students attending Compass 2 Campus make robots during associate professor Jianna Zhang's robotics class on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Students attending Compass 2 Campus make robots during associate professor Jianna Zhang's robotics class on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Associate professor Jianna Zhang shows Compass 2 Campus student Daniel Kolbert how her robot works on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Associate professor Jianna Zhang shows Compass 2 Campus student Daniel Kolbert how her robot works on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Assistant Professor Dr. Dietmar Schwarz shows students attending Compass 2 Campus how an apple maggot fly lays eggs in an apple during his class "How do apple maggot flies find the best place for their kids?" Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Assistant Professor Dr. Dietmar Schwarz shows students attending Compass 2 Campus how an apple maggot fly lays eggs in an apple during his class "How do apple maggot flies find the best place for their kids?" Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Students attending Compass 2 Campus walk with WWU student leaders between classes on Tuesday October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Students attending Compass 2 Campus walk with WWU student leaders between classes on Tuesday October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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WWU professor John Bower talks to students attending Compass to Campus about the Western campus and attending college while the students sit on the Log Ramp which is part of the Western Gallery. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
WWU professor John Bower talks to students attending Compass to Campus about the Western campus and attending college while the students sit on the Log Ramp which is part of the Western Gallery. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Art professor Elsi Vassdal Ellis shows Compass to Campus students the 1950's map of Lynden that she just printed out using a printing press. Students were able to make their own maps using the printing press. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Art professor Elsi Vassdal Ellis shows Compass to Campus students the 1950's map of Lynden that she just printed out using a printing press. Students were able to make their own maps using the printing press. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Art professor Elsi Vassdal Ellis watches as Mattie Wilson uses a printing press during Compass to Campus on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Art professor Elsi Vassdal Ellis watches as Mattie Wilson uses a printing press during Compass to Campus on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Compass to Campus student Noah Rathjen uses a printing press to add a skeleton, a pointing hand and a rooster to his 1950's map of Lynden. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Compass to Campus student Noah Rathjen uses a printing press to add a skeleton, a pointing hand and a rooster to his 1950's map of Lynden. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

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Compass 2 Campus student Alex Martinez, center, reacts after touching a leather star starfish at the Shannon Point Marine Center booth on Red Square. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU
Compass 2 Campus student Alex Martinez, center, reacts after touching a leather star starfish at the Shannon Point Marine Center booth on Red Square. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU

Close to 800 fifth-graders from Skagit and Whatcom counties visited Western Washington University Tuesday, Oct. 25, to see firsthand what a university campus is like. The tour kicked off the third year of Compass 2 Campus, a proactive effort that sends trained WWU student mentors into schools in order to get more kids to see themselves as future college students.

Modeled after a successful program in Wisconsin, Compass 2 Campus aims to get more kids thinking early about college with the help of mentors and role models to show them the importance of higher education. The tour is just the beginning of a long-term relationship between the youngsters and WWU mentors. The students who toured the WWU campus the past two years as fifth-graders now work with Western student mentors in their classrooms. And they will continue to see WWU students as Compass 2 Campus grows each year, eventually serving thousands of students in the fifth- through 12th grades.

“Research tells us mentorship is the key,” said Cyndie Shepard, director of the program. “Kids who are mentored or who have a significant adult in their lives have a better chance of success.”

On Oct. 25, the fifth-graders went on tours of Western’s campus personalized to the youngsters’ interests. They got to see the inside of real college classrooms and laboratories to glimpse what’s in store for those who are motivated to do well in school. Professors with specialties ranging from music to marine biology opened their doors to these students.

Photo:

WWU student Crystal Mendoza, right, helps Stephanie Diaz play with robots during associate professor Jianna Zhang's robotics class during Compass 2 Campus on October 25, 2011. Photo by Rachel Bayne | For WWU