Fresno State’s Outreach and Special Programs is partnering with Fresno Unified School District to host 400 middle school students and parents at the College Making It Happen conference from 8 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Saturday, May 14, at Fresno State.

The conference is free and open to students and parents who register through their middle schools. It will inform middle school students and their parents or guardians about opportunities available in preparing for post-secondary education.

“The College Making It Happen initiative is an effort to increase awareness, assist parents on how to navigate the educational pipeline and provide parents and students with resources needed to prepare for a successful transition to high school and beyond,” said Gloria E. Ponce Rodriguez, manager for College and Career Readiness at Fresno Unified.

The conference will focus on leveraging resources to provide students and parents with an understanding of college admissions, degrees offered, financial aid, careers and what to expect at a post-secondary institution.

“It’s very important that parents encourage and support their students to study, prepare earlier and utilize the many resources available at their schools,” said Martina Granados, director of Outreach and Special Programs at Fresno State. “The College Making it Happen conference will help inform both parents and students about the importance of preparing early for college so they can navigate the system more effectively, be better informed, attend college and ultimately become college graduates.”

Participants will learn how to apply for financial aid and what to do after submitting the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, including how to budget money.

Campus tours will be available for the various schools and colleges within the University and the Downing Planetarium. Information will also be available for students who decide to attend other colleges or universities.

“Parents will learn important information on how to access success by leveraging resources and making college a reality for their students,” Ponce Rodriguez said. “Today’s middle school student needs to be eligible and ready for college. We encourage families to ask questions and be proactive in encouraging their child to understand the value of preparing for college. The partnership between Fresno Unified and Fresno State are to ensure that our students have a jump start that can only benefit families.”

A proclamation for College Making It Happen was read on May 12 at Fresno City Hall.

Students and parents can contact their middle school counselors to register and make transportation arrangements. For more information, contact Martina Granados at 559.278.7554.

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