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K-State Today

November 11, 2014

Hugoton High School students watch College of Education documentary on first-generation college students

Submitted by Patrice Scott

Students from Hugoton high watch the documentary about first-generation college students.

A group of 36 students from Hugoton High School — which also included Superintendent Mark Crawford, Principal John Girodat, college and career readiness advocate Yolanda Hernandez and math teacher Anna Wold — spent Nov. 7 on the Kansas State University campus.

After arriving on campus and having lunch in Derby Dining Center, the group went to Bluemont Hall where they watched the College of Education's documentary, "A Walk in My Shoes: First-Generation College Students."

Crawford believes the film's message could not have come at a better time because one of the district's priorities is for more students to attend postsecondary education.

"This was really powerful," he said of the documentary that tells the stories of several first-generation students. "I don't think there's a single stakeholder this film couldn't impact."

Crawford said the latest data from 2007-2011 revealed 44 percent of the district's students drop out of college after their freshman year of college. The district is working to obtain qualitative data, but early indicators point to financial problems and family support issues as the top reasons students leave college.

At the conclusion of the documentary, the group walked to the K-State Student Union where they met with students who graduated from Hugoton High School and attend K-State. They also visited with representatives from the colleges of Agriculture, Education, Arts & Sciences, Architecture, Planning & Design, Engineering and Human Ecology.