April 8th, 2015

What are some hacks to get adjusted to college-life easily? 

What international career prospects do Alabama students have?

What do you wish you had known in high school about college?

These are just some of the questions that Blueprints students from Central High School in Tuscaloosa asked during our recent field trip to Shelton State Community College and the University of Alabama.

Central High School is within walking distance of UA’s campus, but for many students our Blueprint’s field trip was an opportunity to interact and engage with the University of Alabama on a whole new level.

Our Central students spent their time at the University of Alabama with a group of current Honors students. During their visit, our Blueprints students seized this opportunity to find out how college aligns to their diverse interests, and in turn, they saw college was for them.

Ajowa, a 9th grader remarked that this college visit was different than anything the students had experienced “because last time we didn’t get to go inside or walk around UA, this time we went inside different parts of UA and walked around campus and saw different folks.” Students at Central have seen the campus, but it was many of their first times to see hidden gems of the University, like the Alabama Natural History Museum housed on the University’s campus.

On this trip, our Central students not only toured college campuses, but they also formed relationships. JaKayla, another Central 9th grader, said her “favorite part was when the tour guide [Robert] called me Ms. Leader. This trip made me think harder about what I want to do in college. I learned that you have to have a set plan for college, after college, and life.” For JaKayla, building a relationship over the course of the day with Robert, a 4th year student who is the Executive Director of Honors Educational Outreach, was a way for college to become more exciting and more personal.

Below are a some of photos from our visit. Thank you to Shelton State and the Honors College at the University of Alabama for making this possible.


Central High School students at the University of Alabama’s Alabama Natural History Museum with a dinosaur found in Alabama.




Central High School students learning about the SOAR Institute, which provides free tutoring and academic services at Shelton State Community College.