Albuquerque Journal (Albuquerque, NM)

Great Expectations.

Byline: Andrea Schoellkopf Journal Staff Writer

Officials want to change attitude that high school is the end of an education

Freddy Alvarez hasn't completed eighth grade yet, but he already has his eye on college. "I want to go to UNM," said Alvarez, a Bernalillo Middle School student who is already enrolled in Algebra I typically a high school level course.

Alvarez and his classmates spent part of their day Tuesday learning what they needed to do in the next four years to get ready for college.

"Is this going to take, like, 24 years?" he mumbled, upon seeing the high school classes colleges require for entrance, such as four years of math, science, English, three years of history and two years of a foreign language.

Alvarez, who would be the first in his family to attend college, said he had decided just this year he wanted to get a higher education, based on encouragement from teachers and his parents.

One girl complained that her mother placed too much emphasis on getting good grades.

"Bless your mother," college admissions consultant Whitney Laughlin said, adding that the greatest variable in school success is parents' high expectations. …

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