Golden Key offers ‘College Connection’

By Kevin Lyons

The NIU chapter of the Golden Key National Honor Society presented its newest program, College Connection, at a national Golden Key Honor Society convention in Scottsdale, Ariz. this summer.

In addition, for the third year in a row, the NIU chapter was one of 28 to receive the Key Chapter Award from the national society.

College Connection is a program geared at encouraging high school students to continue their education, Cory Flanagan, faculty adviser, said.

Flanagan said the program is worked in three phases and the chapter is currently in the third phase of its first year of College Connection.

The first phase involves speaking at local high schools on furthering education. Last year, Golden Key members spoke at DeKalb and Sycamore High Schools.

Flanagan said the talks can be geared to a certain student group or students in general. She said the talks do not necessarily promote four-year universities, but also junior colleges, technical schools and military opportunities.

“We want to provide as much information as possible for viable educational opportunities,” she said.

“If we influence anyone to continue his education, we’ve met our goal,” Flanagan said.

In the second phase, high school students are brought to NIU and allowed to go to classes, social events and sporting events, Flanagan said.

The third phase is a type of mentoring program for NIU freshmen where Golden Key members help freshmen to ease their transition into college.

“The mentoring program makes it much more personal,” Flanagan said.

There are only five freshmen in the program this year, but Flanagan said she’s hoping for about 25 next year.

Flanagan also said the NIU College Connection program was adopted by the central region of Golden Key, which includes 26 chapters in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Missouri, Minnesota, Kansas, Nebraska and Wisconsin.