By Michael J. Feeney / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
In the past, students at Washington Heights Expeditionary Learning School were forced to meet their college counselors in the corridors.
Other times, they had to wait in long lines to conduct their critical conversations in a cramped office.
WHEELS, as the school is better known, now encourages students to handle college-related matters in a revamped classroom known as the College Access Room (better known as “the CAR”).
The room, adorned with college banners and filled with books, computers and other resources, was transformed with a $65,000 grant from Capital One Bank and the Heart of America Foundation.
“The CAR has been tremendous. It’s been the center of activity,” said Principal Brett Kimmel, whose office is blanketed in paraphernalia from his alma mater, the University of Michigan.
WHEELS, which serves grades six to 12, opened its doors in 2006. The school graduated its first class in June, and 100% of the students were accepted to college, Kimmel said. About 80% of that first crop of graduates are currently in enrolled in college, Kimmel said (some are waiting to begin in January).