Ann Weaver Hart, president of the University of Arizona, was fortunate enough to grow up in a family where it was never a question whether or not she would go to college. "It was assumed from day one," she said.
During an interview with Michael Chihak, host of Arizona Week, Hart shared that she received loads of support from her family, peers and even teachers.
Hart's parents were also college graduates, which was a big push for assuming she'd also get a degree.
However, such is not the case for many teens getting ready to graduate high school. And Hart said it is very important to help the parents of children, who'll become the first generation of college graduates in their families, find the right tools to know how to prepare their kids for that next step.
"One of the most important things (parents can do to prepare their kids for college) is to pay attention to their children's skills," Hart said.
She explained that simple habits, such as talking to kids with complete sentences and asking them to count at a young age, play an important role in whether they'll do well in school and college. Also, being active in knowing what courses children are taking, and asking counselors what courses they should take in order to be fully prepared to enter college ready to succeed.
But aside from academic habits, parents should implement study habits at home, work ethic, and expose their children to the countless list of options they have.
"(Parents need to find) ways to expose their songs and daughters to that big world out there," Hart said. "That makes a big difference for them....exposing them to the museum...the planetarium...the (local) library...all of those things open up the world for our children."
American Graduate segments were produced in corporation with Tucson Values Teachers.