CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – Cissy Perez, an Islander doctoral student, is using what she has learned in her doctoral courses, applying them to her business ventures, and ultimately helping students across the nation to be college ready.
“College Ready – The Game,” Perez’s initial creation, began as a fun, educational board game based on college readiness terms and processes. It launched in 2013 and is being used by classrooms in 39 different states.
After two years of design and development, Perez has now created “College Ready – The Game App” based on the board game. The app, featuring both an English and Spanish component, will launch to the public at 10 a.m. on Saturday, May 14, at Fun Trackers, 9605 S. Padre Island Dr.
“At the launch, our plan is to have 100 kids and their iPads and iPhones playing the game in the same place, at the same time,” said Perez. “It’s a fun event that is open to everyone.”
The app, which closely mirrors the game, challenges players to graduate with the most scholarships. During app play, students will learn vital college-themed vocabulary words and also learn how to navigate the college admissions process with ease.
“The idea for the game came from personal experience,” says Perez. “Being a first- generation college graduate, I went through the college admission process the hard way. I wanted to help end the cycle of students making the same mistakes I did.”
Additionally, while serving in her current position as the Principal of W.B. Ray High School, she realized that college terms and acronyms aren’t taught in the classroom.
“Words like FAFSA, transcript, GPA, subsidized or unsubsidized student loans and grants, can seem like a foreign language to some students,” said Perez. “And often, school counselors do not have time to thoroughly educate every student about these terms.”
Perez received both a master’s degree in Education Administration and a Superintendent Certificate from Texas A&M-Corpus Christi. Currently a student in the Educational Leadership doctoral program, Perez says she was able to take what she learned in courses at the Island University to help design and develop her app.
“My professors inspired me to conduct scholarly research about something I'm passionate about – literature based on college readiness skills and the use of technology in education,” said Perez. “This coursework has both strengthened my knowledge of the work I am doing and reaffirmed my decision to pursue my dream of creating an app that can give kids the confidence to pursue college or a career.”
Dr. Elsa Gonzalez, Assistant Professor of Educational Leadership, was one of Perez’s professors.
“In my class, it was easy to recognize the passion that Cissy had for each student in high school to be ready for college,” said Gonzalez.
“College Ready-The Game App” will be available for download on iTunes starting May 14. It is geared for children ages 8 and up, and their parents. To learn more, go to http://collegeready-thegame.com/.