Eufaula GEAR UP seventh graders tour Tulsa Community College

Fifty-one GEAR UP students recently traveled to Tulsa to tour the Southeast Campus of Tulsa Community College (TCC). Students were welcomed to campus by Admissions Counselors William Baldwin and Lucia McFarland. Students were met with an ice-breaker question: What is your name and your biggest fear? Many students listed spiders, snakes, heights and other animals/insects. The chaperones and Admissions Counselors even listed their fears to the students. It was interesting to hear the commonalities.

Students began the tour in Building 8 which houses the Math, Science, Nursing and other Allied Health programs. The tour made a stop to see the fish tank before heading to the Nursing lab. Nursing is one of the most popular programs on campus. Students got an inside look at the Nursing lab with the latest high-tech equipment to aid in student understanding and success in the career. The mannequins used in the lab cost between $2,500 and $250,000. They are considered “real life” and have all the functions of a human. TCC students graduate the program with an Applied Associate in Nursing and can earn their Registered Nursing Certification.

“The mannequins were very realistic, and I think it’s a great way to get hands-on learning while in the nursing program,” said Gracie-Jane Lasiter, 7th grade student at Eufaula.

Admission counselors stopped by the Aetna Learning Center where TCC students receive Science and Math help. They can also check out TI-84 calculators for free with a student id. There are numerous resources available for TCC students to get assistance if they are struggling with a class. Success is the goal and instructors are great to work with students. Class sizes are an average of 25 students, similar to Eufaula middle school classrooms.

Next the tour took Eufaula students through the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. For many this was a highlight of the Southeast Campus. This state-of-the-art facility houses the performing arts programs and serves as the performance hall for the Signature Symphony at TCC, TCC Music and Theatre productions, and an array of visual arts and performance groups. Students were able to go inside the newly-renovated auditorium which can seat approximately 1,500. The Admissions counselors explained that students do not have to be a performance major to take these courses as electives. The tour then took students behind the scenes to the Scene Shop and Office where all sets for the productions are created and assembled. This is another option in the performing arts for students to consider while in college.

The final trek of the tour took students through the main part of campus which consists of the Student Union. This is a hub of daily activity for the TCC students. The Student Union houses the cafeteria, bookstore, library and Fitness Center. There is a Student Life office where students can get a list of events. All are free and most include food! TCC has an app students can download to keep informed of all that is happening on campus and in the Tulsa area. This office also offers TCC students discounted tickets to attractions around Tulsa such as the Zoo, Aquarium, State Fair, movie theaters and the Performing Arts Center in downtown Tulsa.

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Participating schools take two field trips each academic year—one to tour a college or university and on that is cultural/educational in nature. In 2017, Eastern recently received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and will serve over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

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