Seventy-eight McAlester 8th grade GEAR UP students recently toured Northeastern State University (NSU) in Tahlequah.
Students began the day at the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center where they were greeted by Kaylee Switzer, Northeastern State University Representative and alumnae, and Northeastern State University Student Ambassadors, Lexie Billingsley, Sakshi Kaushik, and Brittany Waters. Switzer presented students with an overview of NSU.
After the presentation, students were separated into three groups to tour the other buildings on campus with student ambassadors leading the groups. Students toured the Leoser Hall, part of the campus’ residential complex, where they saw a dorm room.
Students continued through campus and visited the Center for Admissions and Student Enrollment, better known as C.A.S.E. on campus. C.A.S.E. offices include Admissions and Recruitment, Career Services, Registrar, Scholarships and other student services.
Next, students visited Haskell Hall, John Vaughn Library, Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions, the College of Liberal Arts in Seminary Hall, and the Center for Performing Arts.During the tour, guides answered student questions and offered valuable advice.
“I encourage you to get involved in student organizations,” said Kaushik. “Join something outside of your day-to-day classroom activities. You can even start that now in middle school.”
Students also stood in the Circle of Excellence Plaza and Centennial Plaza. The Circle of Excellence Plaza is a dedication to NSU faculty members who have been nominated by students and colleagues for their contributions in teaching, research and service. All honorees have their names on bricks that are installed in the plaza. The Centennial Plaza is a gathering place established on the 100th anniversary of the founding of NSU. A bronze statue of Sequoyah is the focal point of the Centennial Plaza, which stands as a symbol for the strong relationship NSU has had with the Cherokee Nation since the 1800s.
After the campus tours, students ate lunch on campus at the Market Café in the University Center, offering another experience of life as a college student. During lunch, students shared their favorite parts of the tour and campus.
“This was the first university tour for most students,” said Brianna Brassfield, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “The tour offered some insight to what it would be like as a college student at NSU.”
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 one 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.