Poteau GEAR UP students tour Tulsa Community College–Southeast Campus

Eighty-four seventh grade Poteau GEAR UP students recently traveled to Tulsa to tour the Southeast campus of Tulsa Community College (TCC–SE). Students were greeted by Admissions Counselor William Baldwin and Student Recruiter Lucia McFarland. They were led through Building 9, the Student Union that houses the Student Life offices, the campus store, food court, and fitness center. Students learned that even if they are sign up for only one class through TCC–SE, they can take advantage of the fitness center for free at any TCC campus. The center has smaller rooms for fitness classes as well as intramural sports.

Students were then led through Building 6, also known as the PACE building. This building houses the VanTrease Performing Arts Center for Education. The VanTrease Auditorium can seat up to 1,500 people. Admissions Counselor Baldwin informed students that the TCC–SE campus is well known for its different arts programs. Students also saw display cases with handmade costumes from past performances.

In addition to books, the campus store has a large variety of school supplies and TCC apparel available for purchase. There is an online shop as well for students to purchase items.

Next, students toured Building 8 that houses programs for science, mathematics, health sciences, and biotechnology. Students looked through the windows into the Nursing Department where they saw robotic mannequins in hospital beds. The mannequins are created as lifelike as possible allowing students to practice different medical techniques.

“Tulsa Community College is a great place to bring students,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Leslie Hemphill. “Especially those interested in the performing arts and nursing.”

Poteau seventh grader Jentry Boehme added, “I enjoyed getting to see what is further away from our town as a college option.”

“I liked walking through the Student Union and seeing everything they had for students,” said Brandon Carshall.


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 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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