Savanna GEAR UP students tour East Central University

Twenty-six GEAR UP students from Savanna school recently traveled to Ada to tour East Central University (ECU). The seventh and eighth grade students began the day in the Estep Room inside the Bill S. Cole University Center with a brief introduction to ECU and collegiate life given by Admission Recruiter Claudio Harvey. Harvey asked the students if they had previously toured a college and explained what they could expect to see on campus while at East Central. He then gave a brief overview of college life including admissions, scheduling and dorm life.

Harvey was joined by Student Guides Sidney Lyons and Abi Linares who assisted him in leading the GEAR UP students on a walking tour of the campus. The students explored the Linscheid Library which dates from the founding of the institution in 1906. The library houses the book depository as well as technology including computers, photocopying equipment, a 3D printer and a media service department. All services are free to students who may also take advantage of the library’s individual and collaborative study spaces.

The tour continued with a stop at the recently remodeled Lanoy Education Building which has an innovative teaching center equipped with the latest technology including a virtual classroom. Recruiter Lyons answered the middle school students’ questions concerning the education program, expenses, and scholarships. She encouraged the students to pursue a college degree and discussed the availability of scholarships, grants, and loans.

Before returning to the Estep Room, students toured the Bill S. Cole University Center. At the University Center, the recruiters informed the students that ECU provides a variety of free activities for their college students in an effort to engage them socially as well as academically. The students were allowed to see the workout center, the cinema, the game room, and even watched a group aerobics class.

The tour concluded with lunch in ECU’s Taff Cafeteria where the middle school students enjoyed a limitless lunch with the university students.

“Watching the joy in the young students’ eyes as they interact with the college students is exciting,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Denise Lovell. “They realize that college is more than just a dream. Education is now a reality for them!”

The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College’s GEAR UP program. 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.

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