Wister seventh grade GEAR UP students tour the University of Arkansas Fort Smith

Wister seventh grade GEAR UP students recently toured the University of Arkansas campus in Fort Smith, Arkansas. Admissions Officer Morgan Kratts spoke with the students in the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center before the tour began. Kratts discussed the importance of choosing a college that meets specific needs such as size of classes, location, price, and programs.

As the students were led through campus, the guide informed them of where specific classes were held. Some of these included the Flanders Building for business classes, the Vines Building for language arts classes, the Gardner Building for history classes, Baldor Technology Center, and the Windgate Art & Design Building. Students toured the Math-Science Building. Kratts showed students the labs, classrooms, and lecture hall. She also directed the students to the Recreation and Wellness Center (RAWC) that houses intramural sports, fitness programs, club sports, a climbing wall, and other programs.

From the RAWC, students traveled through the Pendergraft Health Sciences Center that houses the Dental Hygiene, Nursing, and Radiography programs. The students were informed that they have access to free services provided by the students enrolled in these programs.

Wister students visited residential housing. UAFS offers residential living for all students, although it is not required for all students to live on campus. Students visited The Lion’s Den Residence Hall where room were spacious and modern. The Lion’s Den also offered students a central lobby with a kitchenette and television with movie privileges. Attached to the residence hall is the Lion’s Den Dining Hall.

Last stop on tour was the Boreham Library and the Lion’s Den Dining Hall. Kratts explained how the UAFS student identification cards act as a key to the housing complex and as a debit card for the dining options. She also emphasized how the library is very beneficial for college students.

“College tours are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Tara Martin. “The students enjoyed getting a first-hand look of what a college campus is about.”

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 is serving over 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.

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