Panama seventh grade GEAR UP students tour The University of Arkansas Fort Smith

Forty-four Panama seventh grade GEAR UP students recently toured UAFS (University of Arkansas Fort Smith). Upon arrival, tour guides Crstina Recinos, Anna Kidd, and Daniella Infante introduced the students to the heart of the campus, Smith-Pendergraft CC (Campus Center).

The CC offers a bookstore where students purchase textbooks, class supplies, and Lions gear.  UAFS students receive free or discounted tickets to athletics and campus events at the Box Office and have opportunities to stay involved at the Student Activities Center. The Food Court offers a wide selection of on-the-go snacks, Subway, Pizza Hut, Chick-Fil-A, and a full-service Starbucks. The second floor of the CC houses some of the most important student services including Advisement, Admissions, Financial Aid, Records, and the Cashier’s Office. The Campus Center has several lounge areas to study, meet with friends, or hang out in between classes.

The Boreham Library is a 21st-century academic library in terms of its facilities, resources, and services. The nearly 80,000 sq. ft. building is equipped with library instruction rooms, a general meeting room, and eight group study rooms. It offers a 24-hour study zone which includes a computer lab and printing, this area can be accessed via UAFS Lions ID card.

The Lion’s Den has the newest student housing on campus. The dorm rooms are spacious and can accommodate up to four students per suite. Dorms feature convenient gathering lobbies, mail service, security, and a laundry room that is connected to an app for students to check to see when their laundry cycles are complete.

Across Kinkead Avenue from the Lion’s Den is the Windgate Art & Design Building. The building includes a letterpress and printmaking studio, a film theater, a videography and photography studio, and numerous classrooms and professional-quality artistic spaces. Students enrolled in the classes offered in the Windgate Building are treated to the newest and most up-to-date equipment available.

The WATC (Western Arkansas Technical Center) is an area secondary center located on UAFS campus on the first floor of the Baldor Technology Center. The center’s curriculum serves as an extension of the high school curriculum offerings by providing students with hands-on training in technical fields. WATC provides classes varying from Automotive Technology, Welding Technology, Robotics, Computer Graphic Technology, and Criminal Justice.

Panama students enjoyed the Donald W. Reynolds Plaza, Tower and Campus Green, an outdoor area that plays host for many student activities and gatherings. The amphitheater can also be used as an outdoor classroom.

“College tours are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program as they give students a firsthand look at life as a college student,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator, Bethany Hicks.

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 serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.

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