Thirty-two Krebs Public School seventh grade GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs) students recently traveled to Durant to tour SOSU (Southeastern Oklahoma State University). High School Recruiter Kourtney Kaufman and Transfer Recruiter Charles Jackson began the tour at Glen D. Johnson Student Union where students were divided into two groups.
Kaufman and Jackson educated students about services offered at the Native American Institute located in the Center for Student Success. Students receive assistance with choosing classes. Native American students also receive assistance with resources such as obtaining computers and clothing.
Students viewed Morrison Hall, an original campus building, which served as a teachers’ college in 1909. Morrison Hall currently houses the Education Department, and English, and humanities classes. The tour guides led students into Henry G. Bennett Memorial Library. Students have various options in the SOSU library including group study in provided pods, presentation practice, and can reserve textbooks to use by the hour.
The James Earl Russell Building was formally dedicated in 1921 and served as the education building. Throughout the years, the building served many purposes including housing programs such as the NASA Technology Use Study Center and Neighborhood Youth Corps. In 2005, the school was renamed the John Massey School of Business.
SOSU offers student a variety of course and career options. Kaufman reported graduates have pursued careers in occupational safety and health such as oil and gas or the health industry, graphic design, fine arts, journalism, public relations, communications and aviation.
Students toured Chickasaw Hall and Choctaw Hall, residence halls on the SOSU campus. The majority of rooms are arranged in a suite-like setting with two bedrooms and one bathroom being shared by four students. Students also viewed Shearer Hall, apartment-style living with four separate bedrooms, a living room and kitchenette.
“I wish I could keep the whole room,” said Krebs student Elby Tripp after seeing a room in Shearer Hall.
Next, students ate lunch provided by Sodexo in the Magnolia Grill on SOSU campus. Students greatly enjoyed the variety of food offered by Sodexo.
“I loved the food,” said Mia Rannebarger.
Following lunch, students met with Kaufman to discuss admissions at SOSU. Kaufman stated the top five majors at the university are aviation, education, occupational safety, biology, and business. She encouraged students to begin applying for Oklahoma’s Promise in eighth grade stating it can greatly assist with funding college expenses. Kaufman reminded students to pay attention to GPA (grade point average), class rank, and ACT scores when preparing for college.
“I liked learning how much it cost to go to college,” added Elby Tripp.
“The students gained insight into preparation for college that they may have difficulty grasping in a classroom setting,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Stephanie Dow. “Thanks to SOSU for providing the tour. I feel the students understand while they have time to think about college, it is never too early to start preparing and setting goals.”
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, EOSC received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant and serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.