Haileyville seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students tour Northeastern State University

Thirty-six Haileyville seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students recently toured NSU (Northeastern State University) in Tahlequah.

Students began the day at the W. Roger Webb Educational Technology Center where they were greeted by NSU Campus Visit Program Graduate Assistant Gabby Clayton and NSU Representatives Kaylee Switzer and Cash Bridges. Bridges presented students with an overview of NSU, including information about admissions and scholarships, campus life activities, and degree programs.

After the presentation, students began a self-guided tour aided by GEAR UP Education Coordinator Brianna Brassfield.

“The self-guided tour is a new program for younger NSU visitors,” said Brassfield. “It is designed to be a scavenger hunt-type tour allowing students to navigate themselves through campus finding valuable and exciting information about NSU.”

The first stop on the tour was Seminary Hall, the oldest building on campus. Students learned it was an all-girls school where they ate, slept, and attended class. Now all students have at least one class there before they graduate.

The next stops on the tour were Centennial Plaza and Bagley Hall. The Centennial Plaza is a gathering place established on the 100th anniversary of the founding of NSU. A bronze statue of Sequoyah, which stands as a symbol for the strong relationship NSU has had with the Cherokee Nation since the 1800s, is the focal point of the Centennial Plaza. Bagley Hall is home to the College of Education. It has a Robotics Lab where NSU students can build their own robots. It also has a STEAM Lab, which is a studio dedicated to promoting and enhancing student interest in science, technology, engineering, art, and math through the use of innovative, immersive, and interactive exploration.

Students continued through campus where they visited the John Vaughn Library, Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions, Center for Performing Arts, and RiverHawks Wellness Center where they were given a tour by Wellness Center Lifeguard Nick Bolen.

The last stop of the tour was at the University Center where students ate lunch at the Market Café. During lunch, students shared their favorite parts of the tour and campus. Haileyville eighth grade student Jenessa Dugger wants to attend NSU to study Business Administration.

“My favorite part of the tour was seeing how beautiful the campus is and everything NSU has to offer students,” said Dugger. “NSU has everything I want in a college.”

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 serves over 3,000 students in 39 area schools.

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