Indianola seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students tour East Central University

Twenty-eight Indianola seventh and eighth grade GEAR UP students recently toured ECU (East Central University) in Ada.

Students began the day by dividing into three groups, each being guided by an ECU Recruiter, Alyson Chapman, Claudio Harvey, or Kelsey Miller. Students took a walking tour of the campus, learning about many aspects of campus life.

“Studies show your grades are better and you stay in school to complete your degree program when you’re active in and out of the classroom,” said Chapman. “So, get involved on campus. Be sure to pay attention on the tour to know what to expect when you go to college.”

The tours included some of the most visited and well-known buildings on campus, including the Bill S. Cole University Center where students saw the fitness center and recreation areas, Memorial Student Union Complex which houses the campus bookstore and health services, Linscheid Library, and the Charles F. Spencer Administration Building where students briefly learned about applying to college, financial aid and scholarships, transcripts, and other important college-related information.

“If you want to apply yourself at college, ECU is a great place to attend,” said Harvey. “With a small student–faculty ratio, professors notice you and will help you find opportunities.”

Students visited the Horace Mann building, Faust Hall, and Science Hall, home to one of the state’s best nursing programs. Students also toured the Harland C. Stonecipher School of Business, learning about the unique business program ECU offers as well as the Hallie Brown Ford Fine Arts Center, home of the well-known Ataloa Theatre which is one of the tallest points in the city of Ada.

“ECU has several great programs, including a top-tier business school,” said Harvey. “Several universities model their business program structure after the ECU program.”

Before lunch, students had the opportunity to ask Chapman, Harvey, and Miller questions, learning about admission requirements, degree programs, Greek life, cost, scholarships, the campus career center, study abroad opportunities, sporting events, campus and residential life, and much more.

“This was most students’ first tour at a university,” said GEAR UP Education Coordinator Brianna Brassfield. “It was a great tour! It offered a lot of insight to what it would be like as a college student, especially an East Central University Tiger.

After the tours, students ate lunch on campus in the Taff Cafeteria, offering another experience of life as a college student. During lunch, students shared their favorite parts of the tour and campus.

To end the day, students visited Wintersmith Park, one of Ada’s most popular attractions. At the park, students fed ducks and geese, relaxed in the shade, and played on the playground equipment.

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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