Sixty-six Spiro 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 Gabby Clayton, Northeastern State University Graduate Assistant of Campus Visit Program; Kaylee Switzer, Northeastern State University Representative and alumnae; and Northeastern State University Student Ambassadors Megan Schwabe and Freeman Degraffenreid. Switzer presented students with an overview of NSU which included, how to apply for college, scholarship opportunities, things to do in Tahlequah, and an emphasis on NSU’s The Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (SOAR) Program. The SOAR Session for first-time freshman is designed to assist in setting students up for success in the classroom and adjust to life on campus by getting to know their classmates and instructors before the semester starts.
After the presentation, students were separated into four groups to tour the other buildings on campus with student ambassadors. Spiro students toured the Center for Performing Arts, the College of the Liberal Arts, the John Vaughn Library, Haskell Hall, and the Gregg Wadley College of Science & Health Professions.
Students continued through campus where they visited the Center for Admissions and Student Enrollment, better known as C.A.S.E. C.A.S.E. offices include most general student services, such as financial aid, careers, and admissions. During the tour, guides answered questions from students and offered advice for future college students.
Students stood in the Circle of Excellence Plaza and Centennial Plaza. The Circle of Excellence Plaza is dedicated to NSU faculty members who have been nominated by students and colleagues for their contributions in teaching, research, and service. Each honoree has his/her name on a brick that is installed in the plaza. 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.
Lastly, students visited Leoser Hall, part of the residential complex, where they saw a dorm room. Students had a first-hand look at what their future college dorm may look like.
“College tours are an important part of Eastern’s GEAR UP program as they give students a first-hand look at life as a college student,” said Bethany Hicks, GEAR UP Education Coordinator. “NSU Student Ambassadors offered positive insight to what it would be like as a Northeastern State University RiverHawk.”
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.