Forty-one Coalgate eighth grade GEAR UP students recently toured MSC (Murray State College) in Tishomingo. Students were greeted by MSC Recruiter Craig Kelley who gave them a brief overview of college life and expectations. He explained to students that a two-year college like MSC is a good place to start their collegiate adventure allowing them to learn how to be a college student in a safe and less expensive environment than a four-year college. Kelley led students on a walking tour of the campus, including an extensive tour of the MSC gunsmithing program, which teaches all aspects of building and repairing firearms. The two-year program is one of only six programs in the nation. Only 30 students are chosen to enter the program at MSC each year, and job placement is 100 percent upon graduation. Students ended the day with a meal served in the Aggie Dining Room where they dined with college students.
The field trip was sponsored by Eastern Oklahoma State College GEAR UP. Eastern received a $17 million federal GEAR UP grant in 2017, and will serve more than 3,000 students in 39 area schools for seven years.