Wilburton ninth grade GEAR UP students recently toured UAFS (University of Arkansas Fort Smith). Students were met by UAFS student ambassadors, and discussed the admissions process as well as on-campus and online degree programs. UAFS offers 74 academic programs, including 33 bachelor degrees, 14 associate degrees, and 27 certificates. As the students were divided into two groups and led through campus, UAFS student ambassadors discussed the importance of freshman year of high school, which is the time to begin thinking about future educational plans. Student ambassadors led students through different buildings, and informed students of where specific classes were held, which include: Flanders Building for business classes; Boreham Library, equipped with library instruction rooms, study rooms and a computer lab; and the Lion’s Den Residence Hall, which offers housing. Both groups of students met back at the Donald W. Reynolds Plaza Tower to take a group photo. Before departure, student ambassadors led students to the Smith-Pendergraft Campus Center, which houses admissions offices, a cafe, and the campus bookstore.
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.