OSU Institute of Technology will partner with Quality Educational Services for Today and Tomorrow (QuESTT), Inc. to host Upward Bound Summer College this summer at no cost to qualifying area high school students.
The QuESTT Upward Bound Summer College, a six-week residential simulated college experience will take place on the OSUIT campus, beginning June 3 and will end with an educational field trip July 19.
The Upward Bound programs provide high school students with the opportunity to prepare for college entrance. With a goal of increasing the completion rate for postsecondary education, eligible students must come from an income-eligible family in which neither parent holds a bachelor’s degree.
Summer College is open to all students in the Upward Bound program, contingent upon a completed application for the program. The 2019 Summer College class will be comprised of 36 students.
The classes that each student will take during the six weeks include Financial Literacy, Sign Language, Math, Literature, English Composition, Science, College Survival Skills and a few college credit classes.
Collaboration among Michelle Clevenger, an instructor at OSUIT, and another Upward Bound instructor, resulted in a new class being added to the curriculum.
“The class covers information we wish we would have known as college students or things we have seen our students struggle with while in college,” said Clevenger. “They will learn things such as how to change a tire, do laundry and mend clothes and to cook healthy meals using a microwave.”
Clevenger has been the instructional liaison for the program for 15 years.
“This program exposes students to the rigor of college,” said Clevenger. “The students will even stay in Lackey Hall on campus during the week and go home on the weekends, much like many OSUIT students do.”
The students will arrive on campus at 11 a.m. Monday mornings and go home after lunch Friday each week of the program. Transportation for the students outside of Okmulgee County is also provided at no cost to the students by QuESTT. Each student will attend class for six hours a day, and some may earn college credit during their time spent on campus.
Clevenger said this whole experience, including their housing, is provided completely free for the students. She said that students also may have an opportunity to earn a stipend provided all rules are followed and they are on time to class. This year also includes a trip to the Philbrook Museum in Tulsa.
The last week of Summer College consists of the educational field trip, specifically for graduated seniors who will enter college in the fall and concurrently enrolled students who qualify to be placed in a college course.
The educational field trip has been to locations in Colorado, Texas and Tennessee in the past. “The students not only have a chance to have fun, but to visit historical and monumental sites,” said Clevenger.
“Our hope is that when students come here that this becomes a place they are familiar with and fall in love with, like we have,” she said. “We hope this encourages them to want to come here for more than classes or a degree.”
QuESTT is a not-for-profit community-based organization with the primary mission of providing northeastern Oklahoma middle school and high school students with educational services designed to prepare them for success in postsecondary education. QuESTT programs are federally funded by the U.S. Department of Education.