OSU Institute of Technology partnered with Quality Educational Services for Today and Tomorrow (QuESTT), Inc. to host the Upward Bound Summer College this summer at no cost to qualifying area high school students.
Twenty-one students attended this year's six-week residential simulated college experience on the OSUIT campus from June 7 – July 16.
"The students spend six weeks on our campus, including an educational off-campus field trip," said Angie Been, OSUIT tutor and instructional liaison for the program. "This Summer College allows prospective students to experience campus life, including staying in the dorms on campus and learning more about OSUIT."
The students arrived on campus Monday mornings and went home after lunch Friday each week of the program. Transportation for the students outside of Okmulgee County was also provided at no cost to the students by QuESTT.
"I can't describe how grateful I am for the opportunity to be a part of Summer College. This program has not only allowed me to experience college, but it allowed me to gain leadership skills, community service, wisdom and most importantly, friends," said Serena Vang from Sallisaw High School. "Nonetheless, Summer College created long-lasting relationships that allowed us to grow and prosper into being America's future."
Each student attended class for six hours a day, and some earned college credit during their time spent on campus. Classes included Composition/Literature, Math, Science, American Sign Language, Small Group Communication, College Survival Skills, and one concurrent course, PSYC 1113 (Intro to Psychology). Outside of the classes, Summer College also included an off-campus field trip to tour to the Sherwin Miller Jewish Museum in Tulsa.
College Survival Skills is a course that was added to the program in 2019. It covers information that instructors wish they would have known as college students or things they have seen their students struggle with while in college. Students learned things such as changing a tire, doing laundry, mending clothes and cooking healthy meals using a microwave.
"The concurrent and bridge students take a three-credit-hour general education course," said Been. "They begin their college transcript with us, and by connecting with them, our hope is they choose OSUIT for their future college."
Summer College is open to all students in the Upward Bound program, contingent upon a completed application for the program.
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.
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.