Choosing to pursue higher education has always been a bold move. It’s a big decision that leaves some high school students anxious and indecisive.
Wright State University’s College Readiness Day on Jan. 31 brought over 100 Logan County high school students together to give them a taste of the college experience. These students were either undecided about attending college after they graduate high school or are planning to be the first in their families to attend college.
College Readiness Day demonstrated the value of a college education and gave the Logan County students examples of college-level writing.
The program was the brainchild of Nancy Mack, Ph.D., professor of English language and literatures at Wright State.
“This event targets high school students with potential,” said Mack. “Every student here is extremely bright, but not all of them are considering going to college to use their potential.”
The event kicked off with multimedia presentations from successful Wright State students who spoke about varying subjects such as transitioning from the military to college life to working in the field of psychology. The Wright State students answered questions about college-level writing and their perceptions of higher education.
They also highlighted how students can take advantage of Wright State’s First Year Experience peer-mentoring program. Peer mentors are highly trained juniors, seniors and graduate students who serve as teachers, role models, sources of information for new students and representatives of Wright State.
“One of the presenters asked the crowd of students to raise their hand if they were afraid of going to college,” said Mack. “Nearly every single one of them did. Our goal was to lessen the anxiety these students have.”
Following the question-and-answer session, the Wright State students took the Logan County high schoolers on a campus tour, showing them the tunnel systems, Campus Recreation facilities and residence halls.
“I hope these students will walk away with a greater understanding of what positive things college has to offer,” said Mack. “They also need to know how to actively seek out on-campus activities.”
Brittaney Bryant, a junior at Indian Lake High School, was one of the Logan County students at College Readiness Day. If she chooses to attend college, she will be the first in her family.
“My teachers suggested that I go on this trip to Wright State because I’m actually interested in college,” said Bryant. “I want to get a degree because I hope to make something of myself. A good job would be nice, too.”
Joel Staudter, a district administrator from the Ohio Hi-Point Career Center in Bellefontaine, said he hoped to the visit to Wright State would give future first-generation college students their first taste of what higher education would be for them.
“Specifically, we wanted them to see what a college English class would be like,” said Staudter. “We’re trying to help these students find their focus and their passion. College may very well be the vehicle that gets them to where they want to be.”
College Readiness Day was funded in part by a Race to the Top Grant in conjunction with the College of Liberal Arts and the Department of English Language and Literatures.