Rural Scholars Spend Week at College Bootcamp
Over summer break, it’s not unusual to hear of kids heading off to camp.
For a group of 15 Rural Scholars, however, heading off to camp did not mean heading into the great outdoors to sleep in cabins or tents. Instead, they headed to Kent State University’s Kent Campus where they spent a week in dorm rooms and living the life of college students.
The students, all sophomores and juniors in area high schools, participated in the Rural Scholar’s College Bootcamp. This was the first year for the camp and was designed to help the scholars better understand what to expect when they transition into their college careers.
“When these students began the Rural Scholars program, they were seventh and eighth graders, trying to get ready for high school,” noted Wendy Pfrenger, director of the program. “Over the last four years, they have been encouraged to think beyond high school, to think beyond college and to think about careers, while understanding the steps they need to take to achieve their goals.
“For this group of scholars, college is that next step,” she continued, “and we want to help prepare them for life on a college campus.”
Aside from living on campus in the dorms and eating on a meal plan, the students attended mini-college courses in biology, composition, math and First Year Experience. They also toured the May 4th Visitors Center, enjoyed a talk with President Beverly Warren, and met with representatives from Student Activities and the LGBTQ Center.
At the Culture Café, they ate food from several other countries and participated in small-group discussions with scholars from China, Iraq, Senegal and Turkey.
The scholars did get to experience a bit of a typical summer camp by kayaking with Crooked River Adventures and rock climbing at the Student Rec Center.
Rural Scholar mentors also participated in the bootcamp; two spent the week as RAs in the dorm, while others volunteered with various activities. The mentors are all Kent State students from the Columbiana County Campuses who work with the scholars throughout the year.
Reactions from some of the scholars:
"I liked learning the basics before we go into college so we aren't so confused."
"It made me more hopeful because I learned that I can become a great graphic designer and get a job just by practicing every day."
"It has pushed me towards striving for the honors college for more scholarship chances."
"It has made me really want to come to college and, now, I know I could live on a big campus."
Columbiana County Rising Scholars are truly reaching for the stars!
Program Director Dr. Jessica Paull just learned that the hygiene kits scholars made last year through the NASA HUNCH program are headed into space. They will be delivered to the International Space Station, but the specific date and mission has not been announced.
Over the summer, major renovations were made in several classrooms on the Salem and East Liverpool campuses, changing how students learn and faculty teach.
Each campus now houses what is known as an active learning space featuring six 75-inch touch screen workstations; six whiteboards; flexible furniture; and technology that allows the instructor to share images between all the monitors in each room.
Starting this fall, Kent State University will offer an evidence-based suicide prevention course through funding from the Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation (OSPF). The class will be offered through the Kent State College of Applied and Technical Studies’ Bachelor of Social Work program at the Ashtabula, Salem and Tuscarawas campuses.
Kent State is the first university in Ohio to provide the course to its students outside of the original course developers at the University of Cincinnati, Old Dominion University, and the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.