Upward Bound Students Get a Taste of College Life at LHU

February 18, 2014- College may be just around the corner for high school seniors in our area. While it is an exciting time, it can also produce some anxiety for preparing for education beyond high school. Students may often wonder, “What is college REALLY like, and how are classes different from high school classes?” Lock Haven University’s TRIO Upward Bound (UB) program is doing its part to help ensure students from four local high schools are better prepared for the transition to college, and gives them a unique opportunity to see college classes in action.

On January 31, 2014, twenty-one UB junior and senior high school students from Central Mountain, Bucktail, Jersey Shore, and Williamsport High Schools visited the University to take part in a “Campus Day” event. They observed two LHU classes in session, with the opportunity to participate in class discussion. Students observed an Introduction to Literature course with Dr. Robert Myers; an Understanding Art course with Prof. Philip Huber; an Introduction to Psychology course with Dr. Susan Boland; and an Introduction to Social Work course with Dr. Amy Downes.        

UB students also participated in a discussion of the academic differences between high school and college, which highlighted what to expect. They concluded the Campus Day by dining at Bentley Dining Hall, which gave them an opportunity to see another major aspect of college life.

When surveyed about the Campus Day experience and how college classes were different from what they expected, one student replied, “Classes were more interactive than I expected, which was a good surprise.” When asked how they feel about the UB program, one student reported, “UB is a great program and should be more recognized and funded more.” Another student replied, “It’s (UB) helped because I didn’t know much about college and I feel like I’m better prepared.”

Throughout the academic year, the faculty/staff of UB works closely with faculty/staff at the high schools to help students achieve academic success, and to help plan for college and future careers. “I like that we can get help in school if we need it,” a high school student points out. Services provided by UB include academic and career counseling, mentoring, tutoring, assistance with the college application and financial aid processes, and organized college visits.

Not only does UB have constant contact with high school students during the school year, but also offers a six week summer program in which the students live on campus at LHU, take enrichment courses to help them prepare for the next year of high school, participate in cultural events, and experience some a taste of college life. The summer program also allows students the opportunity to volunteer time with community agencies and gain work-study experience.

The summer program has been a hit with the students who have experienced it. “During the summer, we visit other colleges and it helped me decide what I like and don’t like in a college,” one student points out.

Students from the four collaborating high schools interested in joining the UB program in grades 9-12 can get more information at http://www.lhup.edu/colleges/Business_Information/academic_development/upward_bound or should contact program director Tulare Park at 570-484-3054 or tpark@lhup.edu.

Lock Haven University is a member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE), the largest provider of higher education in the commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 250 degree and certificate programs in more than 120 areas of study. Nearly 405,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.