Southwestern College is hosting 25 students from Stucky Middle School in Wichita. The Builder Bound 2012 three-day camp began on Wednesday.
Lai-L Clemons, dean of the camp, says the camp allows the students a chance to think about going to college.
“We want these students to know that they can attend college,” Clemons says. “And not just Southwestern, they can start thinking about attending any college that they want.”
The students at camp have earned their way to SC. They were chosen based on their academic performance, grade-point average, how well they performed on assessments, and attendance.
“How students perform in eighth grade says a lot about how they will do in college,” says Southwestern College vice president for student affairs Dawn Pleas-Bailey. “These are the exceptional kids from Stucky.”
At camp the middle school students get a taste of the college life. They have classes in math, music appreciation, history, English, leadership, and communication. They are taught by Southwestern College professors Rodney Worsham, Michelle Boucher, Cheryl Rude, and Matt O’Brien. They eat their meals in the Southwestern College dining area, and participate in activities such as roller skating, bowling, and movie night at the Cowley Cinema 8. Prior to dismissal of the camp, they will go through group presentations and assessments.
“These middle school kids get to experience what it’s like to be a college student,” says Pleas-Bailey. “Classes, presentations, cafeteria food, and fun things at night; they have to be able to balance their activities.”
Coreon Brinkley is at the camp for a second time. His mother, Michon, says that she saw lots of improvements from Coreon after attending camp last year.
“He (Coreon) really tries to be more prepared for whatever he might be doing,” Michon says. “This is a good camp. It is a great way for the kids to interact and I think it prepares them for the transition from middle school to high school and to college.”
The campers get to interact with eight or nine SC college students who are assisting with the camp.
Southwestern College has a partnership with Stucky Middle School. It is aimed at giving all of them a broader education. The goal is to guide middle school students toward pursuing college educations and all Stucky graduates who are accepted to Southwestern will receive scholarships. The partnership includes mentoring, summer camps, campus visits, and other fun and educational activities.
Adam Bancroft, teacher and administrator at Stucky Middle School, has been at Stucky since it opened nine years ago. He says the connection to Southwestern College is important to his students.
“Our partnership with Southwestern has been fabulous,” Bancroft says. “With President Merriman and Dawn (Pleas-Bailey) speaking at Stucky from time to time, it really gives the kids a connection of where they could be in four to five years.
Two former Stucky Middle School students enrolled at Southwestern for the 2011-2012 school year.