Higher education can be a mysterious and challenging place for students. Navigating financial aid forms, registration, or even where to park can create frustrating barriers to college success.
To make students more confident and college-ready College Access Programs at Northeast State Community College will again offer its three-day CAMP COLLEGE which introduces students to the ins and outs of college life.
“The objective is to orient, educate, and inspire students to connect with the resources that will make them successful in their initial semester of college,” said Megan Charles, a counselor with Northeast State’s College Transitions Program.
Campers will meet with admissions representatives, counselors, tutors, and business office personnel to learn the details of maintaining status as a student. Campers are brought up-to-speed on D2L online learning, how to access MyNortheast online services, and where offices and resources are located on campus. On the last day of camp, students will receive academic advising and register for classes.
In addition, campers will participate in a learning style inventory to help them understand the ways they learn best and how to get supplemental help with mastering course material.
One of the most useful benefits of the camp is the chance to bond with other students and staff members to create a network of support.
“It takes students from different high schools, brings them together, and creates a cohort,” said Erika Adams, director of College Access Programs. “It lets them create their own little support group and that’s hugely powerful.”
Adams said last summer’s CAMP COLLEGE cohort has a 96 percent retention rate through two semesters and the average GPA for former campers is 3.0, which is higher than the at-large Northeast State student population.
“They connect with us on a regular basis – not only if they have a crisis or are stressed – but also just to check in and update us on what they’re doing,” Adams said. “They have a social connection on campus and that has meant a lot to their commitment to the process. We expect to see increased completion and retention because of the relationships that are built.”
In addition, Adams said several cohort members were able to take care of – or progress toward – learning support requirements, bringing themselves up-to-speed academically for college-level work.
CAMP COLLEGE participants also earn an hour of college credit in only three days for EDUC 1010 – College Success. Normally, that would require a half-semester of class attendance.
Participants have to be admitted as students to Northeast State and enrolled in any of Northeast State’s College Access Programs to attend the camp. These include the Workforce Investment Act Youth Grant Program, College Mentor Corps, GEAR UP, or College Transitions Program.
There will be three CAMP COLLEGE sessions this summer: June 17-19, July 23-25, and July 30 – Aug. 1 – all on the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75. The sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. each day.
The camp is free and each session is limited to 20 students. Participants are admitted on a first come-first served basis, Adams said. Participants will receive course materials, a planner, a camp t-shirt, meals, and a backpack with assorted college survival gear.
Interested students may pick up an application from Northeast State college mentors at area high schools. High schools include Dobyns-Bennett, Sullivan East, Sullivan Central, Sullivan South, Sullivan North, Tennessee High, Unaka, Happy Valley, Elizabethton, Johnson County, Unicoi County, Daniel Boone, David Crocket, and Science Hill. Other students interested in signing up may pick up an application from the College Access office (Room C2301, General Studies Building) on the Blountville campus.
Adams said Northeast State also envisions providing a summer enrichment program for high school juniors. The program is currently under development and will be based on a business entrepreneurship model to aid students in making career choices. The program will have 40 slots and be similar in structure to CAMP COLLEGE.
Funding for CAMP COLLEGE is provided through two grants; the Workforce Investment Act In-School Youth Grant supplied by the Alliance for Business and Training and the College Access Challenge Grant supplied by the Tennessee Higher Education Commission.
Any student interested in more information about CAMP COLLEGE can contact the College Access Programs office at 423.323.0223 or CollegeAccess@NortheastState.edu.