CAMP COLLEGE students get the skinny on college life

Where is my financial aid check?!  Technology fee?  No one told me about a parking permit!  These issues can frustrate new college students more than the most comprehensive chemistry final.

Before a student sits down to his or her first composition class or biology lab, the business of college requires detailed attention.  Fifteen students experienced CAMP COLLEGE, an event sponsored by College Access Programs of Northeast State Community College last week to prepare them for every day college life as they pursue a degree. The three-day camp introduced students to responsibilities of college life.

“Our goal is to get the students more college ready,” said Megan Charles, coordinator of College Transition Programs at Northeast State. “We want them to get that community feel on campus and feel like they belong before they start school.”

CAMP COLLEGE participants work together to overcome challenges they may face during college.

Beyond the academic rigors, students face deadlines for financial aid, admissions, and class registration.    Campers met with admissions representatives, counselors, tutors, and business office personnel to learn the details of maintaining status as a student.  Campers also learned about the D2L online system, how to access MyNortheast online services, and got a tour of the main campus.

“CAMP COLLEGE saved me a lot of stress from taking an entire course about college life,” said camper Caleb Ray, who plans on entering the Chemical Process Operations program this fall.  “And it saved me a lot of money.”

CAMP COLLEGE students ranged from recent high school graduates to non-traditional students.  Fellow Camp participant Brandy Blevins plans on majoring in Dental Hygiene.

“I didn’t know you could get tutoring for classes and how much help was available here,” said Blevins. “You learn where to go to get help at the college when you need it.”

CAMP COLLEGE also gives participating students an hour of college credit while getting prepared for potential problems outside the classroom.  Students are required to participate in the College Access Programs to attend the camp.

Funding for CAMP COLLEGE is provided through two grants; the Workforce Investment Act (WIA) 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.

Northeast State reps coach students through team building exercises.

Getting admitted to any college as a full-time student requires considerable work.  Admission to Northeast State requires an applicant to forward a transcript of their high school record or GED score, submit an immunization record, complete an application, and pass any learning support tests needed.  Participants had to be admitted as students to Northeast State to attend the camp and participants in College Access, WIA, or College Transitions programs.

Team building also put students together as they will be in shared-learning exchanges in almost all of their college courses.   Individual assignments engaged campers in writing exercises about issues important to them and how to apply it to life.

The final event divided students into three teams moving around the Quad sidewalk on a game board.  Each team rolled a die to move around the Quad frequently landing on squares to face challenges such as lost scholarships or missed academic deadlines.  Participants were judged on problems solving, teamwork, and adapting to challenges.

CAMP COLLEGE comes to the Kingsport Center for Higher Education June 25-27 and July 23-25 for GED students.  The camp returns to the main campus July 9-11 and July 18-20.  Charles noted college students juggled classes with part-time or full-time jobs, children, and other interests.  Learning to establish life priorities was critical to being a successful student, she said.

“COLLEGE CAMP also teaches how to be an ongoing student such as getting a scholarship and keeping it,” said Charles.  “They also learn how to manage their health and deal with stress that comes with being a college student.”

Any student interested in more information about CAMP COLLEGE can contact the College Access Programs office at 423.323.0223 or by emailing

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