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Sixty-three freshman and sophomore GEAR UP students from Coalgate Public Schools recently participated in a virtual college tour day and life skills expo.
Students began the day by discussing how to select a college that is the right choice for them. They looked at location, cost, admission requirements, academic programs, and class size.
The first virtual tour discussed junior colleges which offer smaller class size and lower costs. Students also learned that attending a two-year college allows them more opportunities to participate in collegiate sports and learn adult responsibilities.
During the next tour, students received an overview of the University of Tulsa, which highlighted campus activities and campus life. The university is a four-year private college with large classes, a variety of student activities, and several unique opportunities for learning.
The GEAR UP students discussed the differences between a privately funded college and a state-funded college and the possibility of scholarships and grants compensating for higher tuition.
The final tour of the day was of SOSU (Southeastern Oklahoma State University) in Durant. Students learned that other similar universities are located across the state with some specializing in specific academic programs.
SOSU recruiter Sarah Hughes discussed the top five academic programs the university offers and gave an overview of student life. She also discussed admissions requirements, scholarships, and financial aid. She encouraged the students to be involved in on-campus activities and to maintain good grades. Hughes ended with a question and answer session.
In addition to the virtual college tour, students participated in a life skills expo.
Coby Sherrill, Marketing Director for FirstBank in Atoka, presented a financial session that included banking, credit, debit, savings, and loans. He shared tips for wise financial planning before heading to college.
In another breakout session, Jim Lewis from AAA Insurance offered tips on car maintenance and showed students how to use jumper cables.
The final session was presented by Kiamichi Technology Center recruiters Stoni Peck and Becky Ward who encouraged students to explore career certifications during high school and the programs offered at the Atoka technology center.