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Camp College eases transition for incoming students at Northeast

Rick Wagner • Jun 1, 2013 at 4:21 AM

BLOUNTVILLE — Camp has finally gone to college, or college to camp.

Northeast State Community College aims to make higher education a less mysterious and challenging place for new students, who must navigate financial aid forms, registration and find a place to park.

To make students more confident and college-ready, College Access Programs at Northeast again is offering 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,” Megan Charles, a counselor with Northeast State’s College Transitions Program, said in a news release.

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, according to a news release, 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 grade point average for former campers is 3.0, which is higher than the at-large Northeast 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.

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.

The camp will be offered in three sessions this summer: June 17-19, July 23-25, and July 30- Aug. 1. All will be on the Blountville campus, 2425 Highway 75, and the sessions will run from 8:30 a.m. to 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 or pick up an application from the College Access office in Room C2301, General Studies Building on the Blountville campus.

Funding 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.

For more information about the program, contact the College Access Programs office at (423) 323-0223 or CollegeAccess@NortheastState.edu.

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