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College visit gives UCS junior high school students a vision for the future
College visit gives UCS junior high school students a vision for the future
Posted on 05/30/2019
Students posing in front of Oakland University signIt may be a few years off, but Utica Community Schools junior high school students already have a good picture of life in college. 

More than 2,200  junior high school students visited Oakland University this year through a unique partnership that helps prepare the future UCS graduates.

“While at Oakland University, students heard an admissions presentation to learn about grade point average, test scores, and types of high school courses  that colleges look for,” said  Eppler counselor Kristy Newell.   “Students begin to understand what college is and the importance of choosing challenging classes and working hard during the high school years. “ 

Students also experience a campus tour and may have the opportunity to eat lunch in a campus dining hall.  The experience gets students excited about the many opportunities available to them and motivated to achieve their goals.  They also begin to feel comfortable on a college campus and develop a sense of the importance of post-secondary education and lifelong learning.

Dawn Aubry, Associate Vice President of Enrollment Management at OU, wrote to UCS junior high school counselors: “(Utica Community Schools) is a great example for others to take a leadership role in the efforts to increase the college attainment rates in Michigan. You are actively working to move the needle and to change the college-going culture in Michigan. We appreciate your efforts.”

Students said the experience helped them focus on the future. 

"The tour guides at OU were nice and really showed us what college is all about.  They explained the lifestyle on campus,” said Eppler ninth grader Subash Adusumilli.  ”I was surprised at the number of career opportunities and how nice the campus was."

Eppler ninth-grader Emily Thompson said: "Both of my parents are currently studying at Oakland, and I still learned a lot.  I didn't realize that they have a recreation center, athletic center, and so many events and opportunities for students."

The OU-UCS collaboration represents one of the largest college visit partnerships in Michigan.  

"Oakland University surprised me because I didn't realize a college campus would have so many different buildings, yet still be connected," Eppler ninth-grader Klair Farouk said. “I enjoyed touring campus and seeing how there were different opportunities at each building."

Eppler ninth-grader Haile Larsen added: "I enjoyed the admissions presentation.  I didn't realize how many different different careers you can study at Oakland University.  During the tour we got to see the residence halls and how students really live on campus."

Malow students by statue of the OU grizzly