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Wednesday, Oct 01, 2014

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Summer programs allow motivated high school students to get ahead


Ohio University’s Summer Programs have opened the door to high school students and freshmen to get ahead of their peers by participating in workshops and taking courses during Summer Sessions.

Thanks to the High School Honors Academy and other programs, motivated students are able to dip their toe into the college pool and get university credit hours and college experiences.

High School Honors Academy
     
"We’re always looking for ways to help talented and smart students enroll in the University. This is a way to reach out to high school students and give them extra opportunities to better know about campus life," said Assistant Director of Summer Sessions Patricia Davidson, who is also director of the Summer Honors Academy.

Summer Honors Academy is an annual program that provides opportunities for high school students who have very strong academic skills to earn credits and better adapt to college life in advance. They are required to have a high school GPA of 3.25 or greater. Qualified students take college courses and live on campus though they still are high school students.

"I also hire university students to work with them as mentors," Davidson said.

Some mentors are students who have participated in Honors Academy and are now studying at the university. In those cases, previous participants can help current participants by sharing their experiences.

 "They live in the residence halls with the students," Davidson said. "The mentors work with the students during the day conducting study sessions and Exploration Seminars, helping the students find their way to classes for the first few days."

The program will be held from July 16 through Aug. 11. Each student is allowed to take up to three classes during the session. Participating students earn full University credits and will begin an official Ohio University transcript.

In addition, students also have Exploration Seminars, which involve visits to academic departments and discussions with faculty members to help the students learn about what they might like to study or pursue as career interests.

Davidson said they pick the departments randomly to visit for Exploration Seminars.

“I watch Compass for articles about faculty who are doing interesting research, something that may be interesting to the students. We ask the students when they apply to the program what they would be interested in learning about, so I try to make those different every year,” Davidson said.

Some of the departments participants will visit this year are the Office of Undergraduate Research and Media Arts and Studies. During the Seminar with the Media Arts and Studies department, the students will have a tour of the WOUB television and radio studios, and learn about audio and video editing and basic video production.
   
“We are trying to let them (the students) really enjoy it and find out what they like; let them try some new things and even if they don’t like it, they will have learned that it is not something they want to pursue,” said Davidson.
      
Other programs in summer
  
There are many other programs for high school students going on this summer.

One of these programs is Upward Bound. This program is available for first-generation low-income students, and has long been sponsored by the Patton College of Education.

“We have five students here this year who are participating both in Upward Bound and Honors Academy, in addition to the 13 students that I have recruited for the program,” Davidson said.
 
This combination of efforts can help high school students who want to attend Ohio University to advance, keep them challenged and interested and give them an early taste of what it's like to be a Bobcat.

“The goal of these programs is to keep them excited and motivated for going on to college,” said Davidson.

A third program is the High School Journalism Workshop, which was held June 28-30, and brought 90 students from all over Ohio and several other states to learn from the University's world-renowned faculty and guest instructors about journalism ethics, technologies and techniques.