College Bound hosts summer program for area high school students
The mission of The Patton College of Education’s College Bound program is to cultivate resilience, confidence, and preparation for a healthy and successful transition from high school to a postsecondary institution. And this summer, during a three-week program from July 14 to Aug. 3, College Bound did just that for 11 high school students from Athens, Hocking and Vinton Counties.
“I was so happy with the summer program and the itinerary we developed for the students,” said Coleen Dietsch-Krubl, College Bound project manager. “We provided a wide range of skill-building activities that deepened their understanding of how to succeed as a student both in and out of the classroom.”
Students stayed on Ohio University’s Athens campus and resided in Adams Hall during the program, which culminated in a four-day trip to Washington D.C. While in D.C., students visited the American History Museum, National Mall, Washington National Cathedral and Georgetown University, among other sites.
College Bound replaced Upward Bound, which served Southeast Ohio from 1967 to 2018 before losing federal funding. College Bound, which hosted a one-week program last summer, mirrors the goals of Upward Bound by providing skills and support services to high school students who are potential first-generation college students.
“We worked on college readiness not just in terms of hard skills like academic ability and knowledge,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “We also worked on the soft skills—life skills that are just as important to success in college and life in general.”
The three-week schedule was jam-packed with diverse activities. For example, College Bound collaborated with the Ohio Program of Intensive English (OPIE), as students received cooking and dancing lessons from 35 visiting teachers from Brazil. The teachers also taught English class, comparing and contrasting cultures and educational systems in Brazil and the United States.
“My students just loved them,” said Dietsch-Krubl, “and I think the feeling was reciprocated.”
Students also experimented with hands-on STEM activities courtesy of WOUB Educational Services Manager Deborah Brewer, Ohio Valley Museum of Discovery Executive Director Jennifer Parsons, and OHIO College of Arts & Sciences Physics Associate Professor Mark Lucas. Brewer also coordinated a tour of WOUB television and radio studios.
Fitness and nutrition, meanwhile, were emphasized each day. Visiting Professor David Lawrence, in fact, organized various physical activities, including kayaking, canoeing, swimming, hiking, and ultimate frisbee. He also led a dining-hall scavenger hunt on the first day of the program.
“The goal was to scavenge throughout the dining hall to piece together a healthy meal,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “He showed them some tips beforehand and taught them how to eat healthy on a regular basis.”
Lawrence also served as Spanish instructor and tasked students with learning lyrics to a Spanish song.
“It wasn’t a straightforward academic class,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “It was fun and interactive with a lot of energy and enthusiasm.”
In addition, students learned fine-dining and handshake etiquette—skills that will help them in college and throughout their careers.
“They went into it pretty skeptical, but once they were in the midst of it, they were enjoying it,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “The staff used a PowerPoint presentation to help them move from course to course. It was very interesting and fun.”
Students were able to practice their new skills at a restaurant in Washington D.C. For many students, it was their first visit to our nation’s capital. Dietsch-Krubl, who previously worked for the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs, plans to end the program with a trip each year.
“I’ll probably choose somewhere else next year because we will likely have a few returnees,” she said.
All in all, the summer program was highly successful. The parent of a student participant texted Dietsch-Krubl to thank her for “the awesome three weeks” her daughter experienced in the program. The participant made a new friend, “learned that there are people out there that are her age that can be trusted and came home with a newfound respect for herself and confidence that she really needed.”
“I was so pleased with how the program turned out this year,” said Dietsch-Krubl. “The kids really bonded with each other, and it was wonderful to see. I couldn’t ask for a better experience.”