The ATC's College Support Program recently hosted a six-week group experience for area high school students interested in learning more about the transition from high school to college. In collaboration with high school guidance counselors in the Huntington, WV area, graduate assistant Ben Childers, along with program coordinators Rebecca Hansen and Marc Ellison, identified students entering 9th, 10th or 11th grades who had an interest in attending college, and invited those who could make a six-week committment to participate.
Initial goals included:
1. How to effectively interact with college administrators, professors and advisers;
2. Preparing for college lifestyle events (sporting games, rallies, etc.);
3. Dorm Living;
4. Preparing for the freedom and independence that comes with campus living;
5. Exploring campus social groups and clubs;
6. Techniques effective in reducing the distress that can come with the transition.
Like many teens, several of the high school students in the group began the summer meetings with little reference for what the college experience would be like for them.
"My First Day Of College"
The purpose of the group--to provide a basic, experiential reference--was successful. In addition to informational exchanges and educational discussions, group participants ate a meal in the dorm cafeteria, toured residence halls and spent time exploring clubs available on campus at the Memorial Student Center.