LCPS students and their parents can get valuable information about key aspects of college preparation from a program dedicated to making the prospect of attending college more inviting and the path to getting there easier to follow.
Jeanene McBride of Gear Up, the program designed to put LCPS students in a college-going frame of mind, is now scheduling appointments for individual sessions with students and parents to offer assistance in four areas important to the college bound: College Admissions Criteria; PSAT, SAT, PLAN and ACT Testing; Earning College Credit in High School; Essays for College Application and Scholarships; and Grants, Financial Aid and Scholarships.
“A lot of my seniors in particular are really interested in understanding the scholarship application process, have questions about SATs and are interested in getting assistance in writing their essays, because those are an essential part of college admission,” McBride said.
“Parents of my middle schoolers want to get a better understanding of what course work their students should be interested in, and they’re also interested in programs that allow them to take college courses in high school.”
Working with Lenoir Community College, LCPS makes college courses available to eligible students through two programs – College and Career Promise and Career Pathways. The latter program helps incoming freshman chart a course to early completion of high school requirements and the opportunity to earn up to two years’ worth of college credits at no cost in a particular career field.
Because getting that jump on college work requires an early commitment and planning, McBride wants to spread the word, particularly among the seventh and eighth graders who are in the first years of Gear Up.
“What I’m really hoping to do is to bring awareness about programs already available in Lenoir County and encourage those parents to start looking at those options early,” she said.
This summer, McBride worked with 15 LCPS students, mostly seventh and eighth graders, at the annual week-long Gear Up Camp, which was held at LCC and focused on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) topics.
“Our theme this summer followed along with what we did last year,” McBride said. “I wanted to expose the students to careers related to STEM.”
Activities included visits to Go Science in Greenville, where students “did a lot of math-based activities” and to A Time for Science in Ayden, where students studied water quality and collected water samples they later analyzed. The last day of camp they visited East Carolina University.
“They loved East Carolina,” McBride said. “We were able to tour the Engineering Department, so they had an opportunity to see what life is like for college engineering students. We also met some engineering students and saw projects students have been working on, like their robots and things they produced with a 3-D printer.”
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