Creating college trips

The buses pull up to the front of the building. They stop, and then students from Duncan High School get out into the fresh air. So begins their college campus tour.

College campus field trips are set up mainly by GEAR UP representative Alison Lovett. The trips are intended to broaden the students’ horizons. They do this “to expose students to a college campus,” school counselor Laura Anderson said.

“We were fortunate to be selected to be a part of the GEAR UP grant five years ago.” Lovett said. “The grant funds all the expenses associated with these campus trips such as transportation costs, meals for students to eat on campus and substitutes for teachers who are able to attend with the students.”

The actual setup of the field trip is spearheaded by Lovett. She collaborates and meets with several different departments and people.

“These trips are fun for students, but they require the support and collaboration of the administrators, counselors, teachers and office staff to make sure they are successful,” Lovett said.

She collaborates with the administrators to set up the trips with the different colleges.

“In the fall, I begin working with the admission departments on the campuses we would like to visit to set up dates for our students,” Lovett said.

After that, she works with the different departments involved.

“I work with our transportation department to set up buses and drivers and with the food services department on the campus we’re visiting to see what they need for our students to eat that day,” Lovett said.

Afterwards, she visits with the students.

“I visit with classes to talk to students about GEAR UP and where they will be going on their campus visit.”

Lovett is appreciative of all the help she gets.

Counselor Trendy Beam has a positive outlook on the college campus field trips.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to get to compare those campuses so that they can get to decide if a small college is what to think about,” Beam said.

Although effort is put into the college field trips, Lovett and others enjoy helping students gear up.