Volunteers from WSU aim to bring a significant amount of resources to high school students in underrepresented areas of the state.
This day-long event, called Imagine U, will host its spring conference May 14 and 15, as well as May 21 and 22.
Danielle Ellzey, program coordinator for the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment, said five high schools participated last year, with 2,300 students in attendance. She said this spring the expected number of students is 2,000.
Ellzey said the program originally started as a grant program last year. It serves as an outreach effort to students who normally would not hear a lot about going to college, as well as college-bound students who want to know what WSU has to offer.
Ellzey said through the program the high school students have the opportunities to hear faculty members, WSU students and alumni present their research. The students also participate in hands-on activities.
Activities in the morning start with the volunteers presenting their research to students. In the afternoon, the Office of Financial Aid and the Office of Admissions will inform students about procedures and a panel of current WSU students will give advice about their academic and social experience.
“I feel this program is important because it allows college students to not only give back to their community, but also allows high school students to engage in what their future may be like after high school,"Ellzey said."We are bringing the full college experience to students."
Lucila Loera, assistant vice president for the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment, said the faculty and current WSU students are very committed to this program. She said she feels it allows students to see what campus has to offer.
“Many of these students are first generation, and by attending the event they receive the support and help they need from different people,” Loera said.
Paul Verrell, associate professor for the School of Biological Sciences, has presented at the event for many years. He said some of the information he presents to students is about time management, reading and writing skills.
Verrell said he tries to give high school students an idea about what they can expect as freshmen and certain courses they may take. He also talks to them about study methods they can use.
“I go out and give info to these students who are motivated, but just do not have the knowledge about college life," Verrell said. "I just think Imagine U is a good and valuable package."