High School Students Experience UMKC

 

Admitted students get a dose of college life

When Sara Gillham Bedwell addressed a crowd of hundreds of high school students and their parents in UMKC’s Pierson Auditorium, she didn’t waste time.

Instead, the associate director of recruitment talked about the big picture: FAFSA. Orientation. Student Housing.

It was exactly what the already-admitted students needed to hear. But soon enough, as the crowd broke off into more personalized sessions, the big picture gave way to smaller details.

After all, there’s a reason the day-long event was dubbed “Experience UMKC.”

Potential pledges learned about fraternities and sororities in the Student Union. Students who were interested in business headed toward the Bloch School of Management.  Fitness enthusiasts went to Swinney Recreation Center.

Each student designed their visit ahead of time, customizing their experience to match more closely with their future plans. They ate in the dining halls, toured the student housing options, and met with students in their major.

In short, each student got a little taste of the UMKC experience.

In the School of Biological Sciences, high school students interacted with Biology faculty, and heard stories from students who had been in their shoes just a few years ago.

“A lot of students come in with a narrow view about what they can do with a Biology degree. That’s one of the nice things about UMKC. You’ll have opportunities to branch out and explore your interests, and really see what options are available,” Tammy Welcher, student resources coordinator for the school, said.

In one of the day’s final sessions, a group gathered in the Student Union to learn more about UMKC’s Residential Life.  The panel of student speakers was representative of many of the high school students who sat, listening. Some were from the Kansas City area. They’d grown up just 10, 20, or 30 minutes away from UMKC.

Others came from all over the map. In some cases, this was their first visit to Kansas City.

Springfield native Kaitlynn Reynolds, a resident advisor at Johnson Hall, identified with the students who had traveled a few hours to get to campus that day.

But regardless of whether their hometown was near or far, Reynolds encouraged them to live on campus. She said that when she moved on campus, she was somewhat unfamiliar with Kansas City. Rather than a hindrance, that became a bonding opportunity with her roommates.

“We discovered Kansas City together, and it made us that much closer,” Reynolds said.

Reynolds was one of several speakers who touched on the importance of branching out. In sessions on everything from career services, to study abroad, to residential life, speakers implored the future UMKC students to seize academic and social opportunities.

Katie Garey, acting assistant director for Residential Life, touched on another theme – that when students come to UMKC, they get a mix of faculty and staff who are invested in their success.

“At UMKC, there’s a lot of support to help you with your transition to college. We hope you’ll see that in the fall,” Garey said.

Photo credit: Janet Rogers, Division of Strategic Marketing and Communications.


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