With a nationwide focus on getting more high school students college and career ready, Wicomico High School science teachers, Mrs. Rebecca Mathews and Dr. Bryan Cox, arranged a trip for thirty-one Wicomico High School students to the Philadelphia, PA area on Friday, October 7, 2016, to explore four different college campuses. The first stop was Temple University in inner-city Philadelphia. The students walked the campus with a tour guide learning what Temple has to offer with more the 26,000 undergraduate students attending the university. Hussein Ahmed, WiHi class of 2016 and Temple class of 2020, met up with the group, sharing his enthusiasm for his college choice and getting some quick chemistry help from Dr. Cox. After the tour, students had the opportunity to ask questions about life as a Division 1 athlete while meeting with Obi Enechionyia, starting forward for the Temple basketball team.
The next stop was lunch on the University of Pennsylvania campus, just six miles across town. Students had an array of food options as well as the opportunity to stroll the historic campus. Most of the undergraduates were off campus due to Fall Break, but foot traffic was still rather robust because of the proximity of Penn’s Dental and Medical schools.
Leaving the city behind, the third stop was the suburban campus of Swarthmore College. The rolling hills, tall trees, and open spaces of Swarthmore was a definite contrast to the first two stops. The tour involved hiking up and down the paths of the campus while learning about the particular style of teaching and learning that is unique to small liberal arts colleges. Students were also provided insight into QuestBridge, a non-profit organization that provides scholarship opportunities for high-achieving, low income students at the most selective colleges and universities.
Students enjoyed a relaxing meal at Chili’s before heading to the final stop on the mini college tour. Although it was growing dark, students were enthusiastic to see Villanova University, a mid-size university in the suburbs of Philadelphia. Armed with newfound knowledge and growing questions about college life, the students engaged a group of Villanova students playing basketball, asking excellent questions about the academic, athletic, and social aspects of life at Villanova.
Students returned to WiHi at 11:00 pm excited about all they had seen and heard. While some students may choose the apply to one or more of the colleges visited, all of the students gained valuable insight into the college process and all that college has to offer.