California State University, Fullerton

News Categories

Learning the Ropes of College Life

High Schoolers Experience Living on Campus Attending Classes, Learning Study Skills

July 22, 2013

A young man holds up antlers to his forehead

Miguel Navarro, who enters the 11th grade this fall at Santa Ana High School, tries on a pair of antlers during a recent visit to the nature center at Santiago Oaks Regional Park in Orange.

Not only are 36 high school students living on a college campus and attending classes this summer, they also are learning skills that will last them a lifetime.

The Summer Enrichment Program is part of the University's federally funded Upward Bound program, which assists eligible high school students prepare for admission to and succeed in earning a college degree.

To be eligible for the program students must be at least 13 years of age and have graduated from eighth grade; hold a minimum of 2.5 GPA as potential first-generation college students; meet federal income eligibility requirements; and attend a high school in the Santa Ana Unified School District. Participating students come from Century, Saddleback, Santa Ana and Valley high schools.

During the academic year, students receive after-school tutoring; supplemental instruction in English, science and math; and academic advice.

As part of the six-week summer program, students attend workshops on time management, healthy eating and relationships, and study skills, as well as such courses as English and math. This year's offerings include theater arts, environmental science, history, photographer and yoga. Participants also spend four weeks living in the University's residence halls.

"We've themed this year's program 'Be a Super Hero'," said Leo Cota, director of the Upward Bound Program. "We're helping them to learn the qualities of a super hero, like perseverance, because this summer program is rigorous.

"In the end, we want our students to feel like super heroes themselves, to feel good that they can achieve their dreams of a college education."

Some of the students also are part of UB Ambassadors. If accepted as an ambassador, participants learn about resume writing, proper work attire and other skills, in order to work on a university campus and gain quality work experience.

"We are gearing them to the idea that they can graduate high school, attend college and earn a college degree," said Cota, a CSUF and program alumnus. He points with pride to the program's record of college scholars. "Eighty-six percent of our participants since 2010 have continued past their first year of a college education. This year, like last year, all graduating seniors were admitted to a university or college."

By: Pamela McLaren, 657-278-4852

Tags:  Academics & ResearchCampus UpdatesCommunityTitan Pride