On Thursday, Williamsport Area High School seniors who plan to attend Pennsylvania College of Technology in the fall got an early look at what to expect during their first semester.
A new partnership between the schools allowed students to tour the campus, meet staff and learn about resources available to them as Penn College students.
Phyllis Sieber and Stuart Roe, high school counselors, accompanied the students on the visit and said they wanted them to see that they have resources available to them - they just need to take advantage of them. Penn College staff echoed the message of responsibility.
CRAIG S. McKIBBEN JR./Sun-Gazette
Liz Mendenhall, left, a fourth-year dental hygiene student from Christiana and student ambassador at Pennsylvania College of Technology, leads Williamsport Area High School students on a campus tour Thursday.
"We can offer you the help. It's up to you to take advantage of it," said Jennifer Hammond, Academic Success Center coordinator.
The counselors also hoped the incoming class will consider using the college's mentorship program, which gives students someone to talk with and ask questions throughout the semester.
"They're used to getting help from us, and we hope that's what they'll take advantage of here," Roe said.
Kim Bolig, director of the Academic Success Center, explained that having a mentor isn't an obligation but a tool for students to use when they need help. She said some students meet with her just to have her reassure them that they can make it through the semester, while others see her every week to talk about classes.
"Mentoring is a lot of different things," Bolig told the students.
Along with a mentor, Denny Dunkleberger, of the registrar's office, told the students they need to be very familiar with their academic adviser.
"That should be your best friend here - your adviser," he said.
Another resource is the Academic Success Center's tutoring program.
Hammond explained that it doesn't matter if a student is getting straight As or failing a class, all students can benefit from the program. The college's tutoring program helped about 1,600 students this past semester, with more than 24,000 hours of tutoring logged.
"Tutoring is for everyone, not just when things are in dire straits," Hammond said.
Students can choose to make appointments for tutors, walk in for some quick help or join small-group tutoring.
"We want you to be earning the best (grade point average) that's possible," Hammond said.
Because the tutoring center only is open until 6 p.m. on weekdays, the college also subscribes to a free, online tutoring program.
"So there's all kinds of tutoring available," Hammond added.
The staff encouraged students to make responsible choices to accompany their newfound freedom. They told the seniors to get involved and make the most of opportunities.
"Use your time wisely because it does go fast," Bolig said.