What are students saying about the 12th Discovery Day?
"Before taking the tour and going to your amazing school, I was considering applying to your school after I graduated and now, after taking a tour I'm sure that SSU is the school I want to do my education [for] college." Maria Faurrieta, RUP student
"I love that you can go to the library and have some peace and quiet." Joseline Moreno, RUP student
Maria and Joseline were just 2 of 107 Roseland University Prep students to visit the Sonoma State University campus this fall. RUP freshmen were paired with SSU service-learning students from two Educational Opportunity Program(EOP) UNIV 102 sections taught be Kristin Denver.
Groups of SSU and RUP students split into groups to have a scavenger hunt around campus. This gave an opportunity for the high school students to learn the parts of a university and ask questions directly to current students about the experience of going to college. Sonoma State students were able to use what they learned in class about leadership, teamwork, and communication to build relationships with their peers and guide high school students through an interactive tour of the campus.
After the scavenger hunt, the newly appointed Associate Vice President of Academic Programs, Karen Moranski, made an appearance to RUP students about coming to college and choosing an academic path that is right for them.
Also, a panel from Outreach visited to give RUP students another chance to ask about college. Outreach students started by talking about their majors, jobs, and how they navigate college life coming from low-income, first generation, and immigrant backgrounds.
The pizza lunch was followed by a welcome from Andre Bailey from EOP. The Educational Opportunity Program is for low-income and first generation college students, as is most of RUP's student population. In his speech about going to college, Andre encouraged the students to think about how they frame "success" and what they want for their futures. "Education is the key to success" he said. "There are people in places that are looking to support you because we want you to be the best that you can be."
This sense of support and reciprocity that Andre conveyed is what SSU students talked about in their reflection activity. Guided reflection practice is an important part of service-learning, as it reinforces what students should have learned throughout the project. The UNIV 102 students circled up and talked about how they felt about the day and next steps to being engaged beyond the classroom. During reflection, Lisa Cardoza said, "I got to give back to a community that gave me, us, what I have today under my belt that helped me go through school and practice being there for kids and taking care of them."
Richard "Joe" Figone shared how Andre affected him personally. Joe said, "The reason I ended up coming to Sonoma State is because I went to a day like this where I toured through the school and I had people talk to me. And I went to a school similar to RUP and I know if you just get a bunch of teachers telling you college is important, you'll never believe it until you see it for yourself." Joe as a young student in the community was able to experience what it was like on a college campus and provide the same support to RUP students that he was given. He continues, "When I toured Sonoma State I had a speech given to me by Andre and that was the first time I ever really thought, 'Oh, college is something that I should do.' But after that, I just wanted to come here."
After reading some of the reflection letters from RUP students, it is clear that SSU students made a difference in the younger students' lives, too. Lots of them want to go to college and expressed interest in Sonoma State specifically. They loved seeing the campus, some of them for the first time, having their questions answered honestly, and having a good time with their SSU student buddies. Also, the service-learning students learned the reciprocal nature of service-learning by understanding how they both taught and learned from the community.
Thank you Outreach for the student panel. The CCE would also like to thank Karen Moranski and Andre Bailey for the motivational speeches. And thank you RUP for providing another great group of students this year for Discovery Day!
Check out more picture in our album: Discovery Day XII
Missed last year's post? See it here.