PROMISING FUTURE: High school students from the Pittsburgh Public Schools listen to Alejandra McFern, Slippery Rock University assistant director of admissions, discuss academic and social opportunities at The Rock. Students toured campus to learn first hand about how SRU delivers on its promise to provide a Rock Solid education.
SRU woos Pittsburgh Promise students
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Teireik Williams, a high school student from Pittsburgh, said he liked what he saw when he visited Slippery Rock University last week as part of the Pittsburgh Promise scholarship program.
"The main issue for me is I want to get into the college of my choice," Williams said. "I'm a writer. I specialize in poetry, and I am looking for a college that will allow me to pursue my passion. I like what I see."
More than 100 high school students who attend schools in Pittsburgh spent Friday afternoon exploring The Rock through Pittsburgh Promise. The program helps students attending Pittsburgh Public Schools plan, prepare and pay for higher education at an institution in Pennsylvania. Pittsburgh Promise launched in 2007 with a $100 million commitment from the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center.
Alejandra McFern, an SRU admissions counselor, discussed academic, athletic and social opportunities at SRU. The prospective students toured campus and asked questions about majors such as emerging technology and music, social opportunities and having fun. Several SRU upperclassman were on hand to answer questions and give tours.
"Don't just go to a college because your best friend goes there," McFern said. "You have to be comfortable with your decision. Take a look at the services and plan ahead."
She said one mistake some high school students make is deferring college because they want to earn some money. "My experience has been that once you start to make that money, it's very hard to get back on track," she said.
Kayla Kateloa, a junior from Pittsburgh, said she lived in Slippery Rock as an elementary school student and is likely to attend SRU, although she hasn't picked a major.
"Being back up here is like a breath of fresh air," she said. "I know the people are genuine."
Like the majority of high school students, Kateloa said she is nervous about leaving home. "I am kind of nervous about leaving everything behind because I will have to do it on my own. I haven't picked a major yet because I am a very diverse person and don't want to limit myself."
Pam Little-Poole, a board member for Pittsburgh Promise, said SRU presented well. "The students have had a positive impression, and we can see that they have all kinds of majors, such as physical therapy and the sciences," she said. "Slippery Rock would be good for them because they'd be away from home but not too far from home."