While many college students are enjoying their summer break, it doesn't mean Pitt State's professors aren't staying busy. This summer for the fourth consecutive year, the university is taking part in the Kansas City-based Kauffman Scholars program, welcoming middle school students from the KC metro area to campus to learn more about college life. (Kauffman groups head to different universities throughout the region to meet the program's college experience requirements)
Two groups of Kauffman scholars are visiting PSU this summer. The first group of about 40 students will take classes at the Kansas Technology Center. The second group will take courses tailored for them in the Colleges of Arts and Sciences, Education, and Business.
As scholars in the selective program, these students are rewarded for meeting the program's requirements by having their post-secondary educations paid for by the Kauffman Foundation.
Dr. Trinity Davis, an assistant professor in curriculum and instruction at PSU, said offering a course for the students is a pleasant reminder of her experience teaching public school in Kansas City.
"I saw that the kids there had as much drive and intelligence as any others," said Davis, who is presenting a vocabulary course covering Greek and Latin origins. "It's nice that these students get to come here. They leave the metro area and they're surprised that Kansas universities are in small towns. That can be a culture shock, so it's good for them to have this experience in understanding universities."
And for Pitt State, it's exposure to future students who may choose to further their educations here.
"I'm first-generation college, and I know the difference education makes in peoples' lives," said Student Diversity Director Leslye Steptoe. "To be able to have some role in opening the door for other students, it makes me happy and proud that PSU is involved in this."