Mount Saint Mary College recently gave 850 seventh graders from the Newburgh Enlarged City School District (NECSD) a taste of college life.
With a different group coming between Monday and Thursday (about 215 each day), all NECSD seventh grade students had the opportunity to visit the Mount. During their time at the Mount, the students enjoyed a campus tour led by volunteer college students, ate at the college’s “The View” dining hall, and had the chance to exercise on the college’s turf field, tennis courts, and inside the gymnasium.
The event served as the kickoff event for a five-year Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs (NYGEAR UP) grant with NECSD. In August of 2022, New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) was awarded a $28 million, seven-year grant by the U.S. Department of Education to increase college readiness and success for more than 6,200 disadvantaged New York State students.
New York State students who are participating in the program will have access to support services, including tutoring and homework assistance, academic counseling, mentoring, college and career counseling, financial literacy and professional development to help them enroll and succeed in college. New York State GEAR UP also provides professional development to teachers, counselors, and administrators.
David Gallagher, associate professor of Education at the Mount, helped to coordinate the event.
“It’s my hope that the students walked away with a positive feeling about college,” said Gallagher. “For most of them, this was their first time setting foot on a college campus, and so it was important that they see colleges as a friendly place where they could explore their passions and grow as people. Since one of the goals of the grant is to prepare them for postsecondary education, this is just the beginning of them imagining themselves being part of the college experience."