- by Mount Saint Mary College
Mount Saint Mary College

Mount Saint Mary College’s Higher Education Opportunity Program (HEOP) and Collegiate Science and Technology Entry Program (CSTEP) recently hosted their College Boot Camp for students at Newburgh Free Academy (NFA) West.

In addition to HEOP and CSTEP, the event was a collaboration with the college’s Admissions Office and Writing Center. The bootcamp was the brainchild of Lakeya Stukes, a school counselor at NFA West.

During the bootcamp, the NFA students:

  • improved their writing skills through a series of College Writing Workshops, hosted by the Mount’s Writing Center. Leading these four workshops were, in chronological order, Rob Wakeman, associate professor of English; Peter Witkowsky, associate professor of English and chair of the Division of Humanities; Gina Evers, director of the Writing Center; and David Gallagher, associate professor of Education; 
  • through HEOP/CSTEP, heard from current Mount students about life on campus during a student panel and participated in a campus wide scavenger hunt. These events were spearheaded by Grace Vazquez, interim director of HEOP/CSTEP;
  • and learned about the process of applying to a college with Arianna Guevara, Mount admissions counselor.

“The program was very successful,” noted Vazquez. “The NFA students got a lot out of it. We will definitely be hosting the bootcamp again next year.”

The Mount’s HEOP provides educational opportunities and support to traditionally underserved students who have strong academic potential, but would otherwise be excluded from higher education due to circumstances of academic and economic disadvantage.

CSTEP at the Mount works to increase the number of underrepresented students who possess strong academic and personal potential to pursue careers in mathematics, science, technology, health-related fields, or a licensed profession.


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