Preparing Future Penguins: How YSU Gives High Schoolers a College Experience

By Caitlyn Wilkes

Jambar Contributor

Youngstown State University hosts a variety of events during each year that bring groups of high school students to campus.

Events such as Crash Day, the English Festival and Press Day draw large crowds. Sometimes their visits can impact the daily lives of YSU students.

McKenzie Learn, a geography student at YSU, said it’s not only a good experience for high schoolers to spend time on a college campus, but it’s important for the university as well.

“I think it’s great they come here,” Learn said. “Without the [high school] students coming here, they’re not going to know how great our university is, and our enrollment will not go up each year.”

Samantha Lashley, an anthropology student, participated in the English Festival in high school and said it has been helpful to her since starting school at YSU.

“I learned where different buildings were and learned my way around campus before becoming a college student,” Lashley said.

Chaste Chapman, a junior psychology student, said the more experience high schoolers get in a college environment, the better.

“I think it’s wonderful that younger kids and high school students can come onto campus for events,” Chapman said. “The more exposure they get, the more they become interested and want to come to college.”

Becca Potkanowicz, a senior telecommunications student, recognized both the benefits and drawbacks of the visits.

“I just wish they would notify us in advance,” Potkanowicz said. “I love that they come here, but it can be inconvenient. I think it would help if they would send out an email letting us know what day and time they’re coming, so I know to pack my lunch that day or leave ten minutes early.”

P.J. Donahue, a sophomore psychology student, said the large crowds of high schoolers can be inconvenient to YSU students and impact their daily schedules.

Chad Ries teaches YSU College Credit Plus courses to students at Niles McKinley High School and is the director of the English Festival program there. He said the high school visits give students a chance to experience campus and interact with college students.

“It’s not just good for the students, but also for YSU,” Ries said. “For most of the students, it is their first experience of visiting a college. If YSU is able to make a positive impression, they may just have a future student.”