More than 1,900 area middle-schoolers will visit Augusta State University this school year to get first-hand exposure to college life.
Last week, Wrens Middle School pupils became the first group this year to participate in the Post-secondary Readiness Enrichment Program. The PREP program is designed to help pupils become familiar with the college process and increase college readiness.
The pupils took part in hands-on informational sessions on topics ranging from mathematical explorations in geometry to careers in health and historical investigations of the campus.
"The faculty, staff and our student volunteers have really worked hard on this program," said Mary Gendernalik Cooper, the chairwoman of the department of teacher development at Augusta State University. "We are excited to have these students."
Kevin Lane, 13, said he was impressed with the program and the university.
"I know I need to start working harder in school now," Kevin said. "I've really learned a lot today."
In addition to the academics, pupils were given information on admissions and financial aid.
"This is a great opportunity because a lot of these students don't know anything of a college experience," said Ann DeLoach, a seventh-grade teacher at Wrens Middle School.
The day concluded with a game show with Augusta State University President William Bloodworth Jr. as host.
Dr. Bloodworth asked questions of the audience in his show titled Who Wants to Be a College Student?
The middle-schoolers were quizzed on their knowledge of the university and the day's activities.
"This was interesting," Haley Dennard said. "I've learned a lot, but most of all to try my best in school starting now."
Reach Ashlee Griggs at (706) 823-3552.