Students learn about college options during freshman field trip to OSU
Posted on 05/07/2015

Team Ochoco, one of McMinnville High School’s Smaller Learning Communities, traveled to Corvallis on Friday, April 24, to explore Oregon State University. Headed by ninth-grade teachers Francesca Morrison and Audrey Wright, the students spent the day touring the campus, asking questions of current OSU students and learning about life as a college student.

Funded by a grant from the McMinnville Education Foundation, the trip was a culminating activity of the MHS freshman seminar that focuses on college readiness, college planning, and college aspirations and expectations.

“This is the final part of our college project,” said Morrison. “The students learn how to prepare and start saving for college. They research colleges and what it takes to get in, what classes they should be taking for the schools they’re looking at, and they look into trade schools, too.” A valuable part of that preparation is visiting a school and having students imagine attending there, she said.

One of the big surprises for students, according to Morrison, is how much college costs. “They look into scholarships and work programs,” she said. “It’s important to start planning.”

MHS student Sydney Bissonette-Barger was impressed by the “huge” size of the campus, as well as the 400 clubs available to students. She thinks she would like to enroll and study culinary arts because that’s the pathway she’s chosen at MHS.

Another MHS student on the trip was Taylor Coburn, a first-time visitor to the Corvallis campus. While the students were nice, she says, she doesn’t plan to attend the university. “I want to be a cop, so I need to go to a school that has Criminal Justice,” she said.

On the way home, the buses took a detour through the Western Oregon University campus. “We didn’t stop and visit,” said Morrison. “But it gave them an idea of the difference between a big school like Oregon State and a smaller one. It’s all about getting them thinking.”