11-14-13: Washington State University welcomes seniors to college during onsite
11-14-13: Washington State University welcomes seniors to college during onsite
Posted on 11/14/2013

Surrounded by crimson and gray banners and balloons, Washington State University representatives offered college admission to more than 30 Emerald Ridge High School seniors last month during a luncheon celebration in the high school library.


The offer to attend WSU is part of the university’s new onsite admission program launched this fall at high schools throughout Washington state.Image


Emerald Ridge High is the first high school to host the onsite admission event for qualified seniors, who have been working this past month to complete their online admission applications and submit necessary paperwork, including transcripts.


Puyallup and Rogers high schools will host similar WSU onsite admission events on November 25 and 26.


Tafona Brar, WSU associate director of recruitment, handed each of the future WSU Cougars a certificate of acceptance and shouted several “Go Cougs!” cheers during the admissions ceremony.


Brar also discussed next steps for students, including applying for scholarships and student housing, as well as attending new student orientation.


While the university has offered onsite admission before in high schools statewide, they have been on a much smaller scale and not as a formalized university program teaming both the WSU admissions and recruitment offices, Brar said.


She said she chose Emerald Ridge High to launch the program this year because of the successful working relationship she has established with the school during career fairs in previous years, as well as the interest among students in attending the college.


Senior Claire Benson is one of the nearly three dozen students accepted to the university and showed up for the luncheon in a crimson WSU Cougar sweatshirt. Benson said she plans to pursue a degree in nursing and has her sights set on becoming a pediatric nurse.


Benson said she chose WSU because of its nursing program, the Pullman community atmosphere, and the many people in her family who have attended the college. She said it is a relief to know two months into her senior year where she will attend college next year.


“I really like having my college all planned out early,” she said.


ImageCareer Specialist Patti McMullan, Career Center secretary Jacki Browning, and Counseling Center secretary Beth Hawn worked with seniors over the past month to help them prepare for the onsite admission event on October 31.


They helped students learn how to apply to colleges online, navigate college website information, secure their high school transcripts, and request financial assistance.


“I felt it was very powerful for students to have their admission to college so early in their senior year,” McMullan said.


The WSU onsite admission is part of a larger “College Application Campaign” that McMullan and Emerald Ridge High School counselors organized this fall to help seniors with post-secondary plans.


The University of Washington Seattle and Central Washington University college representatives visited Emerald Ridge High in October, for example, to share information about their campuses and answer students’ questions during panel presentations.


Whitworth and Pacific Lutheran universities are scheduled to visit this month, McMullan said.


The College Application Campaign will also feature a career information day for students in the Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID) program on November 14 and an hour of online application help in the school career center on November 15.


Emerald Ridge High is partnering with the Puyallup/Sumner Chamber of Commerce for the November 13 career information day. Panelists will include community members in careers including fire sciences, education, medical, apprenticeship, entrepreneur, engineering, information technology, and law enforcement.


Community members will discuss their careers and the obstacles they had to overcome to get their jobs, McMullan said. They also will advise students what education is needed in high school and beyond to prepare for those careers.


The school’s college application campaign, including the WSU onsite admission event, comes just weeks after the Puyallup School Board formalized a partnership with the University of Washington Tacoma that will expand post-secondary educational opportunities for Puyallup School District students.


The “Pathway to Partnership” enables students to be considered for automatic acceptance as freshmen at the UW Tacoma campus if they meet agreed-upon admission requirements.


“Part of our duty as educators is to help students access opportunities beyond high school,” said Mark Knight, executive director of college and career readiness. “Sometimes the next step is hard to navigate, and that is especially true when it comes to college enrollment procedures.  This partnership with WSU, as well as the Pathway to Promise program with the University of Washington Tacoma, will help simplify the admissions process and get our students on the road to college.”