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KIPP students start school year with visit to NSU

(Tahlequah, Okla.)—Seventh-graders from Tulsa’s Knowledge Is Power Program had a chance to experience campus life during their Aug. 22 visit to Northeastern State University.

On the first day of school, each grade at the KIPP College Preparatory Academy visits an institution of higher education. The KIPP 7th-graders visited NSU’s Tahlequah campus. NSU has hosted them the past five years.

“College is a priority for the KIPP students,” said Dr. Allyson Watson, associate professor of educational foundations and leadership at NSU-Broken Arrow. “I am glad we have the opportunity to show this dynamic group of young people what we have to offer at NSU academically, culturally and socially.”

During their NSU visit, KIPP students took part in different courses and workshops.
Mike Wilds, professor of criminal justice at NSUBA, and Dr. David Madden, assistant professor of criminal justice, taught a forensic anthropology course. KIPP students were shown bones from crime scenes and how they indicate gender.

“The kids enjoy discovering what the university has to offer," said Wilds. "It positions them for success in college. As for NSU, it allows us to see what our future students expect and what we might do to fulfill those expectations.”

Dr. Pamela Christol, associate professor of general physical science, presented an interactive learning science course called “Project Wild, Oh Deer!” The students also heard traditional storytelling from Robert Lewis of the Cherokee Nation in his course “Stories from the Earth.”

“We invited Mr. Lewis because we wanted these students experience a snippet of Cherokee culture,” said Watson, who coordinates the KIPP visits. “This was our newest course addition and it proved very popular.”

Approximately 70 KIPP students visited NSU. They were assisted by students from the College of Education and fellows from the Teaching and Urban Reform Network, which Watson directs.

TURN fellows are NSU teacher candidates from the College of Education who want to teach in urban schools. TURN prepares pre-service teacher candidates to teach effectively in urban districts. The program is housed at Hawthorne Elementary School in north Tulsa.

Watson said a long-term goal of bringing KIPP to NSU is recruitment.

“Students admitted to KIPP show academic promise and we want them to spend time with us and get a quick glimpse of what life would be like at NSU," she said. “This partnership is a win-win for our university and the KIPP College Preparatory Academy.”

KIPP is a specialized charter school, part of Tulsa Public Schools and based on an educational program created by educators Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin. 

Published: 9/9/2011 9:18:32 AM

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