The Center for Educational Outreach and Engagement (CEOE) at Auburn University was excited to host over 230 GEARUP Alabama students on campus this May. With May Mini-Camps being held for the first time, students and chaperones got a little glimpse of Auburn University, college life and academic instruction. Each of the three May Mini-Camps was held over a two day period, allowing the students to come to campus and spend the night in dorms and experience classroom settings on a large college campus.

The students arrived prior to lunch and had the opportunity to check into their dorm rooms and get settled before getting acquainted with their summer camp counselors who would be their guides and companions throughout their time at Auburn. After playing a few get-to-know you games, the GUA students were guided across campus to the Village dining hall where they enjoyed a large, all you can eat buffet for lunch. Following this was their first exposure to a college-type academic lesson presented by one of Auburn’s only African-American journalism professors. The focus of the lesson was ACT writing and being able to prepare themselves for good, concise communication in the written form. Breaking off into smaller groups, the students were able to practice their writing and get guidance from their chaperones and counselors. A short presentation from Auburn’s College of Engineering provided the students with a look at a specific college and the majors contained therein. Following these academic lessons, the students were able to take a break with dinner and activity on the Student Center Greenspace before heading back to their dorms for wrap up and lights-out.

The next morning followed with breakfast at the Village dining hall again and a detailed presentation from Auburn’s Office of Admission. Students were made aware of the admissions requirements and also what scholarships were available to them through the university. A short presentation on financial literacy followed and then allowed the students to break into groups again to practice some good financial management habits that they can take home with them. As the time was coming to an end, students were able to return to their dorm, pack their belongings and board their buses with box lunches to return back home.

It is Auburn’s hope that this short exposure to college life would give the students a brighter picture of the path they can take to find themselves in college in a few year. This special time on campus was not possible without the partnership of the following departments: Journalism, Admissions, Housing, Dining, Engineering and Facilities.