On May 8th, 2015, GEAR UP at Southridge HS took interested freshman with a 2.0 GPA and no Fs to visit Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA. We started off with a campus tour by student tour guides, then an admissions presentation, followed by a student panel, and ended with lunch.
We started our tour in the Recreation Center. The Recreation Center has a rock climbing wall, an elevated indoor running track, basketball courts, and up-to-date fitness facilities for students. Then we saw student dorms, the Nicholson Pavilion, the International Center, and CWU’s brand new Science Building, including a fresh water turtle in an animal exhibit in the Science Building. We also got to visit the older historic parts of campus and take pictures in front of Barge Hall, a beautiful old building with a bell tower that was Central’s first building. Last we toured the Student Union Building, which includes a cafeteria and the book store.
The admission presentation discussed guaranteed admission with a 3.4 GAP if they have taken CADR classes (4 years of English, 2 years of lab science, 3 years or Math, including algebra I, algebra II and geometry, 3 years of social science, 2 years of world language and 1 art credit). The ACT/SAT test scores of those student do not matter in regards to their admission. Test scores for students with a GPA from 3.0 to 3.39 will affect their admission. Students with GPAs below 3.0 will be reviewed and admitted based on their test scores, GPA< senior year schedule, and test scores. A college admission essay is not required but it is recommended for students below a 3.4 GPA. It also discussed the majors available at Central.
Students were interested to learn that while they can earn college credits by taking AP, College in the High School, or Running Start classes, they are still considered first year college freshman and must live on-campus and are eligible for scholarships for new freshman.
Then we attended a student panel by student ambassadors. The panel focused on what it is like to attend CWU. The two student ambassadors discussed living on campus, class sizes, roommates, studying abroad and what classes are like. They described the variety of student living arrangements and dining options. Dorms are mixed in with academic buildings at CWU so campus is a community. They also discussed dorm advisors and academic advisors and how they help students. The student ambassadors also praise the variety and quality of food and dining plans available. It was clear that the student ambassadors love Central Washington University.
After the student panel, we ate lunch in the cafeteria at the Student Union. Our always-hungry freshman loved the cafeteria, which has so much more than their school cafeteria. After they got their fill, we made a quick stop at CWU’s bookstore. Then we got back on the bus for the long trip back to Kennewick.
CWU made a big impact on our students. The student were impressed by how CWU takes care of their students and many options for major, and living and dining exist. Many said they are interested in going to CWU and would make a 3.4 GPA their goal. Others who had never gone to a college campus before were surprised how much they could see themselves enjoying college. Overall we were pleased to find to visiting CWU made college much more of a reality for our students.