‘CU Summer’ Initiative to return June 1

Vicky Smith
Managing Editor
@pinkwritinglady

Returning this summer is an initiative called “CU Summer,” which provides financial assistance to 2016 high school graduates who took concurrent classes during their senior year.

According to cameron.edu, the financial assistance is in the form of a tuition waiver for up to three credit hours during the summer 2016 semester, which begins on June 1. The student is still responsible for fees and the cost of books.

Vice President for Enrollment Management and Student Success Jon Horinek said concurrent enrollment is a program sponsored by the state that enables high school juniors and seniors to earn college credits.

“There are a lot of students who leave high school with 15-18 hours,” Horinek said. “Some students even leave already classified as a junior.”

Horinek said the state stops reimbursing the university for concurrent enrollment after students graduate. With “CU Summer,” the university has extended that tuition waiver for three credit hours.

“Seniors of the class of 2016 can continue the momentum that they’ve already built up and take a class with us over the summer – tuition free,” he said.

According to Horinek, “CU Summer” is a pilot program in its second year, and one of its goals is to increase enrollment at Cameron.

“Essentially, it’s an incentive to try to get some of our students who are concurrently enrolled to take an additional class during the summer break, and hopefully stay with Cameron,” he said. “About 30 percent of our concurrently enrolled students continue on with us in the fall and stay with Cameron.”

According to Horinek, the initiative reduces the amount of funds a student pays for the summer semester by about 70 percent, and the student is not obligated to stay at Cameron in the fall.

“We’re providing excellent classes that are transferrable to other institutions that are relevant for students,” he said. “We find that those students are likely to come back to us and take another class in the summer when they come back from their other school they attend, so it’s really a win-win.”

The deadline for students to enroll in summer classes is May 1, and the students may choose whether to take classes at the Lawton or Duncan campus.

Horinek said the enrollment process for high school graduates is simple.

“They call, make an appointment, come in, and we’ll get the enrollment taken care of,” he said, “and we apply the waiver once the student has stayed in class past the census date.”

Cameron College Counselor Ileana Robles said when she was a high school senior, she concurrently enrolled at the university.

“You get your foot in the door without being complete thrown into college at the first time,” Robles said. “You’re still living at home.

“But you’re getting that experience in taking college classes and getting to know your professors and being a little more independent.”

Robles said one of the benefits of coming to Cameron as a high school senior was the comforting size of the university.

“Our student to teacher ratio is 19 to 1,” she said, “so most of my class sizes were really small, and I was able to develop really great relationships with most of my professors and am still in contact with many of them.”

Robles graduated from Cameron last year, and now she has the opportunity to talk to prospective students as part of her position as a college counselor.

“I just tell them about my experience at Cameron – how much I enjoyed it and loved being a student here,” she said. “I would say that’s what current students should do as well. Just tell people what their experience at Cameron is.

“That’s the best way to get people to see how great Cameron is.”

Robles and the other college counselors reach out to prospective students in a variety of ways.

“We go to schools; we visit with them,” she said. “We also go to different fairs, and then we have high schools come for visits. They take campus tours, they sometimes get to eat lunch on campus.

“We also send out phone calls and emails and letters to students who’ve expressed interest in Cameron.”

Robles believes it is important to continue to recruit high school students to choose Cameron as their home after graduation.

“We want people to have a good college education,” she said. “It’s good for Cameron, but not just Cameron – the community as a whole.”

High school seniors who are interested in “CU Summer” should contact Prospective Student Services at 580-581-2987.

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