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Summer Education Experience offers students a head start to college

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Campbellsville University gave 14 students the experience of getting ahead in their college career even before starting their freshman year.

Fourteen incoming freshmen participated in the Summer Educational Experience (SEE) program which "allows students to increase their readiness for college level academics, as well as gain insight into the college experience," Kristen Jorgenson, coordinator for introductory studies, said.

The three-week program prepares incoming freshmen for the fall semester with time spent studying English, math and university success skills. Adjunct instructors teach the classes.

Jesús Berlanga, a native of Saltillo, Mexico who recently moved to Lebanon, said the program allowed him to make friends and has "helped me be more confident about being in college."

Berlanga plans to major in chemistry.

Becca Noel of Bardstown, who plans to major in social work, said the program has helped her plan for the semester.

"I'm the type of person who wants to spend a few days on campus wandering around and figuring everything out," she said. "The SEE program has helped me to know where everything is, figure out my schedule, have my books early and be ready to go for the semester. I love the campus, and now I won't be nervous on my first day of classes because I've already sat in the classrooms and gotten to know the people."

Charity Tharpe of Paris, Tenn., said she has become more responsible since starting the program. "I'm getting adjusted to a college student's schedule, waking up for classes, working harder and becoming more comfortable with my college experience," she said.

Tharpe said she can't decide what to major in because she "wants to major in everything," although her top choices are theater, sports management and psychology. She said the SEE program has given her a head start in college and made her feel more comfortable.

"I hope they continue this program forever," she said.

Students may also participate in evening and weekend social activities during the three-week program. Students went to the movies, bowling, Kings Island and more including a service project at Second Harvest Food Bank in Nashville, Tenn.

"Every day is so much fun," Berlanga said.

"At Campbellsville University we strive to create Christian servant leaders," Jorgenson said. "I believe this service trip helps introduce students to CU's mission."

SEE began in 2003 with a grant from The Van Lunen Foundation. Campbellsville University has been funding the program since 2006. This year $3,000 in scholarships was provided by the Cralle Foundation.