on image for publication quality photo
HEAD START ON COLLEGE AT SOUTHEASTERN – Frances Wood, head of the
Junior Division at Southeastern Louisiana University, right, helps Independence
High School senior Rachel Vaccaro, center, fill out a form to participate
this fall in Southeastern's Superior High School Juniors program, as Vaccaro's
classmate, Whitney Rose, left, looks on. The Superior Juniors program gives
high school juniors and seniors the opportunity to get a head start on
their college careers, tuition free.
AREA HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS PARTICIPATING IN SOUTHEASTERN'S
HAMMOND -- Southeastern Louisiana
University's Superior High School Juniors Program is designed to give high
school students a head start on their college education. And, according
to teens who participated in the program this summer, it works just as
"I was really scared, because
I've never even been on campus or picked out classes," said Whitney Rose,
who will be a senior this fall at Independence High School. "Once I got
into it, it became routine."
Rose and her Independence High
classmates Rachel Vaccaro, Jennifer Gordon and Josalyn Brown are among
45 area high school students who are taking a variety of courses such as
Freshman Seminar, English 101 and Career Planning through the Superior
High School Juniors program. Rose plans to continue participating in the
program during her final year in high school and to enroll at Southeastern
to study social work.
Stephen Soutullo, director of
Academic Services, said the current total of Superior Junior participants
is the highest in the program's history. "We have seen a steady increase
since we began offering the Superior High School Juniors scholarships,"
In 2000, the University of Louisiana
Board of Supervisors gave Southeastern permission to waive tuition for
up to two courses per semester for qualified students. A total of 25 students
participated in the program that summer.
The Superior Juniors High School
program is open to students who have completed their junior year in high
school and who have earned either a cumulative high school grade point
average of 3.0 and a composite ACT score of 19 or have earned a composite
score of 25 on the ACT.
Qualified high school students
can enroll in up to two courses per semester if they meet the courses'
prerequisites, have permission from their high school principal, and there
is space available in the course they want to take.
"It's a real joy working with
this program," said Frances Wood, head of Southeastern's Junior Division,
which administers the program, working closely with Southeastern's Admissions
Office. "It's such a win-win situation. Parents are delighted that students
are getting a head start on their college careers; students are excited
about their learning experiences and adventures here, and we're eager to
continue making others aware of the tremendous opportunity to ease the
transition from high school to college."
Current Superior Junior participants
attend high schools throughout the Florida Parishes, including Albany High
School, Holden High School, Live Oak High School, Walker High School, Springfield
High School, St. Thomas Aquinas High School, Amite High School, Oak Forest
High School, Hammond High School, Independence High School, Ponchatoula
High School, Franklinton High School, the St. Paul School, Fontainebleau
High School, Northshore High School, Mandeville High School, and the Louisiana
School for Math, Science and the Arts. Several participants are home-schooled.
"All of my college friends say
they wish that they had the opportunity to go through the program," said
Gordon. "The best part about Superior Juniors is that if you have any problems
or questions, you can go straight to the source and get real honest answers."
"I'm looking forward to coming
back in the fall," said a third Independence student, Josalyn Brown.
"Teaching Superior Juniors is
a very rewarding experience," said Ellen Bush, a Junior Division instructor.
"They are truly model students and a pleasure to teach. Without fail, they
attend class regularly, turn in assignments on time, actively participate
in class discussions, and are self-managed and eager learners."
"These students visit my office
often, usually with many good questions," Wood said. "And, if I don't have
an answer immediately, they don't wait for me to contact them; instead,
they follow up. They're a motivated group!"
One of the differences that she
has discovered between high school and college is "you're certainly not
treated like a little kid anymore," said Vaccaro. "It's on your shoulders
to do the work if you don't want to make a bad grade."
Wood said that some of the current
students have volunteered to meet with the high school seniors interested
in participating in the fall. "They say they've learned so much about the
registration process that they want to help others who will be just as
nervous as they were when they started," she said. "This could be the beginning
of a mentoring program.
"The program is an example of
how we're adjusting to meet the educational needs of the community and
the area we serve," Wood said.
For additional information on
the Superior High School Juniors Program, contact Wood at 985-549-5102
or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.selu.edu/enroll/slu_sj.htm.