Camp Hetuck Provides First-Generation Students with New Experiences on Campus
Every new freshman has a lot to learn about how to be a college student. However, for students like Jasmine Feller of Cleveland and Brady Tritt of Perry Township, it’s slightly more difficult. That’s because they are first-generation college students. First-generation students are the first in their family to pursue a bachelor’s degree. Feller and Tritt decided to learn as much as they could before classes begin in August, by attending Camp Hetuck on The Ohio State University at Mansfield campus.
Camp Hetuck is a leadership and team-building program designed for first-year students making the transition to college. The Student Engagement Coordinator and a committee of dedicated staff members organize it. The students are exposed to the Mansfield Campus beyond their student orientation. It’s the perfect experience for a first-generation student, unfamiliar with the campus to become accustomed to college life. This year at Camp Hetuck, 24 of the 60 incoming freshmen who attended were first-generation students.
“Camp Hetuck has been a great experience for me as a first-generation student,” said Feller. “I have made quite a few friends already.”
According to a report released in February by the U.S. Department of Education’s National Center for Education Statistics, just 26 percent of students who enrolled in public, four-year universities were first-generation students.
As first-generation students, Feller and Tritt weren’t sure what to expect when stepping on the campus for the first time.
Feller said the comfort of a smaller community made her feel at home on the Mansfield campus. “I have dreamed about being a Buckeye for the longest time. I figured, why not start somewhere smaller. Mansfield was the first place I thought of to come for my education.”
Tritt was inspired to apply to Ohio State University Mansfield by his family. Despite never attending college, his father was the one who pushed him to become a Buckeye. Tritt explained, “My dad always talked about Ohio State being the best college in the nation. I wanted to be a part of that, part of the Buckeye Nation.”
His time at Camp Hetuck helped him settle into his college experience. “Being a first-generation student, I wasn’t sure what to expect,” he said. “But getting to meet everyone at Camp Hetuck and experiencing living in the dorms for a night, gave me a first-day-at-college kind of feeling before classes start. I loved it. I feel like we are all going to be friends this fall semester.”
For more information and resources on first-generation students at The Ohio State University at Mansfield visit http://mansfield.osu.edu/future-students/admissions/first-year-experience/.