NSCS hosts annual March to College event

Emma Austin

WKU’s National Society of Collegiate Scholars will host 88 sixth graders on campus Friday for its second annual March to College event.

Students from Natcher Elementary School of Warren County will arrive in the morning to listen to President Gary Ransdell speak before touring campus. The Natcher Elementary students will also have an opportunity to hear from WKU students and ask questions about the road to college and what it’s like being a student at WKU.

Bowling Green junior and NSCS member Kaylynne Jones said the society focuses on sixth graders because that is the age most students begin to think about their futures.

“They start thinking about what they want to do when they grow up and what they want to study,” Jones said.

“Having WKU students be a part of this process enhances their academic experience.”

According to NSCS’s website, the organization’s members are “deeply committed to scholarship, leadership and service and as a result, are impacting their campus and local communities every day.” 

Jones serves as WKU’s coordinator of Planning to Achieve Collegiate Excellence, a program in NSCS that sends tutors to Natcher Elementary every Wednesday afternoon. Jones said NSCS members serve as mentors as well as tutors.

“We seek to enhance students’ success in school both academically and socially,” Jones said.

 Jones explained when students go to tutoring sessions, they receive both academic assistance and an opportunity to interact with someone older who wants to help build a relationship.

WKU’s NSCS chapter president Luke Headley, a senior from Grand Rapids, Michigan, said he has seen changes in the kids’ interactions with him and with their peers since the PACE tutoring program began two years ago.

“It’s kind of a joy just to see when you walk in how they’re actually excited to do some work with you,” Headley said.

Frankfort junior Mina Thomas said she looks forward to interacting with the kids on Friday and letting them know college is an attainable possibility.

“I went to an underprivileged school, so there weren’t a lot of people who necessarily considered college to be the next step,” Thomas said.

Although there are over 800 NSCS members at WKU, Headley said the society does not have much member engagement.

“It’s hard to have someone commit to a society that’s not benefitting them right away,” Headley said.  He said his experience in NSCS has allowed him to give back to WKU and the Bowling Green community.

“It stands for something bigger than me,” Headley said.

Jones said she hopes March to College will encourage the kids to pursue a higher education. Jones studies elementary and special education and said her passion is for kids.

“Seeing them succeed and grow is my goal,” Jones said. “Being able to be in a situation where I can live that out has been very inspiring for me.”