Schreyer programs give prospective students taste of college life

Benjamin Nasal accepted his offer of admission from the Schreyer Honors College “as soon as I got in.” But the senior at State College Area High School wanted to know more about what his life would be like – both academically and socially – when he came to campus.

So Nasal, like more than 280 prospective students this spring, attended a Schreyer accepted students program. The afternoons included tours of the Honors College’s residence halls, informational sessions about orientation, student housing, and more, and question-and-answer panels with current Schreyer Scholars.

“I’ve heard a lot about how honors classes are different, but I was curious about specifically how they’re different, how they benefit me,” said Nasal, who plans to study biochemistry. “I’m really looking forward to the small environment setting and being able to interact directly with the professor and other students. I think that’s what I’m most excited for.”

The Honors College held 10 programs in March and April, allowing visiting students and their families time to participate in other informational programs at the University Park campus before getting a Schreyer-specific taste of college life.

“We designed the accepted student receptions as a way for our students who are thinking about us to come and test-drive the Schreyer Honors College,” said Director of Admissions Moradeyo Olorunnisola. “See who we are, meet members of the community, imagine themselves here on campus, in our space, and to ask any questions that they have regarding their decision-making.

“What we try to do is provide them with reasons to pick us and to show them why we think they will be great here.”

The Schreyer Honors College typically enrolls 300 first-year students each year, with approximately 250 other Penn State students joining the college each year through the Gateway entry process.

During the Q&A panels, accepted students asked current Scholars what it was like to juggle multiple majors, how they handed the honors thesis requirement, which extracurricular activities they were involved in, and if they could room with friends who were Penn State students but not in the Honors College.

“I have some friends who already go here, so I already knew a lot,” said Alyssa Boob of Spring Mills, a senior at Penns Valley High School, “but it was interesting to see how many people have double majors or minors.”

Olorunnisola credited the current Scholars who participated in the Q&A panels, then answered more questions while guiding the tours, with being the true stars of the programs.

“They just need to be themselves and reflect their experiences here,” Olorunnisola said. “And I think that’s the magic. That helps students to get a sense of the Schreyer Honors College.”

Taylor Selembo, who attends the Levine Middle College High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, knew a lot about Penn State – where her parents met – but by attending one of the programs, learned more about her housing options, including the GLOBE in Simmons Hall.

“I felt that it was extremely valuable to have the Scholars students answer my questions and serve as guides,” Selembo said, “because they were able to offer a perspective that only a current student would be able to.”

Nasal said he chose the Schreyer Honors College because of his desire to embrace new challenges. Boob, who has also accepted her offer to attend Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College, liked the “small-school feel at a huge university” and thought it was “amazing how driven everybody is.”

Matt Wozniak, a senior at Johns Creek High School in Atlanta, Georgia, will attend Penn State and the Schreyer Honors College this fall. His trip north for a reception this spring was one of the reasons why.

“Maybe it was the goodie bag, more likely it was how I was treated and respected, but you just got a sense that you were going to be invested in while at the Schreyer Honors College,” he said.


Last Updated May 15, 2018