CORVALLIS - The P-12 Outreach Program operated by Oregon State University Extended Campus has two new initiatives to help high school students learn more about opportunities in college, what to expect, how to succeed and how to identify interesting career options.

One program is College Awareness and Career Planning, a free online course that will operate from April 11 to June 10, and includes a field trip to OSU on May 20. The other outreach effort is Pre-college Academic Success, an intensive preview of campus life in residence at OSU from July 5-15.

Information on both programs can be obtained at

Each of the programs is supported by a grant from Oregon GEAR UP, a statewide program funded by the U.S. Department of Education which brings together Oregon's colleges and universities with a group of participating Oregon high schools and middle schools in cities across the state. This program works to create awareness and adequate preparation in younger students for college careers. More detail can be found at

"We believe these new initiatives will serve important roles in helping young students start thinking about college, learn what it will take to succeed there and motivate them towards some rewarding careers," said William McCaughan, dean of OSU Extended Campus, the university's award-winning program of statewide education. "Our outreach experience suggests that it's never too soon to start preparing for college and taking the coursework that will lead to success in higher education."

The College Awareness and Career Planning program is designed for high school sophomore or junior students, who want to explore college opportunities and career options in a convenient on-line course. Completion of the course activities will earn participants one semester of high school credit. Topics of study will include college requirements, applications, financial aid, improving technology skills, career exploration and other issues. In a visit to campus, participants and their parents will meet OSU students and advisers, tour the campus, visit residence halls and learn more about college life.

The Pre-college Academic Success program will provide a realistic, two-week residential preview of college, and will be available to 20 high school junior and senior students. Participants will earn two college credits as they learn strategies for succeeding in university level academic courses, and develop their critical thinking, reading, writing, leadership and other skills. They will live in residence halls and explore degree program requirements.

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Bill McCaughan, 541-737-8747