(Posted February 15, 2002)

HUNTINGDON, Pa. -- A Juniata College student group has organized a pilot program that will allow 14 high school students from Huntingdon Area Senior High School to "shadow" 14 Juniata College students throughout their day from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Feb. 21.

The event is sponsored by members of the Juniata chapter of Omicron Delta Kappa (ODK), the national leadership honorary fraternity. Members of the group will spend the entire day with the high school students, taking them to classes and participating in other activities.

"We will team up the students by gender and by their areas of interest," explains Belle Tuten, assistant professor of history and Omicron Delta Kappa adviser. "Some of our members realized that a lot of high school students have questions about college that are best answered by a college student."

The group received a $200 grant from the fraternity's national office to stage the daylong event. The membership in the Juniata chapter of ODK each year ranges between 30 and 40 students.

All of the Juniata students chosen to team up with high school students have experience mentoring other students. Most of those chosen have been tour guides, tutors or instructors in the college's extended orientation program.

"This program also helps the Juniata students by giving them experience at relating one-on-one to younger students," Tuten says. "Interpreting the college experience to someone who is younger is good training for teaching, public speaking or other skills needed in the professional world."

The Huntingdon Area Senior High School teacher coordinating the project with the ODK students is Sylvia Kurtz, gifted support coordinator. The Huntingdon students participating in the shadowing experience will be in grades 10 through 12.

The project will be assessed at the end of the day's activities -- by both Juniata students and the Huntingdon high school students. Tuten says the program will be repeated next year if the student reaction to the project's assessment questionnaires is positive.

Contact April Feagley at feaglea@juniata.edu or (814) 641-3131 for more information.