Barry McNamara  |  Published May 20, 2024

Scot for a Day

Central Intermediate School students enjoyed the Monmouth College experience on May 17.

A REFRESHING CHANGE: Central Intermediate School sixth graders got to level up a few years on May 17 by seeing what life is... A REFRESHING CHANGE: Central Intermediate School sixth graders got to level up a few years on May 17 by seeing what life is like for Monmouth College students. Prior to walking back to Central on the steamy day, they enjoyed some cool pushpops courtesy of the admission department.MONMOUTH, Ill. – While learning what it was like to be a college student in today’s world, sixth graders from Monmouth’s Central Intermediate School also got a taste of what it was like a century ago.

The Scot for a Day participants were escorted all over the Monmouth College campus on May 17, and one of their stops was Hewes Library, where archivist Lynn Daw showed them part of the collection she oversees. That included a lithographic stone – a way to print materials nearly 200 years ago – and a scrapbook that belonged to Luella Beveridge, a member of the College’s Class of 1921.

“Through her scrapbook, we get to find out what it was like to be a college student 100 years ago,” said Daw.

The sixth graders were exposed to plenty of other fun and interesting activities, such as making ice cream in the nutrition lab with chemistry professor Brad Sturgeon and climbing the ladder to the upper booth in Wells Theater with professor Vanessa Campagna.

Scot for a Day started as an extension established by the College’s educational studies department and Central Intermediate School that centered around place-based learning, said faculty member Tamara La Prad.

“Engaging sixth graders at the College helps establish a comfort with the campus and a point of view of their own regarding higher education,” said La Prad. “It is organized to introduce them to various faculty and staff across disciplines and departments and to get a taste of some of the work that we do here and where it happens. We want every student in M-R school district to be able to say, ‘I’ve been there.’”

‘Get good grades’

During a tour of the Huff Athletic Center led by men’s basketball coach Todd Skrivseth, a few of the students raced on the track in the fieldhouse. They were also impressed by the training room.

“It’s great for recovery,” said Skrivseth of the cold tub there. “Twenty minutes in there, and you’ll feel like a new person.”

“Here’s what I’m going to tell you. Get good grades. Doing well in school is very, very important.” – Todd Skrivseth

Skrivseth then led the students into the Huff Center’s attractive Kane Varsity Room.

“How many of you want to be a college athlete?” Skrivseth asked the group.

Most of the students seated in the comfortable leather chairs shot up a hand.

“Here’s what I’m going to tell you,” said Skrivseth. “Get good grades. Doing well in school is very, very important.”

Ask a Scot

All of the students gathered at the end of their tour in the Pattee Auditorium for the Ask a Scot portion of the event, and academics was on the minds of many as they directed questions at four Monmouth students – Bethany Allen, Chloe Allen, Andrea Tapia and Jaydon Wilbon.

Several of the sixth graders asked about class schedules and favorite classes, and Tapia impressed many of them when she said, “You guys get to make your own class schedule when you’re in college.”

“It’s not like the professors here are strict. You have to be strict with yourself, because you’re responsible for yourself.” – Andrea Tapia

She also told the students, “The biggest change from high school to college is that you have to stay organized and you have to be a lot more responsible. There’s nobody asking you whether you’ve got your homework done. It’s not like the professors here are strict. You have to be strict with yourself, because you’re responsible for yourself.”

Michelle Carlson, Monmouth’s director of enrollment visits and events, asked the group, “Would you like to do this every day for school?”

An enthusiastic chorus of “Yeah!” was the reply.

“This year we had a beautiful day with lots of Monmouth students, faculty and staff,” said La Prad. “Our admissions office is amazing, as Michelle Carlson works with us to coordinate rooms and tours and ambassadors as well as some Monmouth College swag. Everyone is tired at the end of the semester, but seeing how much the sixth graders enjoy being a ‘Scot for the Day’ is why we continue to see it as a successful way to spend a Friday morning.”

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