Philadelphia high school students visit DelVal’s food science program

Oct 28, 2011


By Annmarie Ely

How many know about DelVal? Hands shot up.

How many are planning to go to college? Hands shot up.

How many think you can’t afford to go? Hands shot up.

College President Dr. Joseph S. Brosnan asked these questions when he greeted about 40 culinary arts students from Dobbins Career and Technical High School of Philadelphia on Friday, Oct. 28. The students visited to tour the campus and get information about the college application process.

Vice President of Academic Affairs and Dean of Faculty Dr. Bashar Hanna shared his personal story as a first generation college student with the visitors from Dobbins. He also emphasized that students should always ask about merit scholarships.

For fall 2012, all freshmen, from any high school, in any major, who meet minimum requirements will automatically qualify for generous DelVal scholarships that will continue to be honored as long as the students maintain a minimum of a 2.5 GPA.

Students with at least a 3.25 GPA and a 1050 SAT score qualify for $12,000 per year automatically. Students with at least a 3.5 GPA and an 1150 SAT score qualify for $14,000 per year.

These rates are just for 2012. Offers for incoming 2013 freshmen may change.

“Education is the way up and the way out,” said Dr. Hanna, who told the students that people with a college degree earn on average a $1 million more over a lifetime than someone with only a high school degree.

Dr. Robert Pierson, chair of DelVal’s Food Science, Nutrition and Management department and a member of the Dobbins Advisory Board, helped to arrange the visit.

DelVal has a relationship with the high school through the college legacy program, which paid for transportation for the visit.

The legacy program at DelVal is a federal TRIO Program that helps students realize college dreams. The program offers comprehensive services to about eight Philadelphia schools, including Dobbins.

With budgets becoming increasingly tight, Dr. Pierson said a lot of high schools are cutting back on field trips and other fun experiences for students.

“Philadelphia doesn’t do many field trips anymore,” said Dr. Pierson. “The legacy program is paying for the bus to come out.”

He said he is grateful to the program for funding this opportunity for students.

Dr. Pierson wanted to invite the students to DelVal to see the food science program because he sees a lot of promise in them.

While in the past a lot of colleges didn’t recruit at technical high schools, Dr. Pierson said that is changing.

“The quality of students has gone up dramatically,” said Dr. Pierson. “These culinary students are very capable and they have a real love of food.”

After meeting the president, the students split up into small groups for tours of the campus led by current students. They saw a dorm, the library, the dining hall, the gym and more, in tours as small as three students.

After the tours, the students visited The Market for ice cream and had lunch. They also met with representatives from the college to learn about the application process and how to apply for financial aid.

Dr. Pierson hopes the visit helped the students, whether they want to come to DelVal or another school, by answering questions and providing support for moving forward to college.

Dr. Pierson would like to see DelVal become more diverse and hopes the partnership will help with that.

He also wants to make sure college is within reach for the students at Dobbins.

“A lot of these students have never seen a college campus,” said Dr. Pierson. “The idea of college can be intimidating. It’s a big deal to get them out here to see what the college looks like.”

Joshlyn Jenkins, a senior at Dobbins, liked what she saw on the tour.

“It’s really nice,” said Jenkins of the campus. “It’s kind of like staying at home. You have everything here.”

She’s excited about the freedom college will bring and the wide variety of activities she’ll be able to be a part of in college.

Dante Headen, also a senior at Dobbins, liked the college, especially the library.

Cedric Pearsall, another Dobbins senior, said the visit is going to make choosing one school harder.

“Now I’m torn between here and Universal Technical Institute,” said Pearsall.

He loves nature and hiking and was pleased to see how open and beautiful the campus is.

“I want them to meet other college students,” said Dr. Pierson. “Some of them are on the borderline. I want them to say, ‘I want to go to college’ and inspire them to follow through.”

Dr. Pierson was working to make the visit happen for a few years.

“It’s also about creating opportunities for these kids,” said Dr. Pierson. “If we can do a little towards that, I think it is a great thing.”