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Thursday, June 3, 1999

Junior scholars try out college life

By LORETTA FULTON

Senior Staff Writer

Kayla Wyly's mother had some time-tested, sound advice for her daughter to take along this summer on her first extended trip away from home.

"Make sure you separate your clothes and use cold water to hold your colors," Mom said.

Kayla, who will be a senior at Friona High School in the fall, has only been on the Abilene Christian University campus since Monday, so she hasn't had to test Mom's parting words yet, but by the weekend she expects to.

Kayla is among the 60 high school seniors taking part in the Junior Scholars program at ACU through July 2. A second term will be held July 5-Aug. 5. Junior Scholars enroll in freshman and sophomore level courses with traditional college students for the summer sessions.

Students can earn up to 14 hours of college credit, which may be transferred to any university. However, most of the students plan to enroll at ACU after graduation.

"Our goal is for them to use this as a good trial for college," said Elaine Roberson, who has coordinated the program the past five years.

The program is in its 26th year, and still is proving to be a hit with high school students, particularly those who may be away from home for the first time.

Kayla isn't the only one doing her own laundry, or any number of other tasks, for the first time. Sarah Wilhite, who attends Midland Christian High School, already has decided to wear her clothes three or four times, letting them air out some, before testing the laundry waters.

Learning life skills is part of the fun, and the challenge, for students participating in Junior Scholars. All are top students in their high schools, but even so they are finding college classes a little more demanding than their regular courses.

"It's a lot harder than what I'm used to," said Leonard Joyner, from Muleshoe.

Each student is taking two courses, choosing from offerings such as art appreciation, history, Bible, theater, foreign languages, psychology, math, and sciences. After class, their hours are well-structured with meetings, activities, entertainment, and of course, studying.

"We have homework every night - it keeps us very busy," Wilhite said.

The students haven't been away from home long enough to be homesick, but even if they had, there's no time for it.

"I haven't had time to miss anything," Joyner said.

Loretta Fulton can be reached at 676-6778 or fultonl@abinews.com.

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