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College Getaway: Experiencing College Firsthand

  • High School students sitting in a PCC van.
  • A student arriving for College Getaway.
  • Students unloading a bus after arriving for College Getaway.
  • Students looking at College Getaway booklets.
  • Students sitting and listening about PCC.
  • A student talking to PCC faculty members.
  • A student talking to a PCC faculty member.
  • Students listening about PCC during College Getaway.
  • Dr. Shoemaker speaking to high schoolers visiting PCC.
  • Two male students looking at College Getaway booklets.
  • Students lining up to get PCC shirts.
  • A PCC faculty member helping a student fill out a form.

Late nights, early mornings, and coffee—already sounds like college life.

At 6 a.m., high schoolers gathered to board a bus at Franklin Road Baptist Church in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. They drove all day, stopping in Birmingham, Alabama, to pick up a few more students and then arrived on the Pensacola Christian College campus that afternoon—ready to experience college life first-hand during College Getaway.

The next few mornings began early with coffee and a chance to meet with an admissions counselor as well as department heads representing each academic field of study. Then they dispersed to blend in with the rest of the student body in classrooms, dining halls, and chapel services.

And just like any busy college student, these high schoolers squeezed in time to enjoy games and activities at the Sports Center as well as a bonfire at West Campus.

Kaylie Bryant, in the admissions department, shared, “We want them to be well-educated in making a decision [to attend PCC].” She and other admissions counselors were available to answer any questions about the Fourth Year Tuition-Free program or for guidance through the application process.

Several seniors among the group had already planned to study pastoral, physical therapy, pre-law, or business this fall. Mackenzie from Kentucky plans to study pre-med. She said, “I’m looking forward to visiting all the classes—not just the ones related to pre-med.”

Danielle from Tennessee is enrolled to study elementary education and missions. She visited PCC during other College Days events and attended summer camps held on campus by Youth Outreach Ministry. She visits her dad’s alma mater any time she can. “I knew since the second grade that I would attend PCC because I used Abeka Academy. Mrs. Chappell inspired me to be a teacher—now that I will be starting this fall, it’s my turn to become one,” she said.

Dr. Rushing, chair of the Bible Department, observed that “The size of the group allows the focus to be concise and targeted for each student.”

“I like how intimate this gathering is,” said Laura Pribyl, chair of the Visual Arts Department. “I get to meet so many students interested in art.”

Charissa Fennell, one of the group’s leaders, shared, “Parents were genuinely appreciative that their kids could have this opportunity because they couldn’t take time off work and take them themselves.”

In this generation of social media, no experience truly compares to visiting a college in person. College representative Jeremy Betz said, “It has been fantastic. I could tell that these kids were interested in being here and excited at the potential of attending PCC in their future.”

A college bus trip similar to this hadn’t been made since the 1980s and ’90s, with one such trip bringing Campus Church Pastor Jeff Redlin to visit PCC. This getaway was designed to give potential students a personalized experience of being fully immersed in college life, and we look forward to hosting College Getaway again next year. Make plans to visit PCC during one of our upcoming events!