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Lycoming College has launched a new community program designed to support students from major cities across the country as they transition from high school to college. The program, named OpenWilliamsport, buoys students as they navigate the unfamiliar geographic and cultural nuances of college life, as well as an entirely new city, providing them a home-away-from-home experience with host households.
Lycoming College is a nationally ranked institution that launches students across a range of professions, with many of those students settling into the Williamsport community after they graduate. The College is committed to community and has served as an economic engine for the city of Williamsport, Lycoming County, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania since its inception in 1812. OpenWilliamsport will serve to help deepen the College’s connection to the community even further.
“By working with Williamsport residents to help students comfortably settle into the community, we are helping to set up students for positive college experiences and careers,” said PageCarol Woods, Ed.D., assistant dean of student success at Lycoming College. “Acclimating to life in a new city can be a difficult task. Adding the demands of higher education on top of that can be downright daunting. But by pairing first-year students with locals who can provide some guidance on where to shop, worship, and dine, or just to share a home-cooked meal, we’re getting that student one step closer to achieving their goals of a meaningful career and life.”
The College envisions celebrating Williamsport with students and hosts through picnics, sporting events, and much more, and will encourage matched pairs to pursue their own activities.
OpenWilliamsport has been made possible through the support of a Spark Tank grant from the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania which has created a community collaboration between Lycoming College and STEP AmeriCorps program in support of this initiative.