Woodward Middle School Explores College Life as Rangers at NWOSU Woodward

August 8, 2023

Officials at the Northwestern Oklahoma State University Woodward campus were delighted to recently collaborate with Woodward Middle School in providing a glimpse into what it is like to be a college student for a day. 

“The experience was focused on letting middle school students know that college is a viable option in their future,” Dr. Jonathan Thomason, Woodward campus dean, said. “We expect to continue ‘Ranger for a Day’ next year and invite other area schools to participate.”

Thomason said WMS students visited with professors and Northwestern students as they sampled four engaging classes.  The activities extended outdoors with games and inflatables on the Woodward campus lawn. Classes included “Careers” by Taylor Phillips, Title III/LASSO Project career coach; “Education” by Dr. Jennifer Oswald, Division of Education chair; and two classes by Dr. Sierra Elsey, assistant professor of nursing, “Health Careers” and “Nursing.”

Elsey said the event coordinators tried to think of ways to engage students on their level while helping them explore their career interests. For the healthcare careers stations and nursing-focused stations, they created hands-on experiences for the students to see the sciences and nursing come alive firsthand.

“We did a germ station, where we showed them the germs on their hands with a UV light before and after washing,” Elsey said. “We used our manikin and allowed them to listen to lung sounds, heart sounds and taught them how to take blood pressure readings. We also taught them how to use an ace bandage to wrap ankles for basic injuries.”

The event went beyond classroom simulations by involving the local Woodward EMS team to teach CPR to students, friends, and family. CPR manikins were available for practice, enhancing the interactive nature of the event.

“Throughout the stations, I talked with the students about all of the healthcare career options, as well as the many options right here in northwest Oklahoma,” Elsey said. “One of the best parts about the day was that it was multifaceted in the way that the intro to nursing students that I taught this summer led the stations. We had 10 student nurses present to lead our healthcare stations, four of them were student-athletes. The athletes came in uniform to demonstrate the many options that students have.”

This event proved not only beneficial to the middle school students but also provided valuable experience for the Northwestern nursing students, shaping their leadership abilities and refining their teaching approaches.

Additional information about the Woodward campus may be found online at https://www.nwosu.edu/woodward/info or by calling (580) 254-2500.


Erin Davis, University Relations Specialist
eedavis@nwosu.edu; 580-327-8480 

Northwestern Oklahoma State University

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Phone: (580) 327-1700

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