Knox Introduces Early College Program Beginning in fall 2019, high-achieving high school students from the local area will have the opportunity to take courses at Knox through the Knox Early College Program. Through the new program, eligible students will have access to a broader variety of courses during their senior year than most high schools can offer—astronomy, biochemistry, Chinese, Japanese, or philosophy, for example—or to pursue higher levels of study in ﬁelds such as biology, chemistry, mathematics, physics, or Spanish. They will be able to explore subjects with the depth and complexity that comes with learning in a college setting. The program will provide a scholarship to cover the tuition for each course, so students will only need to cover the cost of textbooks and other class materials. “The Knox Early College Program is invaluable for high school students who want to pursue a college education. They will not only have the chance to learn from Knox’s outstanding faculty, they will also be learning and working alongside Knox students from wide-ranging backgrounds,”
said Paul Steenis, vice president for enrollment and dean of admission. “Additionally, students will be able to experience a liberal arts education ﬁrsthand, which will give them a better framework to work from during the college selection process.” The Knox Early College Program has additional beneﬁts that extend beyond students’ time in the program. If students in the Early College Program decide to pursue their education at Knox, they will automatically be admitted to the College. They will also receive $30,000 per year in merit scholarships to help cover the cost of tuition. Even if a student decides that Knox is not for them, they will still earn college credits through the program that can be transferred to the college they attend. Local high schools participating in the program currently include Galesburg, Knoxville, Abingdon, and ROWVA High Schools. The program is also open to homeschooled students within Knox County or Warren County. Students must rank in the top 10 percent of their high school class or have an unweighted cumulative GPA of at least 3.8.
Meet Olive, the Therapy Dog
Knox College Counseling Services has begun offering pet therapy to students who want to spend time with a four-legged friend—to be speciﬁc, a specially trained, 5-year-old dog named Olive. “Olive is an extrovert and loves being around people,” says Claire Palmer, who is Olive’s owner and the intake coordinator at Counseling Services.
KNOX MAGAZINE Summer 2019
“She’s very gentle, loving, and playful.” Pet therapy is one of the self-guided therapy options available through Counseling Services, says Assistant Dean for Student Wellness/Director of Counseling Services Janell McGruder. “The self-guided therapy options [which also include light therapy and biofeedback] are ways for students to seek out forms of therapy and coping mechanisms, without going through the normal intake process,” she explains. The process for scheduling an appointment with Olive is simple: First, students must arrange a day and time through Counseling Services, and then read and sign a waiver and consent form. Each appointment lasts about 15 minutes. “The type of interaction depends on Olive,” says Palmer, who is always
present during the pet therapy sessions. “We all just follow Olive’s lead in terms of how she interacts with the student.” Sometimes, Olive is in a playful mood, and she’ll chase a ball or engage in a game of tug-of-war. At other times, Palmer explains, Olive prefers to nap in the student’s lap or in a chair beside the student, or she may lie on the ﬂoor and “gladly receive” a belly rub. Some students have had several therapy sessions with Olive, and she now recognizes them. She “gets very excited and tends to be more interactive with some of her regular ‘fans,’” Palmer says. “There are many beneﬁts to pet therapy, both physically and mentally,” McGruder adds. The mental health beneﬁts include providing comfort, decreasing anxiety, lessening symptoms of depression, reducing boredom and loneliness, and lifting spirits.