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WLU Director of Bands Dr. Gretchen Pohlman (center) is joined by Marching Monarchs members (from left) Caitlyn Thorn, Madisyn Magers, Michael Utt and Bradlee Clark. Pohlman taught a class to the band during the “Academic Invasion.”

Approximately 20 West Liberty University faculty members “took over” John Marshall High School classrooms Friday as a part of the school’s 3rd annual “Academic Invasion” by the Hilltoppers.

Students were surprised, when they reported to class, to see their regular teachers had been replaced for the day.  Every professor taught a lesson in their subject matter and talked about college classes along with campus life. The experience gave JM students the opportunity to sit in on a college class without going to the campus.

JM Guidance Counselor and WLU alumna Marilyn Wehrheim helped organize the unique experience.  “I want our high school students to get excited about college,” Wehrheim explained.  “This invasion is a way for them to connect with West Liberty University and to see what great opportunities exist in their own backyard.”

This partnership benefits both the high school students and the college faculty. The students to get a taste of college while the professors get a chance to connect with the students in their own setting.

“We want incoming students to have a smooth transition to college,” explained Rhonda Tysk, WLU Admissions Counselor.  “Sometimes students think professors are tough.  So tough in fact, students don’t think they can pass a college course.  This is about reassuring the students that college isn’t a scary place.  We want the students to see firsthand how nice and helpful professors are at college.”

Representatives from both John Marshall High School and West Liberty University are proud of this annual event.

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