Bret Barnes, a recent graduate of Southern Nash High School, was recently accepted into the STEAM Program here at NC State and will join the Prestage Department of Poultry Science (PDPS) in the 2018 Spring Term.
The STEAM Program is by invitation only — select students who applied to NC State are invited to participate in the program based on their interest in the agriculture field and academic profile.
The STEAM Program is open to NC students from rural counties who applied to NC State for freshman admission to an agriculturally-related major. Students must have earned a high school diploma and meet the UNC System Minimum Course Requirements.
“When I applied to NC State for the Fall 2017 Semester, I was actually deferred regular admission; however, the STEAM program found me and invited me to the program. My cousin, Becca Wysocky, a research specialist and the head of 4H within PDPS, introduced me to the department and NC State,” Barnes said. “It’s a little overwhelming coming into college where you’re expected to know what you want to do. I wasn’t sure of anything; in fact, I was all over the board in regards to what I actually wanted to do career-wise. I was looking for something to fit into my niche and the STEAM program helped me find it.”
Barnes believes that the smallness of the STEAM Program helps in many ways. “I have a lot more personal time with my STEAM advisor. I can email her anytime and she always has an answer or advice to give me. Plus, she knows me personally — she knows my strengths and weaknesses so she can let me know what I’m doing right and what I’m doing wrong,” he said.
When asked, “Why Poultry Science?” Barnes replied, “When I applied to NC State, I wanted to apply into a major that I actually liked. I’ve always had backyard chickens and I’ve enjoyed looking at them and observing how they work. I actually didn’t know you could actually go to college to get a degree in Poultry Science. I also didn’t know there was so much to do within this area and industry.”
Barnes was advised to participate in Summer Session II in the summer between his high school graduation and freshman year. Summer Session II provides the opportunity for STEAM students to take six hours of coursework at NC State, live on campus and get a feel for the campus. Barnes was able to complete an Introduction to Poultry Science course, as well as a Crop Science course.
He will complete his general courses at a community college before he is officially enrolled as an NC State student in 2018.