On Saturday, 32 incoming freshmen at The University of Toledo cut their summer vacation short to get a head start on college life.
Students accepted into the Multicultural Emerging Scholars Summer Bridge and Living Learning Community Program June 25 to participate in a two-day orientation. The program begins Monday, June 27, and runs through Friday, Aug. 5.
This is the second year of the six-week program that supports student success in their first year of college as they transition from high school. The goal is to get students acclimated to the academic, social and cultural life on campus in order to boost retention and graduation rates, as well as promote academic excellence and college readiness.
“90 percent of the incoming freshmen who took part in the pilot session of this program last summer are returning to UT as sophomores this fall. That is higher than the University’s overall retention rate,” Dr. Willie McKether, UT vice president for diversity and inclusion, said. “Plus, students from last year’s program are now leaders on campus. Five students will serve as peer mentors for this year’s program.”
Students take four courses together in the summer and earn eight credit hours toward their UT degree requirements. During the six-week summer program, each student will be enrolled in a series of classes, including Composition I, Cultural Anthropology, Learning to Serve and Math Camp.
“When the fall rolls around, these students will be ready to hit the ground running on the first day of the semester,” McKether said. “They will have already formed connections with fellow students who share similar academic goals and attitudes.”
The entering freshmen will receive an $8,000 scholarship to cover tuition, books, housing and meals for the six weeks of summer class. To continue their momentum in the Emerging Scholars Living Learning Community, they will continue to stay in the same residence hall for the 2016-17 academic year.
Students in the summer session also will take a variety of trips to help enhance their understanding and appreciation of their own culture and the Toledo community. Visits will include the Toledo Museum of Art, Cherry Street Mission, UT Lake Erie Center and Toledo City Council.