News Release 08-026-D
Innovative first-year program emphasizes service while making college life familiar and accessible
News Release 08-026-D For more information:
Release date: 09/12/08 Bentley Gilbert
For immediate release (541) 440-7747
Roseburg — Impediments to success in that critical first year of college come in many forms – they’re more than just financial or academic. Social norms, ethnic backgrounds, environmental and even family expectations may play a part.
On Monday, September 15, 30 2008 incoming Umpqua Community College freshmen will “graduate” from their first college program, called the “Summer Start” program at UCC. At the graduation luncheon in the College Campus Center and accompanied by family and loved ones, and at tables laid with white linens and china, they will recap their summer with speeches by students, a PowerPoint show, other presentations and hear from UCC administrators.
The UCC program is supported by federal funds from the Perkins grant for vocational education, thus the emphasis, locally, on career and technical education. The model came from program at other two- and four-year schools, explained Summer Start coordinator Deborah Meyer, that looked at what made students in similar circumstances successful.
But, the support the College is offering these students – and they to one another – does not end with graduation. At most, it is only the end of the beginning. They will continue to receive support and counseling from the College so that they may successfully complete the education they seek at UCC. On a regular basis, these students will meet with College counselors.
Over the course of four day-long sessions this past summer, these students had the opportunity to explore possible career and technical certifications, two- and four-year college degree options, develop a student and educational success plan and even complete UCC’s mandatory freshman orientation.
They completed their work with small group activities, experiential learning, lectures, discussions, service learning and from guest speakers. They acquired skills in leadership, teambuilding, communication, research, critical thinking and career exploration.
The met with UCC faculty and learned about financial aid; they heard about the engineering technology, human services/public safety and health science curricula that UCC offers and the careers that may stem from those programs of study.
The point was to make them familiar with, comfortable and successful in the college setting, for young people who may not have considered or may even have been discouraged from seeking post-high school academic work.
The service learning project for this first year of students was to develop several marketing and promotional ideas for Casa de Belen, a teen drop-in center for Douglas County young people and to paint, clear, clear rocks and trim foliage at the Roseburg residential building. (Contact Fr. Juniper at Casa de Belen, 541.677.0073)
The students came from across Douglas County and from several high schools.