May 28 - College Corner: UMES - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

May 28 - College Corner: UMES

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GOOD MORNING DELMARVA - Select members of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore's Class of 2018 will get a head start on their college experience as participants in two "Summer Bridge" programs designed specifically for new students.

Both provide a preview of life inside a college classroom and out over a six-week period, according to Dr. Stephanie L. Krah, director of UMES' Center for Access and Academic Success.

Up to 100 freshmen will have a chance to earn six credits, three in English and three in math, by enrolling in the Summer Enrichment Academy (SEA), which runs from June 22 to Aug. 1.

Preparation and Adjustment for College Entrance (PACE), the other program, is for 50 high school graduates with provisional offers of admission from UMES and will be held during the same six-week stretch.

Participants in both programs will live in Murphy Hall, a residence hall on the university's historic Academic Oval.

Both of the extended orientation efforts are part of UMES' strategy of laying a foundation for new students to be successful right away and to finish their undergraduate work in four years.

"We often find that (freshmen) are anxious about going off to college, or unsure of how they will make friends," Krah said. "Our programs allow for students to really get an opportunity to get a jump start their college career."

Krah's eight-member staff will partner with 10-to-12 UMES professors who have signed on to work with the students.

"We think it is important for new students to be comfortable interacting with faculty, staff and administrators," Krah said. "Everyone here wants to see them succeed" and graduate.

Credits earned by the 100 students in the SEA program will count toward the total needed to earn a degree. Tuition, room and board range from $1,600 (in-state) to $2,900 (out-of-state).

The 50 PACE program participants will, in effect, be auditioning for spots in the next freshman class by working closely with instructors to brush up on their ability to do college-level reading writing and math.

"We want to help those students we believe have the potential to be successful and to get an understanding of what they can expect in college," Krah said. "Our message is: 'You have potential'."

Krah said PACE students' progress will be monitored closely and participants have the opportunity to earn admission for the fall semester, which begins Aug. 25. The PACE program fee is $700.

Krah said she and her staff will follow Summer Bridge program participants closely during the 2014-15 academic year by tracking their progress, holding occasional workshops and scheduling mandatory meetings with academic advisers.

For more information, contact the Center for Access and Academic Success at (410) 651-6215.

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