Nearly 100 first-year students who participate in the Oliver Wilson Scholars program are off to a solid academic year after spending six weeks on campus in the summer, taking classes and learning to navigate university resources.
The learning community is named for Oliver Wilson, former dean of the Office of Multicultural Affairs, who died in 2009. The program identifies and recruits students to campus during the summer, then provides them with academic, professional and social support.
Sophomore Kaiya Smith is a student worker for the program. She recalled her own summer program and the anxiety she felt leading up to it.
"At first I dreaded it, having to give up part of my summer to do that," said Smith, who is studying psychology. "But I came away with six credits and I felt more confident and comfortable when I came back in August for orientation. I was able to help my own friends find their way to class."
V'Lecea Hunter, senior director of Diverse Populations and Retention Initiatives, said students earned at least six general education credits during the summer program, met with mentors and attended presentations from campus partners on REP4 prototypes, such as financial literacy and life readiness.