WWU Gives Freshmen an Advantage

Incoming freshmen have a chance to get their college careers off to a good start at William Woods University through enrollment this month in Freshman Advantage.

Freshman Advantage is a three-week (July 11-29) summer program designed for incoming university freshmen. Eight WWU faculty/staff and nine student mentors are working with the 45 students who are enrolled.

The program is designed to help freshmen improve writing and mathematic skills, earn a higher grade point average and, most importantly, adjust to college life and reduce freshman anxiety.

“It is not uncommon, even at a campus as welcoming as William Woods University, for first-time college students to feel apprehensive,” says Aimee Sapp, associate professor of communication arts and director of Freshman Advantage.

“Freshman Advantage is designed to alleviate some of that apprehension. By the end of the three-week program, the students will not only have earned seven hours of college credit, but they will also be very familiar with the campus and have made many new friends that will be in their classes in the fall. Freshman Advantage classes are kept very small, increasing the comfort level for students.”

The students all take a course called WWU 101 Connections. In addition, they select two of the following courses—Intro to Math, Basic Algebra, Intro to College Writing, Intro to Public Speaking, Intro to Art, Psychology II, Social Welfare or Social Movements of the 1960s.

“I hope that through participating, the students all start their college career off in perfect comfort. I hope that as a result of this experience they will more easily accomplish their academic goals because they had a smooth transition experience from high school to college,” Sapp continued.

“I offered to direct the program because I hate to see college freshmen get frustrated and discouraged. Much like most of the William Woods University faculty, I want to do whatever I can to help them.”

This is the second year William Woods has offered Freshman Advantage, and enrollment has almost tripled from the 16 who took part last year.

Shireen Zandi of Trussville, Ala., participated last summer and said, “I highly recommend the program to any student. It is a great way to jump start, as well as getting better acquainted with college life.”

Another participant, Chris Hostetter of Denver, Colo., said, “The program provided a good foundation for me.”

Parents, too, are complimentary of the program. Morgan Presley’s mother, Peggy, said, “Freshman Advantage is an amazing program. It provided our daughter not only an excellent orientation to college life, but also a realistic introduction to college course work. We are totally convinced that the program was a ‘perfect fit’ for our daughter.”

Students stay in Serena Residence Hall with student mentors, and meals are provided in Tucker Dining Hall. Recreational events are planned each day, including off-campus trips to Six Flags, the St. Louis City Museum and a Mavericks baseball game.

For more information on Freshman Advantage, contact Sapp at (573) 592-4391.