More than 200 incoming freshmen who tested into English 200 and/or Math 251 or lower were treated to a day on campus to meet with counselors, register for classes, and learn tips for ensuring their success at Saddleback College.
Freshman Advantage is a BSI grant funded program largely spearheaded by the matriculation and counseling departments and included collaboration with the division of math science and liberal arts, the LAP, transfer center, career center, reading lab, financial aid, admission and records, Phi Theta Kappa (PTK), and the bookstore.
From Wednesday, July 25 through Saturday, July 28, students were paired with a counselor in one of four small groups based on their majors. The day started with a fun ice breaker with Learning Disabilities Instructor Mike Hoggatt followed by a PTK student speaker and a presentation by Professor Larry Perez. The day also included a financial aid information session, a campus tour, and a session during which students logged into MySite and created a MAP. Students who were ready to register did so and the bookstore had their required textbooks waiting for them at a bookstore orientation.
After fully matriculating, early bird students were given the opportunity to opt into the free workshop and filled out a questionnaire that included information about their educational and career goals. The support for these students continues throughout the year. Students will be tracked during the fall semester and those who successfully complete their English and Math are guaranteed a seat in their next required basic skill or remedial English and Math course. The counselors will also utilize SHERPA to keep in touch with the students and ensure that they stay on track.
Freshman Advantage was created in response to the high percentage of first-time freshmen that make up the total number of students on academic probation. In the 2011/12 school year, approximately 43% of the students who were on academic probation were freshmen.