The Academic Advising Center has an offer that first-year students should not refuse. Drive to 30 provides freshmen the opportunity to stay on track to graduate by enrolling in free summer courses. This program is tailored to students who did not complete 30 credits by the end of their first year at Neumann University.
There are five courses offered: ENG102, THEO104, MUS104, PSYCH101, and HIST102. Students will have the option to take up to two of these courses during Summer Session II (May 17 – June 30). They may also retake a class that they failed.
According to Mike Mullen, dean of academic support services, many of our first-year students are struggling with “online burnout” among other issues related to starting college during COVID.
“It’s magnified with students who normally struggle. The last thing they need is a new obstacle in their way,” Mullen said. “Some of them may need help, and one of the ways we could offer that was giving them the opportunity to make up three to six credits this summer.”
He understands that the pandemic has hit our students and their families hard. Some have contracted the virus, or their family members have been infected. Financial concerns plagued many students due to the loss of their income or their parents’ incomes because of the pandemic.
Mullen explained that this initiative is part of the Title III grant, and the University stepped in to make it happen for our students. The Drive for 30 premise is based on research indicating that when students can complete 30 credits during their first year, they are more likely to persist to graduation.
In addition to the Drive for 30 initiative, Mullen and his staff are also offering another program called “Re-engage with Neumann,” which targets students who were at NU last spring and fall but are no longer enrolled. Former students can take a one-credit course for free and will meet with financial aid counselors to help them re-enroll at Neumann University.
“This gives them the opportunity to re-engage with free courses and look at how CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) money would help get them back in college,” Mullen said.
These initiatives are designed to keep current students and bring back former students. Many times it is that extra push, or offering, that will be the determining factor to a student’s success.
“We really feel like we are helping our students get to where they need to be,” Mullen noted.
Registration for Summer II opens on March 15. Professors and staff are encouraged to pass this information along to first-year students and inform them to meet with their advisors.