Freshmen jump in to UH
With the second week of school starting, many freshmen are already ahead of their peers because of special summer University programs.
The Jump program, which was launched by the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences last summer, was created to help students transition into a University atmosphere.
"(Students) really liked the teachers and got a lot out of it. This really helped; they made a lot of friends, and it just made the transition to college a lot better," College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences Dean John Antel said.
The number of students in the program has almost doubled from last summer, with 230 freshmen attending the last summer session.
The summer program allows students to take two college-credit courses for the price of one.
The University also offers another transitional program, the Freshman Year Residential Experience. FYRE’s goals are for students to achieve academic success while adjusting to college life.
The week-long program is based on a peer-tutoring model with upperclassmen volunteers.
Programs such as Jump and FYRE have been implemented in universities across the nation as the need for high school students to transition has grown.
Antel said the Jump program offers students an invaluable experience.
He also said if the program continues to grow the college would like to expand basic core classes such as English composition, American history and government.
"If it keeps growing we could easily have three of four hundred students in the Jump for summer of ’08," he said. "It’s been popular; it gives students a chance to save some money."
The summer program has allowed students to interact in smaller classes rather than attending a lecture class filled with 300 students.
History and government classes have about 30 to 40 students, while English composition classes are limited to 25.
Many who participated were happy to have the same classmates for both courses, Antel said.
"(Students) also liked the idea of how we linked the classes – a lot of the same people who were in your English composition class would be a lot of the same people who were in your history or government class. They said it really helps," Antel said.
Interim Assistant Vice President for Undergraduate Studies Agnes DeFranco has seen participants flourish into well-equipped students.
"I visited (students) right after midterms, and they looked like they’re seasoned college students," Defranco said. "They were so happy they gave up part of their summer to be part of the Jump program because now they have two classes out of the way, and they are way ahead of their friends that are coming in."
Political science freshman Terence Narcisse said the program gives new students an advantage and is something he would have liked being involved in.
"(My friends) said it was pretty easy. I wanted to do it, but I didn’t have time over this summer to come to college and take two courses," Narcisse said.
DeFranco said Jump not only makes college transition easier, but focuses students for the coming semester.
"(Students are) more relaxed, and they’re not so stressed out the first day of classes, and when you’re relaxed you have a better learning outlook," DeFranco said.
Jump information is sent to all freshmen accepted into UH and is usually available on a first come, first serve basis.
Students can view their eligibility for the program at www.uh.edu/thejump.