TAP Program Preps New Students for Success at Webster

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Program designed for freshmen and transfer students who are first-generation college students, with many identifying as minorities

The Transitions and Academic Prep (TAP) program is an intensive, 10-day residential program for Transitions students. This year, the TAP program ran July 19-28.

The TAP cohort experienced an even more focused academic curriculum than previous cohorts with 28 students engaging in a 2-credit hour basic writing workshop course that focused on writing, academic integrity and research. The program also encouraged students to delve deeper into topics of diversity, privilege and oppression.

TAP was first instituted as part of the larger Transitions program in 2011. Many of the students in the Transitions program, designed for freshmen and transfer students with fewer than 30 credit hours who are conditionally admitted to Webster, are first-generation college students, with many identifying as minorities. The entire goal of the program is to assist these students in achieving their college dreams, helping them to navigate college and persist to graduation. TAP enhances this success, raising the persistence rates of these students even further and often above first time, full time freshman cohort rates as the students are better equipped to start fall courses and have targeted supports throughout their first semesters.

TAP-ing into the Webster network

Students stated the importance of the program, “I loved TAP," said a TAP student. "It helped with my nerves and anxiety with starting college. I feel very prepared, whereas originally I had a few worries, like, ‘Is Webster really right for me?’ Now I know I made the right choice and I’m so excited to start the school year.”

Parents echoed similar sentiments regarding the program: “Simply said, I believe the TAP program is what makes the difference between a suc­cessful or a struggling first-year student. From the structure and resources, to the staff involvement with each student, I could not have asked for a better experience for my son.”

A variety of contributors from throughout Webster University help make such a significant student experience possible. Among them:

  • Academic Advising - assisted with student registration and marketing of the program at Freshman Advising and Registration Days.
  • Academic Affairs - funded program costs and tuition for the two academic credits.
  • Career Planning & Development Center (CPDC) and Student Employment - discussed employment opportunities on campus and facilitated thoughtful conversation about CPDC services.
  • Faculty - met with students to discuss their majors, outline expectations, and answer questions during the Lunch and Learn event. Dr. Eric Goederis, Associate Professor in the Department of Psy­chology, also spoke with students about research opportunities at Webster University.
  • First Year Experience and Undergraduate Persistence - facilitated a Campus Activities/involvement session, assisted in coordinating move-out, and provided a $200 book scholarship for a TAP student through Money for Textbooks.
  • Housing and Residential Life - provided two floors of student housing space in Maria Hall, conference assistance, use of residential facilities, and student staff support. They also provided extensive train­ing to the TAP Resident Assistants.
  • Multicultural Center and International Student Affairs - facilitated a diversity session focused on con­fronting issues of race through dialog.
  • Office of Admissions - recruited eligible students for participation in TAP.
  • Office of Financial Aid - provided one-on-one meetings with students to help them understand their individual financial aid awards.
  • Office of Study Abroad - hosted a workshop that showcased Webster’s international campuses and resources available to help students plan to study abroad.
  • Webster Library - introduced additional students to the Library and its available resources, including doc­umentation and academic research.
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