TAP Summer Program Preps Students for College Transition

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TAP Summer Program Preps Students for College Transition
President Stroble was one of the week's
speakers and presented the completion
certificate to each student.

The 2015 summer TAP program completed last week, helping prepare 32 incoming students with their transition to college. This year's cohort included 22 who are first-generation college students, with a variety of contributors from throughout Webster collaborating to pull off a significant week in the lives of these students.

The week-long residential program brings to campus students who were accepted through the Transitions program, which helps orient students to the services available to them and prepares them for the academic rigor of Webster University.

The summer program entails a variety of skills development and orientation, ranging from academics and services to financial literacy and cultural awareness. Among the activities:

  • A daily Webster 101 course, with introductions on how college courses are structured and what expectations exist for university coursework
  • Collaborative workshops that address study skills, first-generation student challenges, and college adjustment issues
  • Meeting other new students and experiencing early orientation to the campus, including evening and weekend social activities on and off campus.

In alignment with Webster University’s core values of Students, Learning, Diversity and Inclusion, and Global Citizenship, the 2015 TAP program also featured:

  • Targeted interventions that addressed critical reading and writing skill development through whole group workshops and individual appointments with writing coaches in Webster’s Writing Center
  • Multiple sessions with both staff and students on study abroad opportunities at Webster
  • Focus on participation in the International Friendship Program
  • Concentration on financial literacy including a “Money Talks” session, one-on-one appointments with financial aid counselors and a $300 book scholarship drawing provided through an MDHE grant
  • Two service-learning projects: campus beautification and writing
The 2015 cohort of the Transition and Academic Prep program
The 2015 cohort of the Transition and Academic Prep program

Making an Impact

The annual program has made its mark on students and their parents, with students from this year's cohort remarking how it has changed their outlook as they head to college.

Said one parent of a 2014 program participant:

“I am very proud that my son attended this life changing program! He left TAP with a new vision, a sense of self and the confidence to succeed at Webster University. His world will never be the same thanks to the TAP program. He’s formed friendships that will last a lifetime. Seeing the TAP program from the educator’s point of view is far different than living with a student who has gone through it."

The support does not end in summer, however. All TAP participants continue to see an academic counselor weekly during their first semester at Webster, and they are enrolled in a three-credit hour Learning Strategies course.

A Collaborative Webster Community Effort

The program's success depends on contributions of many staff and units from throughout the University. Led by the Academic Resource Center, the week involves critical logistics, support and programming from several areas of the Webster network, including:

  • Academic Affairs - funded program costs
  • Academic Advising - assisted with student registration and marketing of program at Registration Days
  • Campus Housing - donated residential space, conference assistants, use of the WVA and West Hall facilities, and student staff support
  • Career Planning and Development - facilitated a major exploration workshop for undecided students
  • Emerson Library - introduced students to the library and its resources
  • Faculty - met with students to discuss their majors, outline expectations and answer questions
  • Office of Admission - recruited and followed up with conditionally admitted students for participation in the program
  • Office of Financial Aid - provided one-on-one meetings with students to help them understand their individual financial aid award
  • Office of First Year Experience Programs - organized two service-learning projects, facilitated a MoneyTalks seminar and student involvement sessions and earmarked a book scholarship specifically for TAP students through a MDHE grant
  • The Multicultural Center - facilitated a two-hour diversity session and hosted a First Generation workshop
  • The Writing Center - Offered whole group writing workshops focused on critical literacy and writing coaches met with students individually throughout the program

Congratulations to the successful participants who are now incoming Gorloks, and thanks to everyone in the Webster community who made this meaningful program possible.

View and share more images from the closing reception in this Facebook album.

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