IUPUI Summer Success Academy Retains Entering Students

Indianapolis, IN (August 2012) — The IUPUI Summer Success Academy held its closing ceremony on Thursday, August 2, at the IUPUI Campus Center. This year about 97% of the students who were enrolled successfully completed the program.

The IUPUI Summer Success Academy started out as a prep course for students who were conditionally accepted to IUPUI and has grown into a successful retention program for these students.

The Summer Success Academy helps students transition into college, providing  greater opportunity for academic success and completing their first year. Since students struggle mostly with math, this year’s four-week program included a daily math component. The academy requires participating conditionally-admitted students to pass the math and writing courses to be accepted into IUPUI. Those students who do not pass the academy are encouraged to take classes at Ivy Tech and then reapply to IUPUI at a later date.

Dr. Kathy Johnson, Summer Success Academy Director and Dean of IUPUI University College, commented, “The program has evolved since 2007 and prepares students to be successful in their first semester math and writing courses. Instructors helped students to develop time management and study strategies that will facilitate their transition to college. Our colleagues in the Division of Student Life led activities intended to help students develop connections with each other, as well as to the IUPUI campus.”

Dr. Simon Rhodes, Dean, School of Science, and Dr. Bill Blomquist, Dean, IU School of Liberal Arts, provided faculty from their schools to teach the math and writing components for the academy. Amy Wylie and Sandy Flowers, IUPUI Division of Student Life, were supported by peer mentors who lead activities intended to help students to understand themselves, to appreciate diverse cultures and backgrounds, and to develop leadership skills.    

Last year’s results showed significant improvements in students’ levels of sense of belonging, academic self-efficacy, math self-efficacy, and written communication self-efficacy. Eighty-four percent of students would recommend the program to other students, and 78 percent rated the program with high satisfaction overall.

The Summer Success Academy is required of any student who has been conditionally admitted and is free, being funded by IUPUI. The program has proven to be a great success for the university and especially for the students who participate in it.

Past student participants have commented: “Summer Success Academy has taught me what it takes to be successful in college—not just in classroom skills, but also life skills”; “You really get the added bonus of knowing what class in college is going to be like”; “It helps you interact and get involved with other students. When you come to college you meet a wide variety of people from different societies, religions, and backgrounds”; and “This program has helped me learn [about] campus better. It is a great transition from high school to college.”

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For more information, contact Harriett Bennett at 317-274-5036 or email hbennett@iupui.edu.