New program gives student an "edge" at Wilkes University

WILKES-BARRE, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) - For some students, the transition from high school to college freshman can be tough. But a new program at Wilkes University aims to help students like Olivia Blake get adjusted and stay on track.

 

Olivia Blake is one of 21 students enrolled in a pilot program for freshmen called "Wilkes Edge". They are allowed to take fewer courses during their first semester and make them up during the winter or summer sessions - tuition free.

 

The students also work with a mentor and an advisor for dedicated study time and other support services.          

"It shows us all the deadlines and kind of teaches us how to meet those deadlines. It also teaches us how to study and how to be a better student," said Blake.

Administrators say the freshmen retention rate at the school is 76 percent. More than half the freshmen are first generation college students. There are several other factors that can lead to a student dropping out.

"Many students underestimate the difference between high school level work and college level work," said Terry Wignot, the Associate Provost for Enrollment.

But the goal is to make sure every student graduates.

"Our mission at Wilkes has always been one of access," said Wignot.


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