Everybody needs help: bringing students facing challenges back to class

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BLOOMSBURG, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Many college students may not be able to focus on their lives and careers ahead of them, in or out of a physical classroom. One local university is taking pride in the efforts to keep them on the right path.

Whether the issue is a rough home life, coming from a troubled school system, or just figuring out what or where the bursar’s office is, they’re touting help at Bloomsburg University.

At Bloomsburg University and 33 other Pennsylvania colleges, the first step is the ‘Act 101’ program.
State funds help these schools give assistance to financially and academically struggling students.

In 2017, Bloomsburg University’s retention rate of those students was one of the lowest in the state.
They’ve taken it a step further and engineered the ‘Emerging Scholars’ which take that assistance and channel it into personal, culture-based assistance. Their numbers have been looking up ever since.

“What happens is not the concept of students ‘cannot learn.’ it’s the concept of students, disconnect from a curriculum that doesn’t represent their background before he went to school was taught how to use their experience as positive and negative to their academic work,” says Ralph Godbolt, Interim Dean of Students at Bloomsburg University.

Part of the Emerging Scholars program is what they call ‘rap sessions’ or individual counseling that helps make sure that students are getting the help they need in order to make the most of their college experience and succeed moving forward.

Bloomsburg University has seen a nearly 20% increase in retention rate in act 101 students.
What that means to them is they are finding better ways to learn and stay focused on the goal;
Life while getting and beyond the degree.

In a statement, Dr. Bashar W. Hanna, President of Bloomsburg University, said “As we continue to prioritize our focus on our students and their success, I applaud the efforts of Dean Ralph Godbolt and his colleagues who support our students in the Act 101 program. The student retention progress we have made over the past year within this program is quite notable, and we will continue our work to do all that we can to ensure that every bu student can reach their ultimate goal of walking across the stage at graduation.”

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