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First Year Island University Students Get Ready for College at Summer Prep Academy

September 11, 2017

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas – For Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi first-year students, being immersed in a college-level environment and getting ready for academic life is no longer a concern. The Island University has led Project Graduation and Retention through Academic Diversity (Project GRAD), which through its Summer Prep Academy program, provided college readiness experience to 29 incoming students from June 12 through July 13. During the five-week program, more than 52 percent of the students attending passed the Texas Success Initiative (TSI), a state assessment to determine if a student is ready for college-level education, and were awarded a $250 stipend.

The Summer Prep Academy is a program funded by a Department of Education’s Title V grant, which will run through September 2020. The grant targets students who are low-income, first generation and/or minority students; however, any student who did not pass one or more sections of the TSIA is welcome to participate in the Summer Prep Academy. This University resource is an extra help for the students seeking a second opportunity to succeed in the required state assessment and minimize or eliminate the need to take developmental courses during their first year at the University. In addition, the program focuses on preparing qualified students in the general areas of mathematics, reading and writing to get ready for college-level courses.

“This cohort of students immediately connected and did not hesitate to help each other throughout the Summer Prep Academy. This is the attitude we hope to see in all of our Islander students,” said Deshawna Colvin, Program Manager for the TSIA Summer Prep Academy at Texas A&M -Corpus Christi.

This summer, the participants had daily free TSIA preparation sessions in math, writing, and reading along with College 101 sessions. The students were fully immersed in college life by spending three weeks at the University campus and engaged in study skills activities. Summer Prep Academy ensured the acclimation of the new Islander students by coordinating presentations and networking opportunities to establish a sense of belonging for the students, as well as a connection with the University faculty, staff and administrators.

The students of the summer program participated in cultural enrichment activities and were paired with a peer mentor and a full-time staff member for their first year at the A&M-Corpus Christi.

 “I couldn’t have been as well prepared as I was without the assistance of the Summer Prep Academy,” said Lou Villanueva, a current pre-nursing student who is now college ready.

This program has received campus-wide support from a myriad of departments and hopes to continue partnerships with Academic Advising, Center for Academic Student Achievement, Office of Academic Testing, Enrollment Management, and many others University services.

For more information about Summer Prep Academy, CLICK HERE.