Upgrade to University: Freshman Academy Offers Ease of Transition

Taking the leap from high school to university can be so intimidating for some that they never further their education or career. But according to Trinity Western University's Simon Gibson, a new program announced this spring will provide a comfortable transition for high school grads and mature students who want to earn a university degree, but feel intimidated or unprepared.

“Freshman Academy is for those individuals who may have faced some challenges in high school and received grades that did not reflect their potential,” Gibson says. “There is sometimes a significant level of fear involved because they worry about not succeeding and don't want to take the risk.”

Students enroll in either Freshman Academy's online or on campus option, both of which are coupled with additional learning assistance to improve academic skills. The program incorporates three unique approaches in an effort to significantly impact student success. First, the students stick together in cohorts of 15 to 25. Second, they take concentrated courses—two at a time. Third, and likely the biggest advantage, Freshman Academy offers a learning coach, a TWU faculty member who will be available to work with students each step of the way.

Gibson says this approach is designed to improve core competencies and enhance confidence. “The cohort matches students with similar backgrounds, so there is plenty of encouragement and sense of community,” he says.

A special benefit to students is the availability of a TWU faculty learning coach who works closely with the group as a whole, as well as with individual students. Gibson believes the curriculum will be popular with students who want a broad approach to their first year of university.

“Courses such as sociology, psychology, English, business and history, for example, will give a balanced introduction to university and prepare students for the next three years of study,” he says. “We're enrolling students right now for September.”

For more information, contact Simon Gibson at Trinity Western University at 604-513-2121 or email simon.gibson@twu.ca

Trinity Western University, located in Langley, B.C., is a not-for-profit Christian liberal arts university enrolling over 3,300 students this year. With a broad based, liberal arts and sciences curriculum, the University offers undergraduate degrees in 39 major areas of study ranging from business, education and computer science to biology and nursing, and 14 other graduate degrees including counselling psychology, theology and administrative leadership.

Last Updated: 2007-10-11
Author: Erin Mussolum