Inaugural summer academy prepares applicants

College is a time of major growth and transition in the lives of many students, but what happens if the student is not ready to take the plunge into college life? Northern Kentucky University has realized the need to provide help to these students and now they can better prepare themselves through the NKU Academy. The NKU Academy is an undergraduate program designed to aid students who would not be admitted into the university due to the new admittance standards. It is a five week program between July 5 and August 6 that meets for two classes from 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Along with attending two classes a day, students are also required to attend academic assistance sessions and study halls. Although the students are taking classes, these courses are remedial courses and do not count toward a degree at NKU. These students while in the program are considered non-degree seeking students, but once they are enrolled in the fall semester, they are considered degree seeking. Completing the program successfully allows the students to attend NKU in the fall. According to Vicki Stieha director of first-year programs, 69 students were enrolled in the program and 68 completed. Of those 68 students, 67 are enrolled in the fall semester. Academic advisors were on hand to assist students with enrolling for the fall semester and helping them pick a major that the student is interested and would succeed. “There is no question that the students learned a great deal, not only in the courses they were taking, but in the other student development sessions they experienced,” Stieha said. Students have the choice of commuting to the program or living on campus in the University Suites. The commuter option is set at $637 which includes all the academic sessions and the classes. The residence option is set at $1663 and includes the academic sessions, classes, housing arrangements and a full meal plan. These rates are significantly reduced from the normal room and board cost because the university feels it is important to live on campus during the academy. Living on campus allows students more time to get to know other people and make friends. Students are more likely to get involved in campus life and have a sense of what it is like living away from home. Textbooks are not included in either option. Students may choose between math, reading and English classes. Aside from these traditional subjects, students learn many other things. “The students learned about what it means to be a successful college student. They began making the critical connections to peers and to resources that will help them succeed at NKU,” Stieha said. Succeeding academically is just one goal of the program. Students also make friends and contacts that will help them succeed in their future endeavors at NKU and beyond. NKU is among many colleges and universities that offer this remedial program to help those students who do not have the credentials to be accepted into the university. The success of the 67 students enrolled in the fall semester speaks volumes about the program in its first year.