Program aids college transition

After offering the Northern Kentucky University R.O.C.K.S. program to incoming freshman for seven years, the African American Student Affairs will now offer a R.O.C.K.S. II program to upperclassmen students. Both programs’ names are derived from the principle focuses of Responsibility, Opportunity, Community, Knowledge and Success. The NKU R.O.C.K.S. freshman program serves to ease the transition from high school to college for first time freshmen students. The new program will offer upperclassmen information on how to transition from college to their career, according to Kenisha P. Walton, a coordinator for the African American Student Affairs. “Part two picks up where part one ends,” Walton said. The new program, which begins Sept. 12, will offer students help with building their resumes, getting internships, learning interview skills as well as dressing for interviews and preparing them for life after college. The idea for a secondary program came after many students who were no longer eligible for the freshman program still wanted to be involved. Most students who wanted to be involved volunteered to be mentors for incoming freshmen. Brittanie Dudley, a sophomore nursing major, participated in the NKU R.O.C.K.S. freshman program last year and is a mentor in the freshman program. She said, “African American students need to know that there are people around that want them to succeed, this is the program for that.” Sophomore political science major Kalyn Hill also came back to be a mentor for freshmen. “I came back because I wanted to give back to a program that had a positive impact on me as a freshman, and I wanted incoming freshmen to experienced what I experienced,” she said. If a freshman in the program has a problem, needs help with homework or just needs someone to talk to, they may go to their mentor or a full-time staff member. The R.O.C.K.S. II program works in a similar manner. If a student’s GPA falls below 2.5, they are required to meet with a full-time staff member to create an individual development plan. The students are also encouraged to participate in “Professional Mondays.” This will be two additional sessions that will focus on career awareness. Hill, who will be participating in R.O.C.K.S. II, thinks the new program will be beneficial. “It is enhancing the R.O.C.K.S. program even more,” she said. “It’s going to enrich students so they want to stay here.” Approximately 40 students are expected to participate in the R.O.C.K.S. II program.