‘Overworked students’ begin retention program

Students at Northern Kentucky University may be unprepared for college because they were overworked during high school and neglected their studies.

The 2002 Cooperative Institutional Research Program (CIRP) survey found NKU students worked more and studied less during their senior year of high school than students at other four-year colleges.

Thirty-one percent of NKU students worked 20 hours or more when they were in high school, compared to 21 percent of students from other four-year public colleges. Students from other colleges are also more likely to have studied more in high school.

Only 22.3 percent of NKU students have Federal Pell Grants, compared to 30 percent nationally. This may explain why students at NKU work more than those at other public colleges.

“It’s important to work, but it is not OK when work takes away from education,” NKU student Brian Berger said. NKU Vice President of Student Affairs Research Analyst Stephanie Baker conducted a survey in fall 2004 on first-semester freshmen and found 25.3 percent worked 21 to 30 hours per week and 18.3 percent worked 31 hours or more per week.

“I think students who work 20 hours a week can not possibly devote enough time to homework,” said Dr. Brad Scharlott, professor of communications. “I think that is why so many students do not make it out in four years,” he said.

Student Lindsey Yoder works 20 to 25 hours per week. “I find it really hard to give 100 percent to either work or school,” Yoder said.

In order to help NKU students keep their grades up, the Office of the Associate Provost for Student Success is working with the computer science and biological sciences departments this semester to pilot a peer mentoring and tutoring program for students who are taking the first courses in their major. “The peer mentor-tutor program hopes to enhance graduation rates,” Dr. Dennis Weatherby, associate provost for Student Success said.

This program began in February and consists of a learning group session of up to nine students (prot