On Thursday, the Shawnee State University Bridge to Success program held its annual awards banquet to recognize those who had participated in the six week course. The program, designed to prepare at-risk incoming students and introducing them to university expectations, degree requirements, and career pathways was initiated to bring more students into the University.
This year 134 students registered for the course, and through date collected after the program’s first pilot year, retention among those in the Bridge Program versus those with two or more academic development needs who did not participate in the program was 17% higher. Students who participate in the program are additionally enrolled in an Academic Development Skills course to cover study skills, money management, time management, organization, and college life.
Shawnee State University President Rick Kurtz welcomed attendees to the ceremony and spoke on the importance of the Bridge Program and how it allows students to explore their career paths and prepare themselves for the next four years of University Life. Kurtz also stated that for some individuals who participate, this experience teaches them that college may not be what they expected and allows them to find that out before they become college students. In support of SSU’s Bridge to Success Program, AT&T Ohio External Affairs Director BJ Smith presented a check in the amount of $10,000 on behalf of AT&T to go towards costs relating to orientation, academic programming, and social programming for the program. “It’s a pleasure to support programs like this that demonstrated such success,” Smith said. “Backing education efforts in Ohio are critical to developing our talent pipeline and for society.”
Since 2008, AT&T has committed $400 million to programs to help millions of students in all 50 states and around the world through their AT&T Aspire contributions. State Representative Doug Green was also present at the awards ceremony and extended his congratulations to those who completed the course, as well as the successful efforts by program organizers and AT&T. “I sincerely applaud Shawnee State for their efforts with the Bridge program by reaching out to students and helping them build their own future,” said Green. “Also, the willingness of AT&T to partner in this program is vital as we look at opportunities to work together.”
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932