At-risk students get a 'Jump Start' on college

Penn State Mont Alto launched its new Jump Start program last week when 22 students and 10 peer mentors arrived on campus for an early orientation experience. Jump Start is optional for first-generation students, those most at risk.

Each Jump Start participant has been paired with a trained peer mentor to support them in their transition to college and help them to better know the campus and its many services. During their extended orientation next week, students participated in math and English preparatory modules and other sessions to prepare them for the classroom experience including practical study tips, time management, understanding syllabi, classroom etiquette and professor politics, financial aid and more.
During the academic year, the students will be enrolled in key courses with fellow Jump Start students, meet regularly with their peer mentors and receive individualized academic support with a learning specialist. 
“The overall goal of the program is to raise their academic preparedness,” said Kendra Wolgast, director of Mont Alto’s Academic Support Center. “We also want to increase the retention rate of our at-risk student population.”

The program is funded by University grants. The new academic year began on Monday, Aug. 24 at Penn State Mont Alto.

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Last Updated August 25, 2009