New program builds foundation for first-year students

WesBridge is a new program coming to VWU that allows incoming freshmen to get a head start on their college course load. Participants in the program will take the four-credit Wesleyan Seminar I (WES100) and the one-credit Effective Learning Strategies (INST105) classes during the summer semester after graduating high school. These classes were selected to “ease students into their college education and help them build the skills needed to succeed at VWU,” according to the Feb. 22 Nota Bene. The program will not change requirements for freshmen, but will fulfill the WES 100 graduation requirement and an elective. 

Upcoming freshmen can be invited to participate in WesBridge after a holistic review of an individual’s application by the Office of Enrollment. “We review transcripts, courses taken, grades, letters of recommendation and test scores when provided,” Vice President for Enrollment Heather Campbell ‘04 said. “After a thoughtful review of all materials, students who would benefit from a bridge program are offered a spot in the program.” 

Tuition fees for the program will be covered by the participants’ enrollment deposits. Classes will be taught in person, so students can either live on campus or commute. Both courses will be taught by VWU faculty members so that students can start building a rapport with professors even before they join the rest of their peers in August. 

Dr. Sue Larkin, associate vice president for academic affairs, has worked hard to bring this program to life and hopes it will give students a good foundation on which to start their college experience. “Our hope is that this will provide incoming students in the program with a supported introduction to college,” Larkin said. “The program will provide enhanced academic opportunities through the course work and other resources that will help students to build connections to the VWU community and enter the fall semester more confident and better prepared for the rigors of college.”

The VWU website clarifies that this experience will also serve to help students “prepare for the non-academic part of college” and become successful members of the Marlin Nation.

By Will Farkas