Friday, August 12, 2011

Randolph students get SUPER start to college

More than two weeks before the fall semester begins, 20 first-year students gathered for their first day of class.

What brings them here so early?

These students are participating in Step Up to Science and Engineering at Randolph (SUPER), an intensive two-week course that helps students transition to life at Randolph College and the rigorous math and science curriculum here.

“This is a program to get them ready for the next level of college math and science,” said Peter Sheldon, a physics professor who oversees the program. “It also teaches them how to be in college.”

The College launched the SUPER program one year ago. Ten students participated last year, and all had academic success, Sheldon said.

SUPER participants take three math and science classes each day during the program. They also participate in activities such as bowling, frisbee golf, and a scavenger hunt to familiarize them with campus.

Brier Darcy ’15, of Dallas, Texas, said she was looking forward to getting to know the college better during the SUPER program. “I thought it would be a good way to get ready for college,” she said.

“I wanted to get to college as fast as possible,” said Tom Heynen ’15, from Charlotte, North Carolina. SUPER provided him the way to get to college and jump-start his higher education.

SUPER is one example of how Randolph College is developing an educational experience that will help students succeed with small classes, challenging course work, and dedicated faculty.

“The College is very student-focused,” Sheldon said. “We are very interested in making the students as successful as they can be. That's why we create programs like these.”