As yet another example of stepping ahead that is available at Salt Lake Community College, a program to help first-time students prepare for college courses has been created. The program is called Bruin Steppers.
This program is for first semester students who placed into both Reading and Writing 0900, which are developmental reading and writing. The program focuses on students who have recently graduated and those who have been out of school for a while.
“The program is designed to create an environment where the students are part of a learning community called a cohort,” Debbie Corsino-Moore, director of Multicultural Initiatives said.
As a group, the students go through three classes together in order to create a support system throughout the first year. The three classes that students currently in the program are taking are Reading and Writing 900 and LE 1900, which is a service learning class. In the spring the students will take LE 1020.
“It’s a good idea. The work is set for where I am,” said Brad Wero, a business management student. “It’s easy to make friends and form relationships. Anyone who is offered the program should do it.”
The service learning part of LE 1900 is a community service project. The students have to plan it, implement it and then evaluate it. Some of the projects students have done in the past include collecting hats and mittens for the Murray Boys and Girls Club and collecting women’s and children’s clothing for the Battered Women’s Shelter. They have also put on blood drives at SLCC and they have gone to elementary schools to help with after school reading programs. The students also get their friends and others to volunteer their time to help with the activities.
The program reviews applications for the program during July and August. They look at Acuplacer scores and the students goals for school.
Full time attendance is required which is twelve credit hours a semester. On average a student must have a 2.75 grade point average or better plus a good attendance record to advance to spring classes. That is when advisers suggest to students that they add a math class to their schedule.
Each applicant must be a U.S. citizen and a resident of Utah in order to participate with Bruin Steppers. Students may apply for a tuition waiver that is offered and awarded by the state. The tuition waiver is offered for spring semester if the student has a C or better average and has at least a 70 percent attendance rate.
“The program helps empower the students to do things they didn’t think they could do,” Corsino-Moore said.