Wayne State aims to ‘Kick Start College’ for incoming freshmen

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story originally appeared on Today@Wayne

With the coronavirus pandemic bringing an abrupt end to traditional schooling for the academic year, many incoming college freshmen are facing uncertainty about their transition to college-level coursework this fall.

Wayne State University is helping students prepare for this change by offering a free general education course to qualified students during the summer semester, which begins June 24, through the university’s new “Kick Start College” program. Free online courses will be offered in oral communication, basic composition and intermediate composition.

“We know that students and families may be suffering hardships due to COVID-19,” said Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Keith Whitfield. “Wayne State wants to ensure that students feel they have an option for college coursework from a university that understands and cares about their situation.” 

Students who participate in the program will earn college credit during what is shaping up to be a quieter time than other summers due to the continued need for social distancing and will hit the ground running for the fall.

“Many students have additional time to spend on coursework and may wish to kick start college by earning credit at no cost,” said Dawn Medley, associate vice president of Enrollment Management. “Wayne State wants to provide that boost so students can move forward toward their aspirations of earning a college degree.”

 “This is not only an opportunity for students to save on tuition dollars, it also offers an opportunity for prolonged success as the student moves toward degree completion,” said Monica Brockmeyer, senior associate provost for Student Success. “There is mounting evidence that suggests early course-taking behaviors become habit. The free course and the subsequent fall semester course load will provide a foundation that will begin a pattern for successful outcomes throughout students’ degree-seeking years at Wayne State.”

Students should expect an inclusive learning environment, rich interactions and challenging activities.

“We see the Kick Start College program as an opportunity to really show off to new Warriors the possibilities of using online learning as part of the way you can earn a Wayne State degree,” said Sara Kacin, director of the Office of Teaching and Learning. “These classes will be highly engaging and will help students develop the critical written and oral communication skills that they will lean on throughout their college career and beyond.”

In order to participate in the program, eligible full-time freshmen must meet the following criteria:

  • Be admitted to WSU as a full-time freshman for Fall 2020 by June 1
  • Reserve a spot for New Student Orientation at any time during the summer
  • Enroll for 15 hours for the Fall 2020 term and sign a pledge to keep that commitment
  • Eligible students must finalize their summer and fall registration by Friday, June 19
  • Have filed a 2020-2021 FAFSA, if eligible by June 1

Visit the Kick Start College webpage for more details and additional guidance on how to qualify. Qualified students must fill out a request form to begin the process. Sections are limited and expected to fill quickly. For admission and financial aid questions, contact the Student Service Center at 313-577-2100 or studentservice@wayne.edu.

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