New Start Gives Incoming Students a Strong Beginning

University Relations - Communications
Aug. 26, 2014

Hundreds of University of Arizona students begin their fall semester already better prepared thanks to the New Start program, now in its 45th year.

Nearly 14,000 students have been involved in the six-week summer bridge program, now in its 45th year. The program is designed to help incoming freshmen succeed in the transition from high school to college, offering them academic classes, college success workshops, tutoring and peer mentoring.

Video produced by Yara Askar/UANews

Because transitional program can be critical to student acclimation and success, New Start officials are in the midst of a major fundraising campaign, with support from the UA Foundation, that aims to increase both financial support and the number of students involved in the comprehensive program.

Unlike other orientation programs, New Start is open to all incoming freshmen and relies heavily on a peer network. The program connects new students with existing students, who then serve as peer advisers, resident assistants and tutors, aiding the New Start students well beyond the summer program.

"When we last conducted research on the topic, we found that the most lasting impact that New Start had was the secondary connections we helped students make throughout their time in the program," said Mary Frances Kuper, UA assistant director of Academic Success and Achievement, who leads the program.

"Because they participated in New Start, they knew of many other resources, organizations and supports, and connected to those as a direct result of their program participation," Kuper said. "I also extend the offer and meet individually with students who perhaps did New Start but are still struggling to connect."

Applications for the summer 2015 program will be available beginning in November. Information is available online.

To learn more about the program and how it has supported UA students, read:

Also, anyone can make donations to the program by visiting the UA Foundation site and selecting "New Start Summer Program" in the designation field.

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