Spotlight to shine on stand-out freshmen, sophomores

The School of General Studies at Florida A&M University is hosting its third Undergraduate Appreciation Program to honor freshmen and sophomores with at least a 3.0 GPA as part of the Undergraduate Experience Program.

The program will take place April 17 from 4 to 6 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom.

Event Coordinator Clara Smith said the program’s purpose is to honor freshmen and sophomores within the University.

“All freshmen and sophomores with a 3.0 and above are in this program and they have to be taking 12 credits hours as well,” Smith said.

Smith said the program’s main intent is to encourage freshmen and sophomores to excel in their studies.

“This event impacts the entire freshman and sophomore body except for pharmacy students,” she said.

Smith said the school of pharmacy has its own honors seminar for its students.

Students that are selected for honors will receive certificates and be contacted as soon as members in general studies choose them.

“We’re going to encourage our students by giving them certificates of appreciation for being steadfast in their studies,” said Lisa Lang, director of the undergraduate experience program.

Dean of General Studies Dorothy Henderson started the program in the spring 2005.

Henderson’s idea came to life when she wrote a proposal detailing ideas for a program to honor students in general studies to the University.

“I wrote a proposal to the president and the provost and they approved it,” Henderson said.

Henderson said that the program was created to improve students and the way students learn by the time they reach 60 credits and to raise graduation rates.

“We want to enhance their retention by the time they have 60 credits hours to increase graduation rates,” Henderson said.

Lang said the program not only assists those who are doing well, but it also helps students improve who are performing poorly in school.

“We want to recognize those who are doing good and help those who are at risk so they can remain in the program and excel,” Lang said.

Before the planning starts for each program, Lang said she receives opinions from students each year about what changes they can make to improve the program.

“We get opinions from students about how the program is going,” she said.

Lang also plans on creating “Rite of Passage,” a program for students who are entering upper level courses.

“The Rite of Passage program will encourage them when it’s time for them to enter upper level courses,” Lang said.