Albany State Helps Freshman Thrive - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Albany State Helps Freshman Thrive

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August 27, 2007

Albany - - Albany State University wants to ease the transition from high school to college.  This year, the university is implementing "learning communities." The program links freshmen who plan to study the same major and encourages them to study, and in some cases, live together.  

It's Tomeka Smith's first year in college. Two weeks into this new phase in her life, the coursework almost did her in.

"I was to the point where I just wanted to give up."

But her classmates wouldn't let her. "I replied back 'no don't do that. There's no use in you doing that if I can help you.' I said 'come pick me up right now'," says fellow freshman Jayvious Gilbert.

They're part of Albany State University's Learning Community. First year students in the program are matched with other first year students to take classes, study, and participate in student activities.

"It does ease the transition. It gives them someone else to work with and they get more familiar," says Counselor Janet Cook.

Aside from regular class, instructors hold workshops to give the students one on one feedback and allow for question and answer sessions. Some of the students are even matched to be roommates.

"We stayed up until 3:30 this morning studying. It was like a slumber party," Smith says.

The students say they depend on each other.

"It gives us that sense that we have a family and they're always helping us," Gilbert added.

This is the first year ASU has offered the learning communities in years. Instructors say they brought it back to help students succeed and increase the graduation rate.

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