New program to target freshmen

Lee Eisler

Recently, the first group of Freshman Academy students embarked on a
journey designed to help them reach their goals of academic success.
The Freshman Academy is a new, one year long program offered to incoming
freshman based on matriculation test scores in English, math, and
reading and includes an interview process.  “The interview process was
the most important part” said Saddleback College Counselor Jo Ann Alford.

As a freshman coming into Saddleback College, discovering all the
available aid programs one might be eligible for can be very confusing.
That is why saddleback counselors are available to guide students into
programs, such as, The Freshman Academy.

“The program is designed to
assist students in reaching their academic goal. Most students express a
goal of transferring to a university. The program helps students to
complete their first year of college with a solid base of academic and
social skills to get through a college program and move on to the next
level of study (university)” said Saddleback College Counselor Jo Ann

What are the advantages offered to students?  The Freshman Academy
program offers guidance by helping students choose their classes and
guaranteeing their enrollment in those classes through Early Bird
registration, tutoring sessions, support from Saddleback College
Counselors, faculty mentoring and academic counseling. Field trips to
four year schools and other group activities are also scheduled through
out the year, allowing students to feel a part of the college community.

Who qualifies for The Freshman Academy? Applicants are required to
matriculate sufficiently to enroll in English 340 to meet the reading
criteria, placement in English 300 or 340 for the English criteria, and
Math 351 for the math criteria. Students are required to maintain a GPA
of 2.0 and remain enrolled in all their classes through the duration of
the semester. Screening for The Freshmen Academy is during Early Bird
registration and students are notified by mail if they qualify for

“The program has the potential to make a real difference in students’
lives. With support and encouragement, freshman academy students are
provided a real opportunity for success.” said, English/journalism
Instructor Carol Ziehm.

“I think it is helping them significantly.  They might not realize it
now.  We are with them every step of the way.  When they look back they
will realize how helpful it was.” Said Saddleback College Counselor Eric Garcia.