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J.C. Smith Universty program preps at-risk freshmen for success
Academics, leadership at Biddle Institute
 
Published Wednesday, August 10, 2016 1:21 pm
by Laurice Bryant

A program at Johnson C. Smith University helps academically at-risk freshmen prepare for college.


The Biddle Institute is an academic enrichment initiative thats smooths freshmen students` transition to college. Its programs – Biddle Freshmen and Sit Lux Scholars – prepare them for their majors and leadership on campus and the community. The initiative provides academic support and additional structure as well as social and networking skills.


Mariah Collins, a junior mentor, enjoys giving back to the JCSU community that helped get her where she is today.


“I was once a student in this program,” said Collins, a sport management major. “I learned a lot from my past mentor who instilled in me the value of education as a young adult.”
Biddle Institute allows students to receive a second chance to further their education and success throughout life.


Antonio Henley, dean of JCSU’s University College, said Biddle Institute builds students up to become successful.


“What we’re seeing is that non-cognitive variables can in fact predict the students success,” he said. “We are looking at things like academic motivation, resilience, educational commitment, leadership service and service engagement and we’re finding that these things can point the way to a student being successful in a higher education environment.”


Zakeyah Frazier, a sophomore mentor, appreciates the opportunity that the university offers.


“What I love most about the program is Smith gives these students a second chance that no other university has to offer, an opportunity to achieve academic excellence,” the criminology major said.
Freshmen in the program have already moved on campus for extra activities, classes, and fellowship for the 2016-17 academic year.


“The two things that I like most about the program is that they give us another opportunity to get started with college and experience what college here at JCSU is like, and how the professors are,” freshman Lashawn Handy said. “It’s really great. And I am taking it all in.”

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