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University of Iowa News Release

June 16, 2003

Student Incentive Program Reaches Out To First-Year Students

Meeting students with similar interests helps incoming freshmen adjust to college life. But for some pre-business students, that adjustment is challenging. For incoming students, especially minority and first-generation students, connecting to the University of Iowa can be an instrumental move in helping them succeed academically.

The Undergraduate Program Office (UPO) of the Henry B. Tippie College of Business developed the Student Incentive Program (SIP) to help incoming first year students--especially those who add to the diversity of collegiate culture--transition both academically and socially to the college. Twelve students from Iowa and Illinois will participate in the program from June 15-27 on the UI campus.

In the past, non-traditional students who registered as "pre-business" majors often did not have the grades (a grade point average of 2.75) to be formally admitted into the Tippie College as a junior. For many of these students, the greatest challenges have been courses such as Calculus and Matrix Algebra for Business and Introduction to Financial Accounting.

The Student Incentive Program provides these prospective business students a head start on some of the challenges they will face during their first years at the University. The two-week summer program held includes an intensive, calculus-based math component along with a professional writing/oral communications skills component. Students also will work through exercises designed to help them become familiar with the computer labs, websites and software programs they will encounter.

But it's not just about class work. Students get a chance to meet faculty and staff, and most importantly, their fellow students. In addition to meeting new friends, students become more familiar with the University and the Iowa City community.

The SIP will be followed up with ongoing programs held once a month during the academic year that are specifically targeted to help these students. Participants will be paired with a mentor throughout their academic career, and their academic performance and progress will be reviewed on a regular basis.

As they work toward graduation, efforts will be made to help students explore internship opportunities and use the career-oriented services available to business students. The program is a sign of the Tippie College's commitment to diversity. "Our goal is to provide guidance, support, and assistance to ensure that minority students and first-generations interested in a business education can reach their academic dreams," said Nancy Humbles, assistant director of advising in the Undergraduate Program Office. "This two-week program is destined to make an impact on the lives our students."

The Student Incentive Program is supported by a number of grants and collegiate funding. Because of this support, the fees for the program are only $100 per student, which includes housing and meals.

For more information, contact Humbles at 319-335-1037 or 1-800-553-IOWA, ext. 1037

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: George McCrory, University of Iowa News Services 319-384-0012, Writer: Barbara Thomas