It is so important that first-year students feel welcomed, comfortable and excited when arriving to college for the first time. Starting this year, the Mount created a program aimed at getting students acclimated to college life before diving right in at the beginning of the semester.
The Mount’s first ever Bridge Program took place from June 23 to July 7, which welcomed 21 first-year students to campus. The Bridge Program, better known as Mount 101, was an idea which originated from history professor Dr. Timothy Fritz.
The mission of Mount 101 was to promote community and collaboration among students making the transition from high school to college life. “In this intensive two-week program, students develop support networks among peers and all other areas of university life,” Fritz said. Through a college-level liberal arts course, students earn at least three credit hours towards graduation and attend workshops, presentations, advising meetings and career counseling designed to help them succeed at the university and beyond. Fritz believes that “Mount 101 was a great chance for students to get a class under their belt and get to know the campus on their own terms.”
Fritz explained that, “Students lived in the cottages, took a three-credit class in two weeks and got an overall jumpstart on college by becoming acquainted with campus resources, attending guest lectures by various faculty members and spending time with key university figures like President Trainor. They took several trips around the area–Harper’s Ferry, Gettysburg, Frederick and Washington D.C”.
Amy Lasick, a first year student, describes her experience with Mount 101: “My experience was good. We took a class that basically prepared us for college over a two-week period, Foundations of Liberal Arts. It was an example of time management and how to handle college, as well as giving us experience of being away from home for the first time.”
Lasick explained that there were 20 participants total, which made the experience more intimate and personal. Throughout these two weeks, the incoming first year students took trips where they learned about history. “It was giving us the experience of what our study workload will look like while also having fun and meeting new people,” said Lasick.
According to the mission, the program strives for excellence and encourages students to “begin with the end in mind.”