At ASU, we know that education is the foundation upon which the futures of our state, nation and world rest. It is the single most effective strategy to ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is skilled, entrepreneurial, innovative, daring and prepared to succeed in 21st-century jobs. It is also the best way to break the cycle of poverty, and build our economy from the foundation up.
If we are to keep our promise to educate Arizonans, and help Arizona compete in a rapidly changing world, we must grow our investments in student success. We must encourage more investors to share this commitment with us.
By definition, student success at ASU is a comprehensive university effort to ensure that students who enroll complete a course of study and earn a degree. Our commitment to student success is unparalleled, and reflects ASU's larger commitment to rise to the toughest challenges of our time.
With nearly 14,000 freshmen and transfer students making ASU their home each fall across four campuses, our dedication to student success spans an array of financial, academic and social-support systems. These include merit and need-based scholarships, academic advising, study-skills development, subject-specific tutoring services, writing centers, and peer and faculty/staff mentoring. ASU also offers University Bridge, a program created to help students make a successful transition from high school to college. Participation in University Bridge has tripled since 2007, and 90 percent of recent cohorts were retained to sophomore year.
Growth and improvements to ASU Student Success Programs have already made an impact. Freshman retention is now 84 percent, the highest it's ever been at ASU. We must continue to do more to increase that percentage, and ensure that ASU's emphasis on student success transcends programs and departments and continues well beyond the critical first year. We must make sure that our commitment to offering an excellent education is extended to all those with the desire and ability to succeed.
"College is one of the most difficult and stressful times in one's life. With tests, homework, friends and finances, there is a lot to crumble beneath the weight of. University Bridge was a crash course for college. I don't think I was severely lacking in any specific areas for college; I thought I had decent grades, I was an A/B student with decent people skills. However, the rush of information and new experiences from college was beyond my expectations. University Bridge was the perfect pre-college experience. From the style of classes to the involvement with peers, I became used to the feeling of self-reliance.
"I now have set goals for myself to achieve, and I have learned to then exceed them and set higher ones. I do not want to settle for what I am used to being able to accomplish; I want to reach for what I previously thought was unobtainable. My new-found drive has allowed me to go from being an A/B student in high school to having a G.P.A. of 4.31 in my first semester at ASU. Everything about this program inspires students to excel in their lives and enter the intimidating college environment ready to hit the ground running. It was one of the best experiences of my life."
"Before beginning my freshman year at ASU, I received a scholarship that required me to participate in Summer Bridge. During the month of July, I took a few college classes, lived on campus and got accustomed to college life. This program showed me the importance of using campus resources as a means of success in my classes. I attend Supplemental Instruction sessions, go to the tutoring centers, and I study at the library where I can focus without distraction. All of these resources will help me as a psychology major, and the skills I learn from them will help me reach my goal of becoming a lawyer or forensic psychologist.
"Although I've struggled at home in the past and suffered from family tragedies, I never once thought about giving up. I'm taking advantage of every opportunity that comes my way as a first-generation college student. ASU's Student Success Programs are a huge part of that."
Taken from his speech at the Summer Bridge 2009 closing ceremonies
"College is the best opportunity we've ever had. It's a blank slate. Whether you're from a small town or a large city, whether you got good grades in high school or slacked off like me, whether you had a hard life or a harder one, the choice is finally ours to independently choose what we want to do and who we want to be. The opportunity is ours to take the head start that Summer Bridge gave us and create ourselves into our ideals. I'm sure nothing would make the army of Summer Bridge staff happier than to see us all achieve that.
"Thank you everyone who makes this program possible. I wish only the best for all of you and for Summer Bridge in the future."
Arizona and the United States confront major challenges in the 21st century, complex questions that call for new approaches and bold ideas. At ASU, we know that education is the foundation upon which the future of our state, nation and world rests. It is the single most effective strategy to ensure that the workforce of tomorrow is skilled, entrepreneurial, innovative, daring and prepared to succeed in 21st-century jobs. It is also the best way to break the cycle of poverty, and build our economy from the foundation up.
If we are to keep our promise to educate Arizonans, and help Arizona compete in a rapidly changing world, we must grow our investments in student success. We must encourage more investors who can share this commitment with us.
By giving to the University Academic Success Program Enrichment Fund, you support student success initiatives that provide valuable resources to ASU students at all four campuses, such as:
The General Scholarship Fund supports scholarship awards to undergraduate ASU students.
By supporting the General Scholarship Fund, you help give all student access to a first-class education from one of the nation's top-ranked research universities. Private support for scholarship combined with grants, federal work-study, loans and outside resources assist more than 70 percent of all ASU students who receive some form of financial assistance each year.
The Graduate Fellowship Fund supports ASU graduate students by providing funds for scholarships, research awards and grants. These awards provide deserving and able graduate students with the financial and educational resources they need to successfully achieve their goals.
Scholarship support provided by individual donors remains a critically important tool to assist ASU in its commitment to students. By supporting the Graduate Fellowship Fund, you help ASU provide these promising graduate students with the financial resources so they can prepare to address today's most pressing challenges.
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For additional information about investing in programs that benefit current and future ASU Sun Devils, contact the ASU Foundation's director of development for student success.