Preparation for Early College Program

Jennifer Griggs, director of Butler’s Learning Resource Center (LRC), and Mia Morrison, an academic advisor with the LRC, completed training at the AVID (Advancement Via Individual Determination) Summer Institute in Chicago in July. They were joined by members of the Shortridge Magnet High School faculty Emily Hubacek-Snyder, Margaret Means, Barbara Jones and Jim Larkin.

Adopted by some 4,000 schools, the AVID system assists students in grades 4-12 in improving their eligibility for four-year college programs.

In 2009, Butler received a grant from the Ruth Lilly Philanthropic Foundation to offer AVID training to Shortridge students and both institution’s faculty and staff, as part of the University’s partnership with Indianapolis Public Schools at the magnet.

Griggs and Morrison undertook the training to prepare for their work with the Early College Program (ECP), which begins this fall at Butler. A key component of the partnership, the ECP will allow qualified Shortridge juniors and seniors to earn 3 credit hours per semester at Butler.

Eleven Shortridge juniors will begin selected Butler classes on Aug. 25. During their two-mornings-a-week on campus, ECP students will also take a 1-credit class taught by Learning Resource Center staff, titled “Strategies for Success.” Also offered to Butler students, the course explores techniques for developing college-level academic skills.

Associate Provost for Student Academic Affairs Mary Macmanus Ramsbottom is providing administrative oversight for the ECP. “Participation in the AVID training is intended to educate Butler staff on the AVID philosophy and activities in which our Early College Program students have already engaged,” Ramsbottom said. “This will inform their design and delivery of ‘Strategies for Success’ for all Early College Program students.”

In Chicago, Morrison studied techniques of time management, organization, goal setting and learning. “This allowed me to refine the strategies I already use in ‘Strategies for Success,’ ” she said. “I hope the knowledge I gained from the AVID Training will assist me in further supporting the ECP students in achieving their goal of becoming a successful student in their current coursework at Shortridge and Butler, as well as to utilize these transferable skills into other realms of their life.”

Griggs attended daily sessions on “Preparing for College,” which will be the focus of LRC workshops for Early College Program students in future semesters.

“Curriculum encompassed the entire college search and decision-making spectrum,” Griggs said, “including activities for high school students deciding whether to consider college as an option, navigating every step of the college application and financial aid process, and transitioning to the first year of college.

“Underrepresented populations received special consideration during my session, particularly first generation and undocumented students,” she said. “It was impressively comprehensive and will be of great value when supporting Shortridge students through the process.”

Media contact: Mary Ellen Stephenson
(317) 940-6944

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