Seahawk RISE Takes Holistic Approach to Support Students

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

A new UNCW learning community and extended orientation program will uniquely support at-risk students from rural communities.

The program, called Seahawk RISE (Reaching and Inspiring Student Excellence), will provide programs and academic support for students who come from rural counties in North Carolina. The program is funded by a $64,833 grant from the UNC System.

A pilot group of 25 incoming first-year students will be assigned to a year-long learning community beginning in the fall 2018. They will arrive on campus prior to the official Move-In Day to take part in leadership development, financial literacy programs and learn about undergraduate research and applied learning opportunities.

“Thinking through the changes that a student will experience allows us to better prepare them for the road ahead,” said Melinda Anderson, associate dean of undergraduate studies and director of the University College. “We cannot compartmentalize how a student experiences the university, and as they grow and develop they are becoming different versions of themselves. Considering how they connect academically and socially to their new environment helps us design a better experience that accounts for all the dynamics they will encounter in and outside of the classroom.”

Seahawk RISE is a collaboration between University College, Enrollment Management, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion and the Division of Student Affairs. University College’s First-Year Studies team is working with faculty in the Watson College of Education, admissions, residence life and housing, the career center, financial aid, and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion staff. Students who successfully complete the program will be eligible for a $500 retention scholarship.

“We are excited about providing guidance and support for our newest Seahawks through a comprehensive program. The new collegiate environment will challenge and support them in ways that encourage them to build new academic skills to be successful, and provide communal support that is critical when taking on new challenges,” Anderson said.

--Venita Jenkins