By JOANNA KASPE
The BYU Freshman Academy offers an easier way for freshmen to adjust to college life, grouping students together in classes and living quarters.
“Most students just don’t realize the enormity of the transition from high school to university life and are overwhelmed by it,” said Ted Hindmarsh of Student Auxiliary Services. “Consequently, a high number of students who enroll, drop out.”
Hindmarsh said that nationally, 50 percent of freshmen drop out in their first semester and BYU is trying to avoid this as much as possible by having programs targeted at helping the freshmen.
“Our attempt is to give students a better start. Structurally what we do is to group the students together in the living areas and enroll them in the same three basic freshman classes,” he said.
“In essence, we are providing a support system for the students, and when things get tough, they rely on each other,” Hindmarsh said.
“I went through the program, and I loved it,” said April Whitsitt, a sophomore from Chicago majoring in political science.
“There were a few times that I don’t know if certain girls on our floor would have stayed at BYU, but they had 38 girls calling them and knocking at their doors, making sure that they were alright,” she said.
“I just think that it is a wonderful program. We were missing home, tired, and getting crushed by the teachers together,” she said.
Six hundred freshmen are randomly selected for the program. An application for the program is sent to every freshman upon acceptance to the university, Whitsitt said