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college welcomes-222The second year of the CONNECT program is well underway and is growing. The program is designed to offer an alternate path for students who applied to majors in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources NC State but were not accepted to get individualized pre-advising and course experience on our campus.

Students representing Western Carolina University, Appalachian State University, East Carolina University, Randolph Community and Gaston Community College participated this summer.

CONNECT students apply to the program. If accepted, they attend Summer Session II at NCSU as a non-degree student. During this 5-week experience, they complete two college courses, participate in related field experiences, have a student mentor to guide them in tutoring, social activities, etc. They also receive advising from an FER advisor, learn about campus resources and live on campus (preferred).
At the close of Summer Session II, the students attend the 2 or 4 year institution of their choice and the following spring if they have a 3.0 GPA or higher they receive automatic admission to transfer to NCSU in an FER major beginning the next fall semester.  The CONNECT program has also been extended to students who didn’t apply to NCSU but have completed high school and have not started another program. Candidates are those who intend to transfer to NCSU in the Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources. Students pay for their courses, books, housing and dining.

Christi Standley, Undergraduate Program Coordinator, shared, “The goal is to provide them (prospective students) further college credit and with math, science, or communications credits towards their degree. They get to experience campus life and college level courses. This experience lets them zero in on their interests and strengths. We advise them on course selection when they return to their school to help ensure credit transfer in the future.”

The variety of hands-on trips introduce them to possible career fields. Events this summer included: an Environmental Technology and Management Lab, a Fisheries and Wildlife and Conservation Biology Lab, visits to the Center for Applied Aquatic Ecology, Conservators Center, and the Museum of Natural Sciences. Terrie Litzenberger, Senior Lecturer, shared, “The students worked in small groups in the Environmental Technology and Management lab and used equipment to analyze unidentified water samples from a variety of sources. These samples included bottled water, deionized water, tap water, ground water, hog lagoon water and creek water. After analyses, the students used the data they measured to hypothesize as to the source of each sample. The actual sources were revealed to the students after their hypotheses were developed and discussion followed.”

From a parent whose child participated this summer: “The CONNECT program is something every College at NCSU ought to provide. There are so many worthy, capable, dedicated students out there who get turned away without a chance to prove themselves. Thank you so much for having this program available and in place. No matter how things turn out for our student…he has had an unforgettable experience that will serve him well no matter what he does or where he studies.”

For more details and application information.