First-Year Academies Hope to Give Struggling Freshmen a Lift at Parkland

August 02, 2011

Champaign's Parkland College is hoping to spur student success by getting them together in similar interest groups.

Learning communities are groups of students working on the same goals together. For instance, some of this fall's incoming freshman class at Parkland will take part in groups dedicated to helping African-American males, transferring to the University of Illinois and advancing to Parkland's health professions programs.

Amy Penne is leading the three First Year Academies. She said working together in one social group on the same courses is a good step up to college life for some freshmen.

"What we're hoping to see is a successful transition for some of these students who may have struggled a bit," Penne said. "We want to see them stay in school and move toward academic success."

Just over a dozen students are in each academy this fall, taking certain courses together. Penne hopes the concept can branch out to cover new interest groups over time.

Story source: WILL