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The Success Scholars Program is a support program for first-generation and/or underrepresented college students at The University of Tampa. A strong support system can make a big difference in how students navigate the changes and challenges the college experience brings, and will be a factor in finding their success at UT. Being first-generation is a very proud accomplishment! We recognize students will face unique experiences as they begin this exciting journey, and we look forward to supporting them and bringing this community together as Spartans!

This program, which serves as a succession to the grant-funded Helios Scholars Program, provides peer mentors, staff, programming and financial support to assist first generation and underrepresented students in their adjustment to campus life. Students who opt in to the program will participate in social activities, workshops, academic support programs, service opportunities and maintain regular contact with their peer mentors.

This program is designed to provide students with:

Connections

Students need to feel that they are a part of the campus community by connecting to peers, faculty, campus events and the Tampa Bay area. This program helps students to develop enduring relationships, have a satisfying social life, engage in fulfilling activities outside of the classroom and feel a sense of belongingness on the campus. 
 
Preparation

Students need basic academic skills as well as knowledge about how to succeed in and after college. Students will receive additional support when registering for classes, choosing a major, navigating campus resources, exploring careers, managing time and stress, and dealing with family pressures.

Financial Support

The financial pressures students face in college are often the key reason many do not persist to graduation. Once students have their basic financial needs met (tuition, room, meals), there is often not much remaining to buy books, participate in social life with other students, consider summer course and internship opportunities, and pursue Alternative Spring Break opportunities. This program helps with these additional funding challenges. 

CRITERIA 

A first-generation college student is defined as a student whose parent(s)/legal guardian(s) have not completed a bachelor’s degree at a four-year college or university. This means the student is the first in his or her family to attend a four-year college/university to attain a bachelor’s degree. An underrepresented student is one who identifies as an ethnicity other than Caucasian.

The Success Scholars program helps first-generation and underrepresented college students adjust to the college experience by offering a variety of opportunities and resources, from academic support to social activities, from the transition into UT through to graduation. The services and scholarships available to students vary from student-to-student within the Success Scholars program.

What are the different programmatic components of the Success Scholars program?
  • Connection to a peer mentor called a SPEAR (Spartan Peer Educating About Resources)
  • Availability of a graduate academic coach
  • Invitation to participate in the off-campus, pre-orientation Camp Spartan Retreat
  • Strengths-based education assessment and workshops
  • Opportunities to participate in faculty lunch-and-learns to connect with faculty outside of the classroom
  • Invitations to First Friday events, which are off-campus experiences that explore various careers and industries
  • Specially designed events that encourage connections with faculty, peer socialization, academic achievement, diversity awareness, community engagement and Spartan pride
  • Student Employee Workshops for on-campus employees
What are the different financial components of the Success Scholars program?

Active Success Scholars with unmet financial need may be eligible for additional financial support including:

  • The Success Scholars Work Study award, which grants students access to apply for on-campus positions created specifically for Success Scholars. 
  • Merit-based/need-based grants for summer courses  
  • Textbook support 
  • Funding for participation in Alternative Break trips  
How can I participate?  
  • All eligible incoming students will receive an email invitation to participate in the program. Students MUST respond to the email to OPT IN to the limited space available in this program. Students who opt in will be expected to:
    • Maintain regular contact with their SPEAR (mentor)
    • Participate regularly in program events and workshops at times that are convenient with their schedule (there are typically 12-15 events to choose from each month!)
    • Use academic support programs and resources (tutoring, coaching, workshops) as needed to support their academic endeavors
    • Meet with staff in the Academic Success Center for advising, mentoring and general support
     
  • Active participation will result in increased opportunities for financial support

We know that students who have frequent contact with faculty, staff and campus resources have an increased rate of persistence and frequently have higher GPAs. Additionally, we know that students with significant support systems are more engaged, less stressed and have a greater sense of well-being. Not only does this program provide that support, but it's also fun!

Academic Year 2017-2018 SPEAR’s and Graduate Mentors

Graduate Mentors
Brian Fimbel
Craig Cuatt
Chinenye "Florence" Enuenme
Akshay Kapoor 

SPEARs (Spartan Peer Educating About Resources)
Torey Dunlap - Lead SPEAR
Kiara Thomas - Lead SPEAR
Jennifer Kopceuch - Lead SPEAR
Lucero Ayala
Aurelie Caton
Alec Decato
Sydney Eldridge
Shivanand Gobin
Dominique Goden 
Marissa Margolis 
Leann Petschonek
Yoshi Rivera