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Transition Success Program helps students succeed

Now in its third year as a fall program, Ohio University’s Transition Success Program (TSP) continues to help first-year students reach their academic potential by providing them with the resources they need to be successful.

The program, which is a collaboration between Undergraduate Admissions and University College, provides a limited number of first-year students an opportunity to earn full enrollment into the University.


The selection and enrollment process

Undergraduate Admissions selects the incoming high school students who will be offered participation in the program after a holistic review of their academic profile. The students then accept the invitation and agree to the conditions of the program.

“There is great variety in the characteristics of the students we serve in this program,” said Cristy Null, assistant director for advising and student services in University College and TSP program coordinator. “Most have experienced some challenges in their academic career, but we see their abilities. We provide community and academic support to encourage persistence in college.”

Students agree to complete a minimum number of “touch points,” designed to help them with their specific academic needs, throughout the academic year. Touch points are provided in partnership with the Academic Achievement Center in Alden Library. Students access academic support services such as individual study skills instruction and academic coaching on a variety of subjects from motivation to organization and time management. And like other students at the University, they benefit from supplemental instruction and tutoring services. Tutoring is provided free of charge to TSP students and Null helps support them through group or one-on-one interactions with the students.


The Transition Success Program has changed over time  

The Transition Success Program was originally designed as a bridge program or alternative admission program but has transformed into a full immersion program that provides resources in a connective and supportive environment.

“We continue to offer and support this program because we know that not everyone has had an easy road to college,” said Dr. Ebony Green, assistant dean for advising and student services and former TSP coordinator. “We let them know that if they use our support structure and are determined to be successful, then we will help them move forward. With the increasing number of students taking college courses in high school, we see students that have sacrificed time on high school courses to excel in College Credit Plus courses and appear initially inadmissible. They are hard-working students and deserve the opportunity to continue their academic career at Ohio University.”

TSP began as the Summer Transition Program in the summer of 2007 with 23 students but changed to a fall program in 2017 to increased access and affordability.

When Dr. Green came to OHIO in January 2017, she realized the summer program was missing important elements like mirroring a college experience.

“Summer sessions are very condensed. The students were in classes for 12 credit hours, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. every day, which was very similar to their high school schedule,” Dr. Green said. “They also lived in the same residence hall, which may not help them have the most engaging college experience.”

Dr. Green said the move to fall semester also helped the students have access to resources that may be limited during the summer.

“Now they have access to more services, faculty and staff during their first semester,” she said.


TSP - Null and Green
Cristy Null (left) and Dr. Ebony Green (right) meet in Chubb Hall to discuss the Transition Success Program.


The success of the program

Invitations to participate in the TSP program vary each year with fluctuations in enrollment. This fall, TSP enrolled 63 students, which is an increase from the fall 2018 total of 52 students.

Freshman Taleeyah Painter credits the private tutoring she receives for allowing her to feel “three times more confident” in her biology and statistics homework.

“Before I used the tutoring, I felt like I was falling behind in my biology class,” Painter said. “Having two hours of personal tutoring each week has made me feel more confident in my studies and ensures that I will pass my classes and understand the material.” 

The Dayton, Ohio, native said she also enjoys the 30-minute study skills coaching sessions that TSP provides its students.

“Skills coaching provides you with feedback and ideas of the most efficient study methods,” she said.  

Freshman Arionne Chatman, a native of Youngstown, Ohio, highlighted a couple of her favorite perks of the program.

“The free tutoring and mandatory touch points ensure that we use our academic resources,” Chatman said.

Sophomore biology major Emily Wanner, a member of the fall 2018 cohort, said TSP helped her adjust to college by offering her great academic support.

“I knew that if I needed help with my essays or with a tutor for chemistry, I would be provided that all for free,” the Avon Lake, Ohio, native said. “That made it really easy to succeed and not feel overwhelmed, which then allowed me to experience college life without too much stress about schoolwork. The amount of academic help we receive makes it hard to fail and the program’s guidelines encouraged me to stay on track.”

TSP - students
Transition Success Program students Milan Vukasinovich (left) and Taleeyah Painter (right) use the Academic Achievement Center.

Freshman Milan Vukasinovich, a native of Dayton, Ohio, said the free tutoring and regular meetings with Null helped him stay organized and allowed him to keep up with his assignments.

“I turned everything in on time this fall because the program kept me on task,” he said.

Dr. Green believes that these support systems are key components to making the program a success, which is proven by the fact that 88 percent of the fall 2018 TSP cohort returned in spring semester.

Despite the program’s current success, the TSP staff is constantly requesting feedback from the students.

“We formerly required them to live in the same residence hall, but that will change based on feedback from students,” Dr. Green said. “We also found out that students had a more positive experience if they selected their own learning community.”

Null said TSP will continue to evolve and will soon add a student well-being component.

“We have recognized that adding well-being touch points will be beneficial to the students,” she said. “This program will continue to evolve as we aspire to provide the right mix of academic and college adjustment support services to students.”

December 18, 2019
George E. Mauzy Jr.