The Transitional Program at Paul Smith's College is designed to help students become academically successful during their college experience. The college started this program in the fall of 2007 for students who - through admissions materials - have been identified as needing support through the transition to college.
Students accepted to Paul Smith's College within the Transitional Program will participate in the program until they have attempted 45 credit hours, for about three semesters. Students will meet one-on-one with an assigned advocate on a regular basis, establishing and maintaining an academic plan to help facilitate the student's success.
The academic plan includes
- goals for the semester (approximate GPA, intended study times, time management estimates)
- specific courses in which tutoring or supplemental instruction should be acquired
- weekly meeting times with the advocate
- other means of assistance the advocate feels are necessary for the student's success, including study skills instruction and time management techniques
The first semester that students are enrolled in the transition program they are limited to the number of credit hours they can attempt. Following that first semester, an advocate may suggest a limited credit load based on interactions with a transition student; however, as the student gains independence, he may view a full schedule as a positive adjustment. Also, the advocate meeting schedule may decrease so that the student is supported in taking full-responsibility of his academic success. As such, his final semester in the transition program may have the student only meeting with his advocate briefly about a specific question or concern.
Since the Transition Program began in 2007, 62 students have participated. At the end of the Fall 2008 semester, over 60% were in good academic standing with the college.