New Gateway Program helps applicants


SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University applicants who have great academic potential, but were denied admission to SRU, will now have the opportunity to begin work toward an SRU degree by enrolling in the University's newly created Gateway Program.

The 13-credit, one-semester program will be offered during the fall semester at the Regional Learning Alliance in Cranberry, with classes scheduled Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. The program provides students with personalized attention and smaller class sizes to prepare them for full enrollment at SRU beginning in spring semester.

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"This is a one-semester academic program designed to help high school graduates get ready for enrollment at SRU," said Chris Kreiser, assistant professor of English and head of the new program. "The fall semester program is designed to help high school graduates who demonstrate strong academic potential via high SAT or ACT scores, but, for whatever reasons, did not have the high school GPAs that merit outright acceptance to SRU, which does have very high admission standards."

"Still, we believe that these students have the potential to become great college students, and with the extra attention offered through the Gateway program these students can transition well into full enrollment during the spring semester. And, of course, the Gateway Program will continue to assist them throughout their time at SRU -- right up to the time when they walk across the stage for their college degrees. All of the Gateway courses count toward graduation, so the students' trip to graduation begins with the Gateway Program," he said.

SRU Gateway will offer participants extra academic support services, including smaller classes and excellent faculty in order to give them the attention necessary to prepare them for full-time enrollment at the main campus, Kreiser said.

He said the program has been in the planning stages since last fall and has taken into account the fact that many of the students who would benefit from the program will have jobs. "That is the reason we are offering set classes from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Monday-Wednesday-Friday, allowing students the afternoons and Tuesdays and Thursdays free for work and for study," Kreiser said.

The pre-set curriculum is drawn from SRU's Liberal Studies Program so completed courses will fulfill liberal studies requirements as well as lead to many majors offered at the University, thus keeping participants on track toward a standard four-year graduation plan.

Courses offered in the program will be "Critical Writing", the first basic writing requirement; an introductory-level mathematics class; "American National Government," a political science class; and an introductory-level philosophy class. There will also be a one-credit class designed to help students better understand learning strategies.

"We did not enter this program lightly," Kreiser said. "We wanted to design our curriculum to connect with as many majors as possible while also filling a student's liberal studies requirements toward graduation. We also knew that the program should include courses that are strong indicators of future graduation. Success in these courses would indicate future success at the University and would lead directly to full admission in spring semester."

"We have also selected some of the best faculty who are eager to work in the Gateway Program and are committed to helping these students begin their path to graduation," he said.

Kreiser said the program will also involve a number of other amenities, including use of access to the SRU Tutoring Center and Writing Center.

Postcard invitations to an April 27 information session at the RLA to explain the program to potential students and their parents are being readied.

For more information visit call Kreiser at 724.738.2376.

Karl E. Schwab