Today: May 29, 2024

University Access Program offers support for marginalized groups

Solé Scott- Features Editor

This campus is made up of students from all different backgrounds that needs support throughout their educational years and beyond. 

University Access Programs help first generation and low-income students with school as the program offers resources for the betterment of students. 

Dawn Stanton is the Director of University Access Programs and has 30 years of experience in student accomplishments. 

Director of University Access Programs Dawn Stanton in her office. Photo: Solé Scott

“So, we have a few different programs that we are trusted to care for,” Stanton said. “We have our SEOP program, our Southern Promise Scholars program, our PASS program, our PACE program, and “TheDream.us.” 

Southern Education Opportunity Enrollment was created in 1972 to help underrepresented students achieve success while being motivated. There is a Summer Academy which lasts for five weeks and offers residential and academic support for first year students. 

Academic Year Initiative continues the progress of the Summer Academy. To be eligible, students need a high school diploma or state equivalency diploma. 

Southern Promise Scholars focuses on supporting local communities and nearby communities such as New Haven, Hartford and Waterbury.  

Pathways to Academic Success and Career Empowerment, also known as PACE, is a support system to help foster children whose goal is to earn a college degree. Students can arrive early before fall and meet with University Access Programs mentor professionals, amongst other resources. 

Students of color that have a 2.0 GPA and are on academic probation can qualify for Promoting Academically Successful Students, PASS. A limit of 50 people can have access to mentoring, tutoring, career exploration, book loans and laptop loans, which is first come, first served. 

According to the university website, 67% of PASS students were able to get out of academic probation. 

Another program UAP cares for is TheDream.US Scholars. This program provides scholarships to youth immigrants that want a college education and cannot afford to do so. 

Right now, there are about 500 students that UAP caters to. 

Environmental science major Shyheim Jones, a senior, is currently part of the University Access Program.  

“It helps us find who we are, and not just like the academic world but just personally,” Jones said. 

Once students are emitted into the program, they develop lifelong connections. 

Marriage and family therapy major Hannah Rosario is a graduate intern who was a part of the program during her time as an undergraduate. 

“So, when I was in it, I was part of the GEAR UP scholarship for Waterbury students,” Rosario said. 

Gaining Early Awareness & Readiness for Undergraduate Programs, GEAR UP, is a partnership between CSCSU universities and local schools. These students will receive financial learning, scholarships, mentoring and tutoring to get them ready for college. 

“UAP has been so helpful to me in my undergrad,” Rosario said. “They have a wide array of programs that are meant to help them reach out to students.” 

University Access Programs is in Engleman Hall B018. 

“We are really growing as a department, and so some of the areas in which we feel proud about is the work that we’ve been doing to illuminate first generation scholar identity on campus,” Stanton said. 

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