51 Years of New Start

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51 Years of New Start

The Thrive Center
July 22, 2020

New Start is the University of Arizona's longest-standing summer bridge program for incoming, first-time freshmen. After 51 summers of in-person delivery, the program had to make its own new start this year by converting to a completely virtual format for more than 220 participants. This required flexibility and quick adaptation by the program staff but also our multiple partners across campus. New Start relies on collaborations throughout the institution to make this the best experience possible for our newest Wildcats.

The anthropology, English and math departments did not miss a beat in converting their New Start course offerings online. The classroom experience the students are having includes the live online (synchronous) and iCourse (asynchronous) options students will have in the fall. Our New Start instructors are delivering dynamic experiences that allow for students to continue to learn, be challenged in their thinking and growth as scholars, and build their academic skill-set.

Our campus partners in Leadership Programs (SECD), Campus Health, Eller, the College of Engineering's Catapult program, First Cats, and the Cultural Learning Communities have continued to provide virtual afternoon engagement opportunities for students. Housing & Residential Life has housed those New Start students who still required on-campus living options. Additionally, the New Start student staff hold tutoring hours, peer mentoring sessions, game nights, and programming that mimics hall programs. The New Start team has also converted our signature events to a virtual platform to maintain the same level of experience and support: Academic Conference, BLAST and the Involvement Fair.

Although this summer has been filled with new starts for everyone involved, from the students to the academic departments, everyone has risen to the challenge of a higher education while continuing to hold true to our shared values of compassion, adaptation, inclusion and determination. As we enter a fall as we've never entered before, New Start is showing how we are the best when all aspects of the University of Arizona come together, center the student experience and Bear Down.

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