Program houses Howard students
Direct Path prepares students to transfer ‘seamlessly’ into ASU
Published: Friday, October 11, 2013
Updated: Thursday, October 10, 2013 12:10
The university this fall began housing some Howard College students under a program aimed to increase recruitment opportunities.
The Direct Path program came into consideration to increase the enrollment rate, Executive Director of Student Affairs Dr. Bradley Petty said.
To be eligible for the Direct Path program, students had to have applied to ASU and been denied admission under the new requirements, Petty said. The student then has to apply for and be accepted into Howard.
These students live in Concho Hall and have a separate resident assistant from the rest of the building. They pay for health clinic access and can attend athletic events and recreational activities for an additional cost, Petty said. This opportunity is to encourage students to transfer into ASU after boosting their GPAs. The student must complete 18 academic hours and have a minimum 2.0 GPA at Howard to transfer seamlessly into ASU, Petty said.
“We want students to get the university experience that they typically would not have attending a community college,” he said. “They have a meal plan and a post office box, and they can participate in UCPC events.”
Dr. Javier Flores, vice president of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, came up with the idea and established a working relationship with the community college, Petty said.
After researching what other institutions were doing with students who did not meet enrollment requirements, Flores, a former provost at Howard College, proposed this plan for ASU. He noted that some of the strongest schools in Texas, such as Blinn, South Plains, Texas Tech and A&M, had similar programs to try to recruit students who weren’t admitted.
“I used those as models and tweaked it a little to offer the on-campus environment to students,” Flores said.
He used the example of his son getting a used car to begin with and getting a newer one when the time is appropriate.
“It is the first step to branching out on your own,” Flores said. “You get to experience life from a different perspective and create a path leading to an actual university.”
The Direct Path students were able to have lunch with author and motivational speaker Kevin Carroll when he came to speak at convocation in August. His message was an inspiration to the Direct Path students, Flores said.
“We do not want students in this program to feel less than anyone else on campus,” Flores said. “We are helping them become stronger students so that when they become ASU students, they will be persisting and graduating at the same rate as the other students.”
Direct Path students work closely with Howard College representatives on goal settings, Flores said. They set up engaging activities to encourage students to achieve goals and move forward.
President Dr. Brian J. May’s support has been amazing, Flores said. Although the program was late on being approved by the board due to logistics, May and Howard College President Cheryl Sparks signed papers for the Direct Path program to fall into place this semester.
When students are notified that they are not yet ready to come to come to this university, ASU can offer them the Direct Path program as an option, Flores said.
“We are presenting some other programs to the board in December that will also help students that are close, but not quite up to university standards,” he said.