Since its inception in 2006 at Queens University of Charlotte, empirical research has consistently shown the Transition to University (T2U) program to be highly successful in helping first-year students make the transition from high school to college. First-year students who have voluntarily participated in the T2U program at Queens University of Charlotte have significantly higher retention, higher social and academic adjustment, increased self-confidence, and increased ability to apply valuable skills taught in the program to issues common in the university setting compared to first-year students who elected not to participate in the program.
Dr. Harper now offers guest lectures and seminars to help high school seniors learn how to navigate the realities of their upcoming and exciting college life (including dealing with roommate conflict and procrastination) and form new social ties while maintaining valuable connections with family and friends at home. This concise but engaging workshop focuses on a variety of aspects high school seniors can expect to have at their new school, as well as an opportunity for discussion among fellow rising first-year students. Discussion topics are flexible, so that participants’ questions can be dealt with as they arise. This is an opportunity to meet and practice social skills (e.g., how to make introductions quickly) with other rising first-year students and to discuss academics, living situations, social relations, and other daily life concerns commonly experienced during the first few months of college life. Upper-class university students are often part of the discussions and workshops to provide a real-world perspective from students who have been there.
Popular Session Topics Include:
•Introduction & Expectations about University
•Being Social Matters: how to connect and get involved
•Balancing Academics & Social Life (and why a major does matter)
•What roles do skill, interest, and marketability play in choosing a field of study?
•Relationships (e.g., Roommate, Professor) & How to negotiate conflict
•Planning Ahead: what to do in the first 24 hours, the first week, and the first weekend of college
These sessions focus on an in-depth discussion of the topic, activities designed to educate high school seniors about skills necessary for dealing with the issue(s), and unique, specialized assignments both parents and high school seniors can review together as families prepare for the exciting transitional experience ahead. These homework assignments include:
•Identifying parental expectations while at college (e.g., grades, school involvement, use of the car)
•Balancing academic & social lives: creating a weekly time management sheet to identify how time is used both currently and at college (e.g., classroom time, study time, social time, sleep, exercise)
•Completing the Parent-Child Contract for College, which includes important and necessary questions to answer about how to deal with college (e.g., “how many times a week will we talk?”, “Will we be Facebook friends?”, “Do I have a curfew when I visit home?”, “Can I have money?”, etc.)
For those interested in inviting Dr. Harper to guest lecture or conduct a seminar on this important developmental experience, including high school and university administrators involved in first-year orientation programs or college advising and preparation, Dr. Harper may be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 704-364-0452 x3.