For more college freshmen, an offer to start a semester late

Jul 13, 2014 by

As the fall semester began at Towson University last year, Erin Garnes settled into one of the dormitories and signed up for clubs and other school activities.

But one thing separated her from Towson students: All of her classes were taught by community college professors. Under a program at Towson, if she did well, she would be admitted to the university in the spring.

Her experience mirrors a practice that’s been growing at colleges in Maryland and across the country in recent years — offering some students admission for the spring semester and providing a bridge during the fall to help them adjust to the rigors of college. University admissions officials say the practice allows them to get more people in the door when class and dorm space open up from students dropping out, transferring or studying abroad in the spring.

At the University of Maryland, College Park, spring admissions have grown rapidly since 2007, and in the last academic year, nearly a quarter of the freshman class started in the spring. At UM, spring admits can opt into a fall program in which they live off-campus and take a full semester of classes at off-peak hours.

At Towson and Salisbury universities, students conditionally admitted for the spring can live in university dorms and take classes taught by community college professors on campus during the fall semester. They pay tuition to the community college — Garnes was with the Community College of Baltimore County — and are technically considered community college students.

For Garnes and other students who fall just short of a university’s ideal admissions standards, it’s a chance to demonstrate their worth.

“This is basically like getting a second chance at the college experience,” said Garnes, now a rising sophomore at Towson double-majoring in communications and sports management.

via For more college freshmen, an offer to start a semester late – baltimoresun.com.

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