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Summer Start program helps incoming students earn credit

ISSUED: 29 July 2021

SHEPHERDSTOWN, WV — Shepherd University’s first in-person Summer Start program is helping 19 incoming freshmen get a head start on their college education while having some fun at the same time.

This is the second year Shepherd has offered Summer Start, which provides first-year students the opportunity to begin college early by enrolling in up to seven credits during the summer semester.

“I signed up for Summer Start because I wanted to be able to graduate early,” said Lillian Robbins of Capon Bridge. “I thought it would give me a better opportunity to get classes out of the way that I needed. I think it’s great. The staff are very sweet and they all are so accommodating.”

“I decided to do the Summer Start program to gain knowledge on how Shepherd University operates and I wanted to learn more about my major, secondary education,” said Carter Curry, Buckhannon. “I gained valuable knowledge from the Summer Start program. I feel like I’m ahead of the game.”

Students who successfully complete the program are eligible for a $500 tuition waiver at Shepherd for fall semester. Students in the program this summer were eligible for free on-campus housing in Miller Hall and participated in a variety of field trips, welcome events, and educational workshops.

Sierra Stoey, Gerrardstown, said she’s focused on her future and sees Summer Start as a way to reach her goal of completing the five-year M.B.A. program. Stoey rates her experience a 10 out of 10.

“I think it was nice bonding with other people who care so much about their education,” Stoey said. “We don’t have to be here but we chose to be here so that we can get a head start on our future, and I think that’s important.”

“I signed up because I wanted the experience of living on campus and really having a head start on how to get around campus.” said Alyssa Powers, Charles Town, who plans to major in psychology.

Powers and Kayli Barton, Inwood, enjoyed the cultural events such as paint night and a tour of Antietam National Battlefield.

“I think making new friendships and relationships with people I’ve never met before was beneficial for me,” Barton said. “All the resources on campus are good. I’ve gone to the Wellness Center a couple of times. Everybody on campus is very welcoming. They are understanding of college students and what they’re going through, so I think they can provide great advice.”

Gerrardstown resident Desiree Stoey, Sierra’s twin sister, said her goal is to graduate in three years. By participating in Summer Start, she will be a sophomore instead of a freshman when fall semester begins.

“I really liked the experience,” Stoey said. “It helped me engage with more people who will be on campus. It helped me learn the campus. I made some friends and we had fun activities. You get to learn the campus and learn where your classes are going to be.”

“All of the students participating in Summer Start this year have worked hard to make early, positive strides as they begin the first year of college,” said Shannon Holliday, program director. “They took full advantage of the opportunity to enroll in challenging, accelerated courses, make friends, and get to know the Shepherd campus and community. Because of their efforts this summer, I know they will be more successful and better prepared when the fall semester begins in a few short weeks.”

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