Power Up for Success!
The surveys are in: 98% of UMass Amherst first-year students who have participated in Power Up for College Success! would recommend this program to other entering students.
This year more than 300 students enrolled in this fun, three-day orientation to campus, just before the start of the academic year. Developed in 2002 by Robert S. Feldman, professor of psychology and associate dean of the College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, this one-credit program helps students make a successful transition from high school to UMass Amherst. Feldman, who wrote P.O.W.E.R. Learning: Strategies for Success in College and Life (McGraw-Hill), is a nationally known expert in teaching students the skills and strategies that lead to success.
“I want to nurture students’ understanding and excitement about intellectual pursuits and help them use their knowledge to improve their lives, says Feldman. “In important ways, good students are made, not born.”
Through this program, first-year students learn the “secrets” to succeeding in college. It helps them start the year more confident. Plus it gives them a slight edge, by earning one college credit for their participation.
“UMass Amherst offers a superlative education,” says Feldman, who for many years served as the psychology department’s director of undergraduate studies. “We have extraordinary faculty who care about teaching, an amazing variety of classes, and talented and diverse students. Students simply need to know how to make the most of what’s available to them.”
With Feldman as the lead instructor, well-qualified, carefully trained instructors under his direct supervision teach individual sections of the course. Through small group classes and activities—and lots of individual attention—Power Up students can:
- Ask questions about the college experience
- Talk about their concerns in a relaxed and supportive atmosphere
- Develop strategies for studying, note taking, test taking and time management
- Get guidance on choosing courses and majors
- Navigate the campus before classes start
- Find out how to make the most of UMass Amherst resources and opportunities
- Build a network of friends — and move in early!
The cost for participation in Power Up this year was $540 that included credit, textbook, supplies and on-campus course fees. Housing ($25 per day) and meals were extra.
The College of Social and Behavioral Sciences gave a few scholarships to students who were interested in participating but simply couldn’t afford the additional cost. We’d like to be able to offer more in the future—because the fact is, no matter how well someone performs in high school, UMass Amherst presents new kinds of challenges, both in and out of the classroom. Power Up offers skillsets that are useful to all participants.
If you’re interested in contributing to this fund, click here (and select “scholarships”), or call James Mallet, director of development, at 413.577.1700.
September 24, 2008; updated May 10, 2012