21 The past two summers at Fayetteville Technical Community College have been unusually quiet, as the college dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic. This summer, however, the campus began to come back to life. FTCC launched a new summer program designed to transform recent high school graduates into college-ready students.

The Trojan Jump Start Program is for students who graduated high school with a GPA between 2.2 and 2.8. The program bridges the gap between high school and college for students who may not have thought they could succeed in college.

While the transition from high school to college is difficult for any student, these students had their entire high school experience shaped by the pandemic and online learning. With this program, Jump Start Program faculty and staff hope to give students a head start on college.

The Jump Start program is supported by funding from a Longleaf Commitment Student Support Services grant, part of the Governors Emergency Education Relief fund, allowing FTCC to offer the program to qualifying students at no cost. In addition to computers, students have received free supplies including backpacks and laptops.

Over seven weeks, Jump Start students take two courses: ACA 122, a student success course, and either math or English. This summer, 44 students are enrolled in the program.
The students are on campus from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. for classes and enrichment activities. Enrichment activities included a STEM fair with the Department of Math and Science, a tour of Fayetteville State University, a visit to the Airborne and Special Operations Museum, and informative Q&A sessions with various college departments.

As students progress through the program and begin to identify their academic and career interests, they are matched with a Success Coach who will help them plan their academic career and register for classes.
While the primary focus of the program is academic, we at FTCC realize that education requires a holistic approach. If students have a sense of community, they are more likely to be successful. Program activities are designed to help students make connections and form lasting relationships.

The program will be available again for Summer 2023, and FTCC hopes to expand to include more students. Rising high school seniors who believe they may benefit from the program should contact jumpstart@faytechcc.edu. The application process for the summer 2023 program will begin in Spring 2023.


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