Primed for College Success

Dr. Stefani Relles

Dr. Stefani Relles, Assistant Professor of Higher Education, wants to ensure high school students transitioning to college are "college ready" in terms of writing skills. Writing ability, which is closely linked to other components of literacy such as reading ability and critical thinking, is a significant predictor of postsecondary success. Further, most studies show that individuals from low socioeconomic statuses, non-English speaking backgrounds, and/or racial and ethnic minorities are significantly underprepared for college in terms of literacy, leading to college attrition and limited career readiness.

The Write to College program focuses on the academic underpreparation of students for college writing. The project targets high-achieving students from low-performing public high schools in the Clark County School District (CCSD), who often meet the aforementioned demographic risk factors for deficiency in literacy and above average rates of postsecondary attrition.

Write to College

Relles adds the following about the program: "Unlike traditional programs that offer at-risk students extra instruction, Write to College gives students more intense writing practice. Most program students have never written a school paper longer than 4 pages, so we ask them to write a 15-page college paper in a few weeks. Writing, after all, is something students must learn to do in college. The failures students experience during the process provoke experiential learning via reflective discussion in a supportive peer workshop environment."

Write to College is a summer bridge program, offering student support during the summer prior to beginning college; support will include educational interventions related to writing as well as other forms of academic assistance and financial aid advising. The program derives from 10 years of research at the Pullias Center for Higher Education at the University of Southern California. Relles is currently accepting applications for the summer 2016 program. Students selected for the program receive a modest scholarship. For additional information about the Write to College program, please contact Dr. Relles.