SARASOTA, Fla. (Oct. 09, 2017) – USF Sarasota-Manatee  is developing a free online course called Pre-College Success to navigate the sometimes complex college-entry process.
Designed with high school students in mind, this self-paced, online program consists of eight modules that cover everything from the application process, financial aid and scholarships to choosing a career and the right classes.
Students who complete the program will receive a waiver of their $30 application fee if they apply to USF Sarasota-Manatee and be entered into a drawing to take an ACT or SAT preparation class. Students will need to purchase two books for the class, about $30 for both, but the $65 course registration fee will be waived.
“A lot of schools offer programs like this, but this one is completely online, free and designed to help students and their parents navigate the complexities of applying to and attending college,” said Dr. Phil Wagner, who helped create the program. “This is about being clear, transparent and accessible.”
Along with helpful information about college and college life are links and phone numbers for finding answers to detailed questions, such as those involving curriculum and financial aid.
“It’s not just a boring course full of PDF files,” he said. “It’s bright, colorful, creative and engaging – just like our courses here at USFSM.”
The program will debut in a few weeks. It will be offered through USF Sarasota-Manatee’s Office of Professional and Continuing Education (PACE) .
The program’s intent is to help both students and parents – including those who worry about lacking the resources to pay for college – to better understand the admissions process and other aspects of college life. Officials hope it dispels notions that dissuade students from attending college, such as those related to affordability.
“We are excited about the creation of this program and the information and knowledge students can receive from it,” Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Andrew Telatovich said. “We hope students completing the course will feel a step ahead and be more comfortable with an increased understanding of the college admissions and financing process.”
The program was created following meetings this past spring of the campus’ Diversity Accountability Council, which is comprised of USFSM administrators, faculty and community leaders.
“I think this is a great way for parents who aren’t certain of what is expected in the process of applying to college to now be able to ask questions, where before they would only be able to ‘sit and get’ information,” said Ronnique Major-Hundley, a teacher at the Emma E. Booker Elementary School in Sarasota and a liaison between USFSM and the Sarasota-Manatee community. “Now, families will be able to approach guidance counselors, admissions offices and recruiters with informed questions.”