USFSM's Summer Beginnings Program saw a jump to 22 students from 14 last year.

USF Sarasota-Manatee welcomes freshmen to summer program

By: Rich Shopes

Posted: August 03, 2017

SARASOTA, Fla. (Aug. 2, 2017) – Twenty-two freshman students got a jump on their college careers this summer under a program at USF Sarasota-Manatee.

The five-week Summer Beginnings Program helps students get started on the fall semester by offering a handful of general education courses.

Colleges and universities typically rely on the SAT or ACT entrance exams to assess whether to admit prospective students. USFSM relies on these exams as well, but for the Summer Beginnings Program the campus uses a holistic approach and takes into account a student’s high school Grade Point Average, academic record and other factors such as letters of recommendation, personal statements and resumes.

“We are pleased with the creation of this program,” Director of Admissions and Financial Aid Andrew Telatovich said. “It has increased access to USFSM for new freshmen while preparing them for their first year on campus and easing the transition to their college careers in the fall.”

Students in Summer Beginnings typically sign up for two academic courses, such as statistics and English composition, plus an hour-long university life class. They can ask to join or be referred to the program.

“It offers students the chance to make friends and learn the ways of the university, so that by the end of the program they’re ready to begin the fall with a group of friends, a familiarity of the university and credits from their courses,” said Dr. Jane Rose, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences. “They begin the semester with a leg up on the other freshmen.”

Summer Beginnings started last year with 14 students, but jumped to 22 this summer. The program will end this week but return next summer. Some students, like Rachel Dornstauder of Ponte Vedra, asked to join the program to prepare for the upcoming academic year.

“I’m the kind of person who likes to get a jump on things and I wanted to start my college career as soon as possible,” said Dornstauder, who plans to major in general business administration. “This has been really helpful.”

She said she enrolled at USFSM because she said she liked the campus atmosphere and small classroom sizes, currently a 13:1 student-to-faculty ratio.

Another incoming freshman, Chris Cahueque, also a business major, offered a similar explanation, adding that he also liked the short commute from his home in Lakewood Ranch. Summer Beginnings, he said, gave him a chance to prepare for the fall.

“It’s helped me to figure out what I’ll need to do this semester, plus I earned a couple of credits pretty fast,” he said.

Students can contact Admissions at or (941) 359-4331 for more information.

Read more news stories below or view as a list