SOS participants gearing up for Fall 2017

Posted on Friday, August 04, 2017


2017 Summer of Success participants during recent community service project

The overwhelming success of Texas Southern University’s inaugural Summer of Success (SOS) program in 2016 is being challenged by this year’s participants who are hard at work qualifying for full admission to the University for the Fall 2017 semester.

This student success-focused initiative allows students who are on the borderline of achieving full admission, the opportunity to gain admission by taking a one-hour Freshman Seminar course and two three-hour credit courses, thereby gaining college credits, college experience and college confidence. During the inaugural run of the SOS program in 2016, 241 of its 256 students successfully completed the program and gained full admission for the fall semester.

The move in date for the 2017 SOS program was July 6. The program will conclude on August 11. The University’s hopes of matching or exceeding last year’s success got off to a good start, as this year’s cohort of 359 SOS participants surpasses 2016 numbers by over 100. This is a direct result of the recruitment efforts of President Austin A. Lane and Executive Director of Admissions Brian Armstrong. Dr. Raphael Moffett, the vice president for Student Services, oversees the day-to-day operations of the program.

The 94% success rate last year mirrors the effectiveness of this initiative. The five week program has all the ingredients necessary to allow conditionally accepted students to demonstrate their ability to handle a college workload. The SOS schedule, for example, includes two morning academic courses followed by an afternoon freshman-level seminar course. Students are required to attend a mandatory study hall and live on campus to participate in special evening and weekend activities. Moreover, as a means of providing SOS participants with all the support systems necessary, they are receiving intrusive advisement by eight new Enrollment and Completion Advisors and participating in mandatory interactive evening programs facilitated by student services staff to foster their academic and personal growth.

TSU is committed to the holistic development of these students and believes wholeheartedly in the “Communiversity” model where the University is a fully invested partner with area residents, civic organizations, businesses, K-12 schools, faith communities and peer higher education institutions. To support this philosophy, SOS students recently participated in a community service project feeding the homeless in Houston. Students worked tirelessly during the community service outing and reflected on how their efforts can positively impact others.

On founding the SOS program, President Lane stated, “Institutional data shows that there are a host of young people who need a helping hand to get a handle on the skill-set necessary to master college. The Summer of Success program is one more step toward fostering students who, with dedicated guidance, can shake up society with their brilliance and talent.” 

President Lane’s words were reiterated by Dr. Moffett.

“I’m excited for these young people who are taking full advantage of an educational opportunity that can change not only the trajectory of their lives, but also the future of their families,” shared Dr. Moffett. “SOS is a dynamic experience that allows for a college education to be attainable.”

With the help of the SOS initiative, TSU continues to serve as a special purpose institution addressing critical urban issues and providing access to education to the nation’s underserved communities. Thus, the SOS program is a critical component in TSU’s plans to meet the state’s 60 x 30 Texas Plan which requires 60% of all Texans 25 – 34 years of age to possess a college degree or certificate by the year 2030. By the very nature of the demographics TSU serves, which reflect the state’s projected demographics in 2030; and the fact that Texas Southern University already graduates more Black and Hispanic students than the University of Texas and Texas A&M University combined, the SOS program allows TSU to expand its field of applicants ready and able to go to and through college successfully. 

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Last updated: 10/05/2018