Prepared for college classes

Many of this year’s freshmen are concerned with their success at the university level, but statistics show that this class is more prepared than any other for academic success.

More incoming students have participated in the Advanced Placement program than in previous years. More than 28 percent of freshmen took an AP test or college-level classes while in high school, according to academic affairs and placement.

This information is encouraging to school administrators because it helps relieve pressure from introductory classes such as English 110, said Debbie Gough, director of advising and academic testing.

Taking AP classes also helps the student graduate in a timely fashion. By starting out with more credits, students reduce the amount of credits they have to take while at the university and therefore have the potential to graduate sooner.

Incoming freshmen already proved their ability to achieve academic success. While the average ACT score remained 23.6 over the past four years, there was an increase in the number of students coming to UW-Eau Claire who graduated in the top 10 percent of their high school class.

Although the freshmen appear more prepared and likely to achieve success, many still have concerns about college.

The top three concerns for freshmen are not having enough money, uncertainty about their major and test-taking skills, according to the academic planning questionnaire. Freshmen are given the survey to fill out during orientation.

To combat these concerns Gough suggests going to classes regularly, asking questions and getting help whenever it is needed.

“It is important for new students to connect personally and academically because one feeds the other,” Associate Dean of Students Bob Shaw said.

Shaw warns freshmen that there is a misconception that alcohol consumption on campus is a dominating factor in a student’s personal life.

The impression of college life is that it revolves around alcohol, which Shaw said is false.

Shaw reminds freshmen that not all people drink. He said 15 percent of students will abstain completely from using alcohol.

As freshmen begin their first semester as college students they have many concerns over how well they will do.

“The first six weeks are critical to freshmen,” Shaw said.

They already proved their ability academically and were warned about the potential problems they may face as college students.