SAN ANGELO, Texas — What's the difference between a college freshman and a high school senior? Three months, which really isn’t a lot of time, considering many young adults are taking on new responsibilities.
Sometimes those new obligations can become overwhelming for a young adult and students drop out of college.
“National research shows most students are making up their mind about returning to college within the first four to five weeks of the university,” John Wegner, Dean of Freshman College at Angelo State University, said.
In 2015, Wegner said, retention of students at Angelo State University was 63 percent. This year, he said, the retention rate is 69 percent.
A reason for the climb in numbers could be an additional course that freshmen are required to take in their general studies requirements. The signature classes aren’t your average college 101 course.
“Retention issues is not cognitive, it’s not academic, for many students it’s about feeling connected to the campus and understanding they have a place,” Wegner said.
The course has enticing names such as: History of BBQ, Staying Awake in the Movies as Zombie Protection and Muggle Mysteries: What Exactly is Function of a Rubber Duck?
The names may appear to be silly, but they aren’t a laughing matter. They're real classes that offer students life and study skills.
“The class isn’t really about Harry Potter or zombies or Anama. The class is about how to be a successful college student it’s just couched in this other topic,” Wegner said.
“It’s taught me how to take good notes how to read properly through all the textbooks that we have in class. Its taught me how to deal with some of the problems we have between roommates and dorms and friends,” ASU student Carrie Medrano said.
There are approximately 25 students in each classroom which offers an intimate setting for students to ask anything they want from how to access to a food pantry, to what’s going on at the campus that week.