Q. How do I qualify to participate in the Student Transition Program (STP)?

A. Students are admitted to STP for a variety of reasons. It is impossible to give one answer to satisfy all students. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions makes determinations based on their review of a wide range of variables including first-generation/first-in-family status, socio-economic status, underrepresented minority status and geographical location. Students who do not fall into any of the prescribed markers may still be considered for STP on a case-by-case basis if they present something in their application/essay statement that indicates that they may benefit from further development in their academic success skills. 
To clarify, we view academic success skills and socio-emotional success skills differently. The STP program is not structurally designed to assist students with socio-emotional success skills beyond a fundamental level. Additionally, the STP summer staff, which is majority student-based, are not trained to assist students who need socio-emotional support beyond a fundamental level. During the STP summer program, participants complete two traditional, sixteen-week courses in just two weeks. This means that the curriculum for both courses are very accelerated. The STP staff have found that this expedited experience often creates adverse effects, particularly heightened anxiety, for individuals who may have challenges with social and emotional needs. The consequence is that these students can and do struggle to complete the requirements of the two courses, resulting in a lower and sometimes failing grade in one or both courses. The grades from the two summer courses do reflect in the students’ cumulative grade point average and count for credits towards degree completion. The STP staff does not desire to see any student begin their first year of college with a negative experience and/or a blemish on their grade point average. As it is our desire to set students up for success, we caution pursuing participation in the program for the sole purpose of social and emotional support.
If you have additional questions and/or concerns, please feel free to contact Mr. Justin Wilkes, STP Director (540)654-1726.

Q. Can I live at home and attend the two-week summer residential program?

A. No. All summer residential program participants are required to live on campus for the duration of the program. Students are encouraged to live on campus to form the connections with the students and faculty on campus. Our hope is to help students form excellent skills that will ensure their success at UMW. This is often hard to do with the distractions of home and family. The summer residential program also has tutoring/collaborative learning, workshop sessions, and various other activities that typically last until 9:00pm. It is best for students to live on campus to make full use of the resources UMW and the STP program have to offer.

Q. What are the benefits of attending the two-week summer residential program?

A. The summer residential program gives students an excellent opportunity to strengthen their academic skills, develop a peer support network and to familiarize themselves with the campus and its resources. Some of the benefits of the summer program include the following:
  • Because the program is offered during the summer, STP students get to start their college education in a less hectic environment than in the Fall.
  • Students become familiar with the campus and its resources. Students are able to identify offices that can provide assistance throughout their time at UMW.
  • Students can earn 3 credit hours towards graduation.
  • Students have the opportunity to assess and develop academic and personal skills in an environment most conducive to learning.
  • The summer residential program is the ideal living-learning community.

Q. I heard that summer residential program participants cannot go home for the weekends. Is this true?

A. Generally, we encourage summer residential program participants to stay on campus during the weekends. The weekend time can be used to catch up on readings or homework. We have found that students do very little work when they go home for the weekends. For this reason, we strongly recommend that all summer residential program participants remain on campus for each weekend of the program. Nonetheless, program participants are welcomed to go home on the weekend if they choose. The weekend runs from the conclusion of study hall on Thursday night through Sunday evening.

Q. How much does the summer residential program cost?

A. The summer residential program is FREE for all participants. The total cost per student is approximately $4000.00 (based on university’s summer rates); this figure includes tuition, room and board, meals, and books. This expense is fully covered by the STP program. Program participants are only responsible for personal expenses (i.e. laundry, school supplies, snack foods, etc.) and the costs of any extracurricular activities not preplanned and funded by the program.  Also, in the event of property damage to UMW facilities and/or a lost room key, all students involved will be held responsible for any cost associated with these incidents.
In the unlikely event that a student is unable to successfully complete the summer program, the student may be asked to reimburse UMW for all costs incurred.

Q. Can I have a car on campus?

A. No. Parking is a major concern on campus. We find that a car on campus is a big distraction for students and prevents them from fully attending to their academic work.

Q. Is STP a remedial or minority program?

A. STP is neither a remedial program nor a program for minority students only. The University of Mary Washington offers no remedial programs.  The courses completed during the summer are not remedial and gives degree credit.
The intent of STP is to recognize the complex and varied challenges incoming students, particularly those from marginalized backgrounds, face in navigating the collegiate experience and to provide sustained and engaging support to help program participants make the transition from high school to college. STP’s primary target is first-in-family and historically marginalized students, however, the Office of Admissions considers all interested students regardless of demographic background.

Q. Once I have been admitted to the STP program, what comes next?

A. Once a student receives their admittance to the STP program, they will be sent information about the program and a contract that must be signed and returned to the Office of Admissions by May 1. 

For additional questions and/or concerns, Contact US!

For more information, please contact:
Mr. Justin Wilkes
University of Mary Washington
1301 College Avenue
Fredericksburg, VA 22401- 5300
(540) 654-1726
Email: jwilkes@umw.edu