Albany State Summer Success Academy Prepares Incoming Freshmen for College

By: Rachel Lawrence 

The Albany State University (ASU) Summer Success Academy (SSA) is a 6-week residential comprehensive program designed to help participants gain a head start on their education as they prepare to bridge the gap between high school and college. Students enrolled in the program receive seven to eight credits hours for participating in the program based on their cohort. 

This year, 31 students attended the summer program.

“The comprehensive program of orientation and academic support is designed to ease the transition from high school to college while building a solid academic foundation,” said ASU Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Success, Kenyatta Johnson. “The Summer Success Academy is another initiative that shows ASU’s commitment to student success, access and academic excellence.”

Working closely with ASU faculty and supported by a network of peer advisors, learning specialists, and tutors, students attending the program gained insight into a new chapter in their lives, and learned skills that are key to a successful college experience. During the residential program participants became accustomed to the ASU campus which removed the stress associated with moving away from family and making new friends.

“Summer Success Academy students develop into owners of their educational experiences and leave strong and ready for the challenges of a first year in college,” said ASU Executive Director of Student Success, Dr. Kimberly Burgess.

Now a junior social work major, Carmail Cooper attended the first cohort of SSA in 2019. She now serves as a student leader of the 2021 SSA incoming freshmen class. Carmail Cooper

“Summer Success Academy has helped me in ways I didn’t think would benefit me in the future. Because of the program, I am aware of the resources ASU has to offer, I’ve learned valuable skills like time management, and I developed friendships I still have today,” said Cooper.

After Summer Success Academy, Cooper entered her first semester at ASU with four class credits, and would later be at the top of her class. “It gave me a head start,” she added. “I was comfortable with my surroundings, I had a rapport with my professors, and I made a lot of connections that were impactful later on in my academic journey.”

Cooper says attending SSA prepared her for her current leadership roles on campus.

“I want to see these students grow – and I know they will, because I did,” said Cooper.