FIRST YEAR PROGRAMMING
Drexel seeks engaged students—those who are interested in course material and willing to participate. In order to prepare students for this kind of educational experience, Drexel has created a First-Year Program.
- Learning Communities: As part of the First-Year Program, students participate in a learning community. Once a week, students gather with their peers in a small group to discuss course work and study for class. Learning communities promote conversation outside of the classroom, which enhances the learning experience and increases comprehension of course material.
- Wraparound Sections: Wraparound sections offer extended, academic support. Students work together to draw conclusions and even connect their coursework to other disciplines. The point of a Wraparound Section is to reinforce core themes through individual and group exercises. The reinforcement is helpful for many students who may need to study a concept more than once to understand it.
- Mentoring: Drexel’s mentoring approach connects an experienced upperclassman with a first year. The relationship is meant to smooth the transition for the new student. Mentors assist students, answer questions, and show undergraduates how to make the most of their time at Drexel.
DRAGON SCHOLARS PROGRAM
The Dragon Scholars Program (DSP) is available to all first-year students. The program begins the summer before freshman year, and continues as a first-year experience. DSP is a learning community that promotes academic excellence. There are many personal, academic, and social benefits to participating in the program. Not only do students gain a better understanding of their new academic standards, but they also bond with the other members of the program.
Drexel works with the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement to establish community-based learning courses (CBL). These courses bring service to the forefront of education. Students have the opportunity to connect their studies to the issues and needs of the community.
Service Learning: Service learning is made up of two elements: course work and community service. In some cases, courses require students to have previous knowledge of the topic at hand.
Service Immersion: Service immersion is similar to community-based learning and is available as either a 1 or 3 credit course. Service immersion involves some form of class discussion, whether that is online or in an actual classroom. The program culminates with a travel service trip and final project.
Side-by-side: Side-by-side is a very special part of Drexel’s educational experience. Side-by-side is a learning model that incorporates both Drexel students and community members. Drexel students take courses with local students that are underprivileged and underrepresented. Themes of equality and diversity often set the tone for the side-by-side learning courses.
Community Based Research: Community Based Research allows students, faculty, and members of the community to tackle an issue through thoughtful and shared analysis. The goal of this research initiative is to identify a solution to a community-based problem.
STAR stands for Students Tackling Advanced Research. The program is open to first-year students the summer after their freshman year. STAR allows students to collaborate with faculty on research projects—a valuable experience most often given to masters students. STAR awards each participant with a $4,000 dollar stipend and on-campus housing. Students work a total of 400 hours over the course of the summer. There are many benefits to participation including one-on-one interaction with faculty and experience with research processes.
iSTAR: iSTAR is the international sector of the STAR scholars program. Students with strong records of academic excellence are invited to participate in the program. Selected students have the opportunity to gain advanced research skills, as well as work with international partners. Positions are limited to designated areas of study and current initiatives.
STAR Scholars Summer Showcase: At the end of each summer, Drexel has a showcase to celebrate all of the research completed by the STAR scholars. Community members, faculty, and family are invited to attend the event and learn more about each student’s body of work.