Petition to Re-Instate the UCSD Summer Academy 2019

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Hey everyone! You may or may not have heard about this, but the Summer Transfer Academy program was cancelled in January. This program gave us amazing opportunities before starting our first year at UCSD, and other incoming students should still have that chance. I'm going to write a letter to the Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and need your help to re-instate the program!

This is the letter stating our intentions and benefits of the program.

To Elizabeth Simmons,

My name is Genevieve Germain-Trygg and I am a transfer student here at UCSD, now in the third quarter of my first year. In summer 2017, I was a participant in the Biology Summer Academy (transfer student head start program). I spoke with Laurie Smith (a Bio faculty member in this program) earlier this week and learned that the Summer Academy will not be held in 2018.  This matter is a great deal of concern for not only me, but for many others who have had the opportunity to be apart of such a great program.

            As a transfer student, my experience here at UCSD would not have been what it is today without this program.  When I first learned about the Biology Summer Academy, it immediately became something that I wanted to be apart of.  What I did not realize was how much it would truly impact my overall experience here.  It allowed me to complete classes and get ahead, explore labs and research opportunities on campus, and acclimate to a brand new environment that is intimidating to many of us coming from community college.

             In addition to giving us the opportunity to acclimate to this new environment, we were provided with an incredible amount of guidance.  We were given the chance to speak with an academic advisor to create our schedules for the upcoming quarter, assigned a mentor to meet with weekly, and attended information sessions about the various organizations and resources available on campus.  These opportunities provided a sense of stability and confidence by eradicating the overwhelming sense of confusion that most of us had upon transferring.  This truly set us up for success because one of the biggest issues amongst transfer students is the lack of knowledge and exposure to our resources.  We also had the chance to tour several research laboratories on campus and at nearby institutions, and this led directly to finding research opportunities for many students in the program.  This is really important for transfer students because the time it would otherwise take to figure out how to find research opportunities is time that we do not have, considering our time here at UCSD is roughly only 2 years.  Multi-quarter participation in research can have a significant impact on the successful pursuit of many of the most desirable opportunities for Biology majors after graduation, including medical and graduate school, or employment in a biotech or pharmaceutical company.

The program allowed us to easily integrate ourselves into campus university life and form cohorts with other students within our majors.  This early academic adjustment and exposure to campus culture has truly allowed us to thrive and find our niches here at UCSD.  It was a welcoming experience that provided transfer students a sense of belonging, and that is something that cannot be replaced.

The benefits and knowledge gained by each student through this program has allowed us to meet the expectations of not only UCSD, but of ourselves, by instilling the confidence students need to succeed.  By cancelling the academy, UCSD is losing a great opportunity to provide the essential resources that are necessary for transfer students to grow and excel. Given the impact of this program on transfer students, I urge you to seriously reconsider the re-instatement of the Summer Academy in 2019.

On behalf of the other transfer students, we thank you for your consideration.

Genevieve



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