Brave Start Program at UNCP
The Brave Start Program at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a freshman-year experience program for selected students. Students are referred to the Brave Start Program by the Office of Undergraduate Admissions. Brave Start enroll in the fall semester and continue in the program throughout the freshman year. (Also, some students may not finish their composition courses until the fall of their sophomore year, so a student remains in Brave Start until the successful completion of ENG 1060, Composition II). Brave Start is a learning community in which the cohort of students proceeds through the freshman year.
The Brave Start Program experience includes:
- English courses are taught by the same instructors throughout the composition sequence (ENG 0104, 1050, 1060). This allows instructors to establish a rapport with students and to understand their individual writing strengths and weaknesses more effectively, thus facilitating the tutoring process. Brave Start Program students are required to enroll in ENG 0104, a developmental course, to strengthen writing skills. While this course does not count for graduation credit, it prepares students for the next courses in the sequence. The other courses in which the students enroll during the fall semester are regular general education requirement courses.
- All Brave Start Program students participate in specialized sections of Freshman Seminar 1000 (FRS 1000).
- In addition to the Brave Start Program English course and FRS 1000 course, all Brave Start students are required to enroll in another specified general education course with additional academic support (in both fall and spring of the freshman year). Then, advisors will assist Brave Start Program students with selecting other courses to complete their schedules based on their interests and intended major.
- Courses are very structured while still adhering to the standards of the English Department (i.e., writing portfolios). Students receive many graded assignments prior to mid-term in order to allow them to track their own progress in the course and to make needed adjustments.
- The required support courses (ENG 1020 and ENG 1030), which are writing labs, assist students in completing the English courses (1050 and 1060) more successfully.
- Brave Start Program instructors meet individually with students in both writing and advising conferences throughout the semester. In these meetings, students are encouraged to seek tutoring, counseling, and/or career advising as needed. This allows instructors to keep in touch with students about their total academic experience.
- Instructors occasionally engage students in learning projects outside the classroom. For example, students have participated in community service projects for the past 5 semesters (and in previous years). This fosters a sense of community as well as character development, and these activities give students a “hands-on” learning experience as well as introduce them to various careers.
- Students are advised throughout their freshman year in face-to-face meetings with instructors. If students intend to enter more specialized majors, then they are encouraged to work with an advisor in that specific area as needed.
- Instructors use technological resources to supplement course discussions and to send reminders and announcements. Once again, this helps students to make the transition from high school during their freshman year.