Feb. 13-26, 2004
Vol. 34, Issue 3
Back Issues
IN THIS ISSUE
A Bold Plan
Turner: ‘The journey continues’
Raising the Bar
Headlines @ U.Va.
Research yields insight into working families
Team designs computer model to predict pathways of blood vessels
Yvonne Hubbard levels the playing field
Board discusses diversity, tuition and more
Faculty Actions
‘Traditions of Exemplary Women’
U.Va. Health System reaches out to uninsured
Linda Layne discusses pregnancy, feminism and health
Poet-critic Alan Williamson here as Rea Visiting Writer
‘Dada DJ’ and friends spin the vinyl Feb. 17
Manned Mars missions on the horizon
Raising the Bar
Third-year student Jeremy Davis and fourth-years Samuel Quaynor, Ermias Abebe and Sally Holmes study together at a Black Study Hall session
Photo by Andrew Shurtleff
(Left to right) Third-year student Jeremy Davis and fourth-years Samuel Quaynor, Ermias Abebe and Sally Holmes study together at a Black Study Hall session Feb. 8 in Cauthen Hall.

By Brandon Marshall Miller

Going from high school to college is daunting for everyone, especially for minority students. When they leave home to confront new faces, places and expectations, first-year students can be overwhelmed.
That’s why the Office of African-American Affairs began the Peer Advisor Program in 1984, a nationally recognized initiative that has helped U.Va. achieve the highest graduation rate for African-American students — 87 percent — at public universities in the country for a decade.

That’s also why last spring, the OAAA launched a study hall and tutoring session for first-year students dubbed “Black Study Time.” Every Sunday and Tuesday evenings, from 8 to 10 p.m., peer advisors meet in Cauthen House, to tutor, assist and advise students who need it. Two rooms are reserved — one for quiet, individual study and the other for group work.

The study program is part of a continuing effort by the OAAA to identify and respond to academic and social challenges faced by minority students on Grounds. Two years ago, several peer advisors saw a need to help incoming students adjust to the University’s environment. They discussed sponsoring a conference and other initiatives under the rubric of “Raising the Bar.”

In the fall of 2002, the Peer Advisor Program sponsored a “Raising the Bar” conference. It also launched the BST sessions the following spring.
Sylvia Terry, associate dean of OAAA, said she views BST as a pilot program. By limiting it to first-years for now, organizers can see what is working and what is not. In the future, they hope to broaden its scope to offer additional learning opportunities and embrace other students.


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