Incoming freshmen receive a jump start with science orientation
This summer as the hum of cicadas was at its height and most incoming college freshman were wrapping up summer jobs and packing their duffels, 111 UMKC students were already settled on campus as willing recruits to Biology Bootcamp, a one-week orientation that helps familiarize first-year students with the rigorous expectations of the science programs.
“We recognize the difficulty some students have making the transition to college,” said Tammy Welchert, director of student affairs and academic advising for the School of Biological Sciences.
It’s our commitment to take any student who qualifies and is interested.”
Biology Bootcamp is open to any science major enrolled in Biology 108 or 109. The program includes real lectures, homework, note-taking skills, study tactics and test-taking strategies.
“We want to set expectations and familiarize the students with campus,” Welchert said. “But one of the things we really value is getting to know these students right off the bat.”
This was the third year of the program and it continues to grow and expand.
“The first year we had 36 students. The next year we had 96. This time we had upper classmen mentoring each ‘mob’,” she said of the small groups named for kangaroo communities.
While the camp is not for credit, students agree that it is worthwhile.
“I’d heard in high school about the speed of the lectures,” said Cooper Redington, a freshman in biology. “I thought I was prepared, but they were much faster paced than I expected.”
Beyond the classroom preparation, Redington found there were other components of the week that were beneficial.
“It helps because you move in with a smaller crowd and everyone here has a similar major. It was beneficial to meet people who are focused on doing well,” Redigton said.
Freshman Jamie Tabron agrees.
“Bootcamp was very intense,” she said. “We had five assignments a day and went from 7:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. It really prepared me a lot for the style of teaching and testing.
Tabron, who is interested in studying biomedical engineering, recommends the program.
“Bootcamp was a great way to get used to living at college. The week really helped me with the transition. It was more than biology. It makes you confident.”