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October 4, 2021

Roberts Creates Educational Opportunity Program for Underserved Students

Roberts Students

This fall, as Roberts Wesleyan College welcomed its most diverse class in the college’s history, the school also welcomed its first cohort of students enrolled in the college’s newly instituted educational opportunity program. The Roberts Educational Opportunity Program (REOP) was designed to create access and opportunities for historically underserved students who demonstrate potential to succeed at post-secondary academic institutions.

The program creates opportunity by alleviating many of the financial barriers for economically underserved students by providing them with increased institutional aid. In addition to financial assistance, REOP students receive additional academic, social and emotional support as well as programming that fosters leadership and professional development opportunities. REOP was developed and launched though a collaborative effort between the offices of diversity and equity, student financial services, undergraduate admissions and student success with the following goals in mind:

  • To develop students’ understanding of meaningful social engagement and servant leadership.
  • To teach students how to communicate, empathize and persist in the face of adversity.
  • To help students achieve academic success and realize their career dreams so they can serve their communities in positive and transformative ways.

To qualify for the program, students must be residents of New York State, an incoming freshman with a fall entry term, and must be either a first-generation college student, provisionally admitted or currently enrolled in an academically low-performing high school district. Once selected as a member of the REOP program, students participate in a summer bridge program prior to their first academic school year at the college. The summer bridge program is intended to help students acclimate socially and academically to college through general education coursework, activities and exploratory learning opportunities centered on topics related to writing and philosophy, social adjustment, transition management and career exploration.

“We were pleased to welcome eight students to campus this past July as part of the REOP summer bridge program in preparation for the fall semester,” said Kimberley Wiedefeld, vice president of enrollment management at Roberts Wesleyan College. “These are strong academic students who, because of multiple barriers, may not have otherwise been able to attend a four-year private institution like Roberts. We’re looking forward to their continued success and remain committed to ensuring all students thrive and prosper throughout their academic and spiritual journeys by creating a more equitable academic experience for all.”

To learn more about the REOP program, click here.

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