Innovative Bulls to Business Program Opens Summer Session to Qualified Freshmen
By Keith Morelli
TAMPA (April 13, 2018) -- An innovative program that gives incoming freshmen a head start on their college careers is underway at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business. The Bulls to Business initiative targets high-achieving high school students who have applied to and been accepted as business majors and can't wait until the fall to start their college careers.
The idea is to get the freshmen to enroll for the summer session, right after they graduate from high school. They will be assigned dorm rooms in the Juniper-Poplar residence hall on the seventh floor, which is the same floor they will return to for the fall term. This gives students a taste of what it's like living on campus in a relaxed atmosphere, before the crush of fall semester students arrive. Students living on campus all have access to the fitness center, pool, computer lab, athletic fields and sporting events. The program is limited to 34 eligible freshmen.
Students who enroll in the highly selective program get some academic perks. They will complete a specialized math course that allows them to bypass college algebra and still be prepared for business calculus in the fall.
"We believe students will be highly successful in this course," said Jackie Nelson, senior director of undergraduate affairs. "They can begin business calculus in place of college algebra in the fall term. This keeps them right on track."
In addition, summer-session Bulls to Business students take an interactive professional development course typically reserved for sophomores.
Students who complete the summer portion of the program are automatically enrolled into the Bulls Business Community, beginning a valuable head start on their business degrees. They will live together in the dorm and take classes together. They move in on July 8.
The Bulls Business Community is made up of students who have a weighted high school grade-point averages of at least 3.50 and SAT scores of at least 1,210 with minimum math scores of 570 or ACT scores of at least 25 with 25-minimum math scores.
"Because USF has raised the fall admissions criteria for first-time college students to a very high level, many of our really good students must start their career as a Bull during the summer term," Nelson said. "These same students often have acceptable options at other universities where they can begin in the fall.
"We wanted to give them a shorter, relevant and hopefully effective program that would entice them to begin in July," she said, "versus attending a different institution."
The unique program also offers business students the opportunity to visit corporate offices and go on company tours to get an in-depth experience of working in a corporate environment, Nelson said, giving students networking opportunities that are unavailable to most freshmen.
The four-week-long summer program offering early admission to the college is the latest in a series of initiatives undertaken by the Muma College of Business Collier Student Success Center, which recently won an award from the USF Provost's Office for its student success efforts.