A new summer program is preparing first-year students for university classes through an optional one-day event on the uptown campus. At Cultivating Academic Success at Tulane (CAST), students are introduced to opportunities for academic excellence on campus and meet in small groups with Tulane faculty.
CAST introduces incoming students to academic advisers, highlights academic resources on campus and helps students register for fall courses. CAST also provides an opportunity for students to meet fellow classmates, upperclassmen and Tulane faculty.
“One of the greatest predictors of high student retention is faculty engagement.”
— Colette Raphel, university registrar
Thirty faculty members representing a wide range of disciplines are participating in the program by conversing with small groups of students. In these discussions, faculty highlight the differences between high school and college and answer questions about academic life at Tulane.
Colette Raphel, university registrar, said it’s critical for new students to connect with faculty even before the semester begins.
“By looking at data collected from surveys conducted by the Office of Undergraduate Retention and Student Success and the Division of Student Affairs, we’ve learned that students are hesitant to tap into faculty resources,” said Raphel. “One of the greatest predictors of high student retention is faculty engagement, and one of Provost Forman’s initiatives is to get our faculty more involved with incoming freshmen.”
Eight current Tulane students also lead the program as CAST fellows. Working with campus partners, the fellows coordinated four informative discussions for new students and parents, covering topics like academic success, studying abroad, the library’s resources and building careers.
CAST additionally offers an online version of the programming for students who cannot attend the events hosted on campus.
The last CAST session on campus will take place on Monday, June 18.
Virtual CAST advising and registration sessions will take place through June 26.
Students can register for CAST through the Green Wave portal.