Participants praise BU's ACT 101 Program

For immediate release: Dec. 8, 2009

BLOOMSBURG — Former and current students who participated in ACT 101 at Bloomsburg University praised the program for giving them the tools and confidence they needed for academic success during the Wednesday, Dec. 2, quarterly meeting of BU's Council of Trustees.

Kristin Mock Austin '02, BU's coordinator of new student orientation and assistant director of admissions; Sakinah Tillman '09, who soon will enroll in Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan; and Robert J. Andrews II, who will earn a bachelor's degree in nursing later this month, spoke of personal roadblocks that could have prevented them from attending college. They attributed their success to the program and its long-time director, Irvin Wright.

ACT 101 provides learning and counseling services for undergraduate students whose cultural, economic and educational disadvantages impair their initial ability to pursue higher education. Funded through the commonwealth, ACT 101 was a victim of this year's budget crisis, Wright said, adding that additional funding was provided by the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE). Currently, 621 students are enrolled in BU's ACT 101 program.

Also during the meeting, Ira Blake, interim provost, reported on PASSHE performance funding. Each year, the 14 PASSHE universities are evaluated on their progress in 17 key indicators, attempting to exceed their previous year’s progress. In 2008-09, BU received nearly $2.4 million, down from $3.1 million in 2007-08.

Blake said the current funding model makes it difficult for a university to receive funding in line with improved performance. Consequently, the PASSHE Board of Governors is reviewing the current model, she added.

Also during the meeting:

  • David Minderhout, retired anthropology professor, was honored with faculty emeritus status.
  • Wayne Mohr, assistant vice president for technology, explained the new student information system that will replace the outdated mainframe while adding additional features for students.
  • The Trustees approved a resolution, as required by PASSHE, certifying the BU Foundation is in compliance with Board of Governors policy.
  • Communications director Rosalee Rush discussed the ongoing redesign of BU's Web site.
  • Admissions director Chris Keller gave an overview of this fall's enrollment and an outlook for future enrollment in the face of changing demographics. Keller said fall 2009 freshmen had an average SAT of 1062, average high school grade point average of 88.3 and were in the top 24 percent of their high school graduating class.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.