Fast Track 2010 is a daylong program that initiates high school students into Eastern Michigan University and college life. It’s when freshmen get a glimpse into what it is going to be like to study at EMU.
“The number one goal of Fast Track is to advise and register freshmen for classes and acquaint them with the vast number of services that are available to them,” said Molly Weir, associate director at the Academic Advising Center, on Friday.
Parents accompany students since Fast Track also caters to the parents whose children would be starting school Sept. 8.
Weir said, “Parents get a greater understanding of what is expected of their children, and it gives them all the information they need about Eastern including important things like financial aid.”
Liz Heuer, a parent from Toledo, said, “I loved Fast Track, absolutely loved it. We learned so much about the various services at Eastern and all the help available for new students. We were coming in blind, since it’s our first-born that we’re sending off to college, and Fast Track helped put us at ease.”
Her daughter Ashley Heuer, who will be a political science major, said, “I’m just excited to be starting college.”
Fast Track applicants drive enrollment, and the program is action-oriented. Students attend an Academic Information Session before they head off to register. There they get to meet with faculty who advise them on the classes they could take to fulfill general education requirements, as well as pick classes for their major.
Dr. Dennis Patrick, a Communication Department professor, said, “During this session students actually get an opportunity to form relationships with faculty from the department they’re interested in. It’s easier for them when they start classes as they know at least one professor who they can come to if they’re having any difficulty with anything.”
Belleville’s Ashley Keesling, who will be a French major, was thrilled she had her schedule for fall.
Her father Keith Keesling said, “We were just looking over her schedule and Ashley was pointing out all the free time she’d have, and I was telling her about the services Eastern offered like tutoring.
“Fast Track caters to the needs of both parents and students perfectly, maintaining that balance,” her father said, with a smile.
Lois Sellers, from Indiana said, “My daughter will be majoring in healthcare administration. She’s wanted to go to college in Michigan since she was in the seventh grade. She originally wanted to go to Michigan State, but the scholarship opportunities, size, price and the fact that she’d already made some friends made her pick EMU. ”
Many students and parents said Eastern’s zero percent tuition increase was a reason they picked EMU.
Ashley Keesling said, “My high school French teacher went to college here, and I was told that Eastern had a strong language department. That’s how I knew I wanted to come here.”
Many parents and students echoed Heuer’s thoughts on how informative and rigorous Fast Track was.
“I had this picture in my head about what Eastern Michigan University was like, and I was wrong,” she said. “I’m glad I came today. I’ve learnt so much about EMU; I love the campus and how diverse it is and I feel so much more comfortable about my daughter going off to college now.”