Friday, August 22, 2014

It’s important for students making the transition from high school to college to have the tools to achieve academic and personal success. This year, 100 students from underrepresented backgrounds had the chance to get “The Iowa Edge” before they started their educations as Hawkeyes.

From Aug. 17-20, participants in The Iowa Edge program experienced everything from team building exercises and presentations about campus life and resources, to tours and the opportunity to meet the University of Iowa faculty and leaders.

"This program is a wonderful introduction to campus for students so they can benefit both academically and socially."
—Gabriela Rivera, Center for Diversity and Enrichment

Of the 100 new students, 40 percent are African-American, 39 percent are Latino, 17 percent are multiracial, 2 percent are Asian-American, and 2 percent are Caucasian. Fifty percent of the students are the first in their families to attend college, known as first-generation students.

“This program is a wonderful introduction to campus for students so they can benefit both academically and socially,” says Gabriela Rivera, multicultural specialist in the UI Center for Diversity and Enrichment. “They’re able to start building relationships early with their classmates and learn about resources available to assist in making the most of their time on campus and achieving their goals, including graduating in four years.”

The Iowa Edge program has been helping ease student concerns and ensuring a successful transition to the UI since 2006. It’s made possible through the Kevin and Donna Gruneich Charitable Foundation, with additional support from the Center for Diversity and Enrichment in the UI Chief Diversity Office. Kevin Gruneich is an Iowa alumnus who received his Bachelor of Business Administration degree in 1980.

The program is coordinated by a committee of UI staff and faculty members representing seven colleges—including the Tippie College of Business, College of Education, College of Engineering, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Carver College of Medicine, College of Nursing, and College of Pharmacy—as well as 12 offices and departments.