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University College, a campus safety net

Nearly 30 percent of first-year college students at four-year colleges and universities don't make it to their sophomore year, according to the N.C. Central University website. In order to change these statistics, in 2008 NCCU constructed a University College program.

The program is designed to aid freshman, sophomores and undergraduate transfers in their transition into the University.

The program lasts two years. Students can only start taking classes in their major after they've completed University College requirements.

"Personally, I have had a good experience in NCCU's University College," said social work junior Simone Thompson. "My adviser helped me obtain the courses that I needed for my curriculum."

However, some students complain that some of the programs and requirements of University College are unnecessary.

University College programs include academic advising, academic support such as supplemental instruction, tutoring, Smart Thinking online tutorial sessions, and Grades First.

"We have a standard, the CAAP test, [which] is an assessment of what students have gained from the GEC courses," said Ontario Wooden, dean of University College.

"We need to do these things to stay accredited, increase graduation and retention rates." According to Wooden, University College has evolved since its creation in 2008.

Recently Grades First has upgraded to become more electronic. Additionally, the program now has Facebook and Twitter accounts.

In all, 10 of the 16 UNC campuses have programs similar to NCCU's University College.