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New Mexico State University

New Mexico State University

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Student Match Program to debut at New Mexico State University in Fall 2001

The College of Health and Social Services at New Mexico State University will offer a pilot program this fall encouraging freshman students to study together in a learning community.

dent Match Program clusters groups of 25 students in three general education courses their first semester, as well as allowing them to live in the same residence hall.

Jeffrey Brandon, dean of the College of Health and Social Services, said the program's purpose is to ease the transition from high school to college and increase retention.

"We know that the first year in college is a critical adjustment year," Brandon said. "Our general belief is that helping students form cohorts and small study groups will help provide social and academic support for each member. The ability to discuss the concerns with being away from home for the first time, entering adulthood and new academic arenas are all areas for sharing and peer group assistance."

The Student Match Program is already in place at Arizona State University. Carol Williams, the program coordinator at Arizona State, said the program has had positive effects on student retention and encouraging success in academics and social adjustment.

"The main benefits the students see are making friends and finding study groups," Williams said. "The program helps them to identify themselves as a member of the Arizona State community, which increases retention."

Brandon said the College of Health and Social Services will monitor persistence rates of students who participate in the program to determine the effectiveness of the pilot effort.

"It will only occur this fall, but with positive results we hope to implement it again the following fall," Brandon said.

Each group of students will enroll in English 111, Sociology 101, and Computer Science 110 together. The students also will enroll in CHSS 100, a one-credit course giving an overview to the college, together.

Participation in the Student Match Program is voluntary, and acceptance into the program is limited. Interested students should call (505) 646-3534 or (505) 646-3429.