University program helps underserved first-year students

WINONA, Minn. (AP) — A Winona State University mentorship program aims to help traditionally underserved first-year students find success on campus.

The Winona Daily News ( ) reports the Success Coach program at the university matches first-generation and racially diverse students with coaches to discuss topics relating to life or school. The majority of the coaches are professors.

Students whom WSU considers “traditionally underserved” are 10 times more likely to drop out after their freshman year compared with white students.

After four years of the mentor program, 85 percent of participating students returned for their sophomore year, compared with the general 68 percent of racially diverse freshmen that return for another year at the university.

Program coordinator Dia Yang says there are currently 48 students and 20 coaches in the program this semester.


Information from: Winona Daily News,