Program assists at-risk students

Abby West

Missouri Southern’s Pathway to Academic Success (PASS) is an early warning program first designed to assist freshmen students who are academically at risk, but can also include upperclassmen as well.

PASS goes through the Advising, Counseling and Testing Services (ACTS) department, which does just what the name implies.

Kelly Wilson, director of the ACTS department, said that by the end of the semes– ter students need at least a 1.5 GPA, but a 2.0 GPA at the time of graduation. If a student drops below 1.5, that’s when PASS comes in.

“What we do is we come up with a plan,” she said. “We look at their schedules, we look at how many hours they’re working, where can we find their success, and we’ll meet with them weekly.”

According to the ACTS department, the PASS prOgram has many services, such as a personalized academic success plan, academic coaching, workshops, and progress checks.

Wilson said everyone who works on PASS is paSsionate about helping the students succeed in their first two years. She said it is a very rewarding process.

“Come graduation when students that have started on a rocky road are walking across that stage, it’s powerful because it’s never been ability, it’s usually situational or their system of approach,” she said.

Ashleigh Schneider, freshman, said she has never heard of PASS or anyone who has been in the program, but she thinks a program encouraging students to do well in school is something great.

Wilson said PASS can engage students in something that can help them even in the future.

“We want to engage them and give them those tools because the same thing that they’re learning here, when they get out to that first real professional job, they’re freshmen all over again,” she said.