Program Benefits for VSU Teagle Fellows

There are multiple tangible benefits for students participating in this program.

No Fee and Fully Residential Program: One of the biggest draws of our program is that students entering this program, aka Teagle Fellows, will not incur any cost at any point for attending the program. The fully residential summer program augments the deal for those curious minds who are looking to experience a beautiful college campus life at Valdosta State University.

College Credit: Rising high school seniors who are selected into the program through our competitive application process will earn two hours of college academic credits that will count toward students’ Perspectives (PERS) courses, which are a required component of our general studies curriculum. PERS courses are interdisciplinary in nature and thus the focus of our Summer Seminar program would be an excellent match for these credits. To earn such credit, the selected students for the program must:

  • Apply to Valdosta State University and meet the requirements set fourth by the Office of Admissions.
  • Successfully complete the summer seminar which will be determined by the Political Science Department.

Hardship Stipends: The program will offer a limited number of hardship stipends to students who have college plans but cannot forego summer jobs to attend the summer residential program.

Mentoring: VSU Teagle Fellows will be mentored by faculty and peers (i.e., current VSU students) while attending the summer program at VSU campus. Our 10:1 student-faculty and 5:1 student-peer tutor ratios for the summer program will ensure a robust and tailored mentoring component. Upon completion of the summer program, faculty will continue to mentor students as they work on their civic projects and prepare college application materials. These mentors will offer guidance to help students complete their civic projects, present them at the VSU undergraduate research symposium and advise them on their college and career plans.

Cohort-based learning: The summer seminar is predicated on cohort-based learning, such that our Teagle Fellows will not only form bonds with their faculty and peer mentors, but also with other Teagle Fellows. This is the same approach VSU uses to support student success among incoming students from academic backgrounds that may not be quite as strong as the typical, newly admitted college student.

Letters of Recommendation: VSU Teagle Fellows who successfully complete the summer seminar course and their service learning projects can request that faculty write letters of recommendation in support of their college application and scholarship applications. Individualized mentorship will allow faculty to know the Fellows well enough to advocate for them by writing recommendation letters.

College Application and Success Support: VSU Teagle Fellows will learn about the college application process by attending a workshop on college preparedness. The workshop will be taught by an expert in this field who regularly teaches the course VSU 1101 Keys to College Success. This workshop will offer students additional academic support that will help strengthen learning skills that are critical to college success.

Service Learning Project Experience: All VSU Teagle Fellows will work with a local non-profit or a local government agency on a civic issue. This service learning experience over a period of 7-8 months will culminate into a professional presentation at the VSU Undergraduate Research Symposium. Fellows will also receive a certificate of completion for presenting civic projects at the undergraduate symposium which will help them in fulfilling VSU’s experiential learning graduation requirement. With civic project experience in hand, VSU Teagle Fellows will have an advantage over others during their first year of college. The civic project experience will additionally help build strong foundational skills in leadership and communications in our Fellows.

Initiation Into College-Level Work: For Fellows, the biggest take away from attending the program will be increased confidence in reading, writing, and discussing challenging texts. Students will get an opportunity to do critical reading of passages from great texts and connect them to analyze contemporary challenges afflicting society and politics in the U.S. and countries around the world. No prior interest in specific disciplines is required.

Experience a College Campus for Three-Weeks: Our Fellows will get to experience the beautiful VSU campus for three full weeks with all expenses paid. The time spent on our college campus, and with various university personnel, will be critical to fostering academic persistence among these students. Indeed, gaining an understanding of how college works, how to succeed in higher education, and feeling at home on a college campus, will be vitally important in helping students overcome the impostor syndrome that plagues so many students from underserved backgrounds.

Serve as Future Peer Mentors: VSU Teagle Fellows, who are alumni of the program, can serve as peer mentors to the newer cohorts during their collegiate years. This will allow them to earn additional experiential learning credit hours while pursuing undergraduate degrees.

Be Part of a Distinguished Community of Teagle Fellows: VSU Teagle Fellows will be part of a distinguished group of alumni from other postsecondary institutions across the nation. This will open new life and career opportunities beyond college.