Guiding Students to Graduation
Sumter, SC (09/22/2017) —Whoever said college was easy was lying! No one can make it on their post-high school academic journey alone, but programs like the Opportunity Scholars Program (OSP) at USC Sumter ensures that students who need extra help receive it.
As the semester comes to a close, Representative David Weeks was asked to address more than 50 students at OSP's Fourth Annual Awards Ceremony which recognizes those who have excelled at USC Sumter with the help of OSP staff.
"The program saluted the accomplishments of those who have succeeded academically, earned an associate or bachelor's degree, or made significant contributions to the program" Weeks said. "There are a lot of great things happening at USC Sumter."
Of the 150 students who can enroll in the Opportunity Scholars Program each year, 102 of them were either on the President's List, Dean's List or received an Associate's Degree for the 2016-17 academic year.
OSP provides tutoring, counseling, cultural opportunities and an inviting learning environment to support students pursuing undergraduate degrees. OSP also allows students entering their freshman year a chance to get a "jump start" on college by participating in the summer bridge program.
Eligible participants in the OSP program include those who are either first generation students, have low income status, have a disability or a combination of the three and show a need for academic support. Approximately 70 percent of the USC Sumter campus meets the eligibility requirements.
Two incredible USC Sumter students were recognized for their outstanding contributions to the program at the ceremony. Isaac Muldrow was presented the "OSP Spirit Award" which is chosen by current OSP students and Elizabeth Orban was given the Academic Achievement Award as the most active student with highest GPA of 4.0.
Muldrow, who is pursuing his bachelor's degree through the USC Aiken program on the Sumter campus, said, "Winning an award from OSP makes me feel accomplished, important and successful. I am thankful that I joined this program and for the wonderful people in OSP who pushed me forward and helped me accomplish things that I never could have imagined in my college career."
After the initial shock of winning the award wore off, Orban said "I kept thinking back at all the work I accomplished to get me to where I am. I was also humbled at the fact that OSP picked me for the award and how happy I am that I am an OSP member. I would have never been able to do as well as I did had it not been for them."
OSP is a TRiO Student Support Services grant funded by the Department of Education 100 percent at $281,511 and is free to qualifying students. The program has been in operation on the USC Sumter campus for 19 years and during that time, more than 2,850 students have been guided on their college path.
Director Lisa Rosdail, along with the staff of tutors, advisors, administrative assistants and counselors, works personally with students to make sure they reap the benefits OSP offers.
For students like Muldrow and Orban, OSP can be the encouragement they need to get through the semester and eventually to graduation. "With the free access to computers, printers, school supplies, tutoring and cultural trips, OSP has to be the best program in any college student's career," Muldrow said.
OSP will celebrate its 20th year in the Fall 2017 with two decades of successful statistics to justify the program's existence.
"I can't imagine any other career that could possibly be more personally rewarding than my work in OSP," Rosdail said. "There is nothing more satisfying to me than having a student thank me for helping them succeed."