The First Year Experience organization is seeking to engraft a spirit of unitary knowledge into the SHSU community with its “Bearkats Read to Succeed” program.
For the second year BRTS has chosen a work of literature that will be read by students and faculty to be discussed in a variety of fields of studies. Beneath its paperback exterior lies hardback truths and fundamentals that those organizers seek to instill among program participants.
Director of FYE, Keri Rogers, believes in using community readership as a means to educate and unite.
“The Bearkats Read to Succeed” program strives to create a common academic/intellectual experience for incoming freshman, help students become lifelong learners, more effectively connect knowledge to work and lives, develop the critical thinking skills that are demanded of college graduates, and enhance a sense of community among student ,faculty and staff,” said Rogers.
Director of Library Services, Ann H. Holder, is part of the committee that selects that program’s reading material. Holder affirms the program’s potential to create unity amongst the diversities of fields offered at SHSU.
“The program is designed to have as many classes on campus looking at a particular title in a different way and discussing it in different aspects,” said Holder. “It provides a common aid to discussion between faculty and students that goes across campus.”
Holder along with other committee members come together to read and discuss selected works with the desire of finding literature that students will enjoy and find relevant. Rogers and Holder see that the value of reading extends far beyond the pages of tthat students will turn.
“You can’t do anything in this world really well unless you read. Even with the computers and technology you still must read and comprehend the material,” said Holder. “It’s the way you gain knowledge, whether it’s for a course or for enjoyment. It’s what you do with the knowledge that is up to you.”
“The first year of college is really the year to make correct habits– doing homework, studying, taking notes, exploring new thoughts and reading effectively,” said Rogers. “BRTS is aimed at helping students read more effectively and exposing them to experiences that they have never been exposed to before.”
BRTS is just one of the many programs that FYE has to make the genesis of the college experience capable of bearing greater fruit. Rogers says that currently the organization is seeking to reinforce its already existing programs.
“At this point we are looking to strengthen the FYE programs that we have. We are also expanding into initiatives for sophomores, transfers, veterans and former foster students,” said Rogers.
The selected literature currently interweaving throughout the SHSU community is Dr. Joseph Schwarcz’s The Fly in the Ointment. Dr. Schwarcz will be visiting in October to participate in an author’s forum about his book.