We understand that college can be challenging academically. Donnelly’s Success First program helps students who test below the level for college readiness gain strong English language, reading and writing skills to be successful in college classes.
Success First Accelerated is offered in conjunction with EN111-Composition I, which prepares students for the demands of college-level reading and writing assignments. Students learn to communicate effectively in written form, read for purpose and comprehension, use standard English grammar and sentence structure, and use pre-writing, peer review and editing techniques in essays.
How to Participate in Success First
Donnelly College prides itself on an “Open Door” policy which accepts all students who have graduated from an accredited high school or an equivalency program such as the GED. To decide placement into college level courses, all students are administered the Accuplacer Placement Test if they do not have ACT scores. Those students who fall below the cut-off of 100 level courses are referred to Success First for possible placement. Once the Testing Center Coordinator has the student’s scores, the student is referred to the Director of Success First to determine which program would be most appropriate for the students. All programs are intended to last one-semester as preparation for college level courses.
For Success First students, Project L.O.U.D. (Literacy Outreach in Urban Districts) pairs Donnelly students with at-risk elementary students at public and Catholic schools in the urban core of Kansas City, Kansas. The Donnelly students read age-appropriate books to the elementary students and also serve as culturally responsive role models, giving minority and low-income students the opportunity to interact with college students. Project L.O.U.D. reinforces the idea that reading is a lifelong skill and that going to college is a goal within reach for these elementary school students.
Student Success - Sunita's Story
Sunita K. is an example of a student for whom the Success First program was an excellent first step in her college journey. She immigrated to the United States as a child with her family. Sunita enrolled at Donnelly College right after graduating from high school and started in Success First. Thanks to her hard work and positive attitude, Sunita made excellent progress and was well-prepared for further college-level courses. Sunita excelled both as a student and as a member of the Donnelly community, serving on Student Senate and as a Dragon Scholar. After graduating from Donnelly with her associate degree, she transferred to UMKC where she is completing her bachelor's degree in education.