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Early Start Program is accepting applicants for 2023 cohort

June 12, 2023 - Beth Brauer

Whether it’s the first day of school or the start of a new job, a flurry of what-ifs coupled with excitement for something new and unknown, is a familiar feeling for most.

The transition to college life can present a range of challenges, particularly for first-generation and low-income students. In an effort to help mitigate stressors and support incoming first-year students’ acclimation to life at James Madison, JMC’s Office of Justice, Equity and Inclusion launched the Early Start Program last year.

“Adjusting to college can be an extremely stressful time because there are so many unknowns,” said Brian Johnson, assistant dean for diversity, equity and inclusion. “Early Start seeks to help eliminate some of those stressors by acclimating students to JMC and providing them with social and academic resources. By doing so, students begin the semester with an extra sense of familiarity.”

Promotional graphic for Early Start Program

Incoming first-year students in James Madison College are encouraged to apply for the 10-day program, which runs from Aug. 18-27, 2023, should they desire extra academic guidance and overall support prior to the beginning of fall semester. In addition to an early move-in date and gaining access to important resources within the college, participating students may receive a stipend pending financial aid eligibility, earn an academic credit for successful completion of MC 100, and participate in organized programing designed to aid students as they learn how to navigate Michigan State University’s campus and the city of East Lansing.

Jhace Metzger, a rising sophomore majoring in international relations with minors in German and Arabic, says his involvement with Early Start was a major advantage to the beginning of his first year.

“Through the program, I was acquainted with a variety of faculty and alumni. I learned my way around campus and found an amazing community with my peers,” Metzger said. “Essentially, Early Start introduced me to all the on-campus resources I needed — in one week.”

Activities will include meeting with faculty, staff and upperclassmen before attending classes, lessons for academic success, and group outings that both foster community and provide career exposure experiences. To apply to be part of this year’s cohort, complete the application. For questions and additional information, reach out to Assistant Dean Brian Johnson via email or call 517-898-6114.