Best Expectations Program revamped to be more effective

Carly Matthews

Due to budget cuts and an effort to become more efficient, the Academic Advising and Retention Center has revamped their Best Expectations Program into something they believe will help students more in the long run.

BEP is a program offered to help those on academic probation get back in good standing with WKU.

“With this new type of program, we’re anticipating to have a 60-percent success rate over the 40-percent rate that has been seen in the previous years,” said Russell Curley, the AARC director.

The program is focused on students working in groups rather than one-on-one, so students can act as a support system for each other.

The groups are anywhere from 12-30 people and meet during class slots to accommodate students’ schedules.

Students in the program are required to attend one 55-minute group session a week instead of the previous requirement of four study hours per week. During these sessions, students learn valuable strategies such as time management, study skills and how to conquer self-defeating habits like cutting class.

BEP, in addition to supplying the academic support needed, also supplies a degree of emotional support to students.

“We don’t allow any type of negative talk in sessions. Disrespect is not tolerated, whether a student is speaking to another student or referring to themselves,” Curley said.

Mackenzie Lee Farris, a peer facilitator for BEP, had nothing but positive things to say when asked about the program.

“Best Expectations is a fantastic program,” she said. “All students should go through it. It helps students with real life scenarios and teaches them how to act as an adult, not just a college student.”

The program, though designed mainly for those struggling to meet the academic standards set by WKU, is also available to those who meet a 2.0 GPA but need a push in grades.

Though the program mostly consists of those on probation, it addresses issues the majority of college students face, not just students who have problems academically.

“BEP is not a punishment,” Curley said. “It is a support system for students that may not receive that support anywhere else. We really strive to develop a sense of trust in our groups so that students are able to really analyze their problems and how best to conquer them.”