Marist Impacts Learning of LPP Students

Marist is actively involved in the learning of Liberty Partnerships Program (LPP) students through special events at the college. The sisters of Alpha Sigma Tau held a special event for 9th and 10th graders of the Poughkeepsie and Kingston high schools. Marist mentors in the LPP program are helping students with their public speaking skills by preparing them for a debate concerning gun control. Faculty at the college is also involved in the programs’ events.

On March 31, Alpha Sigma Tau held an event for LPP students called “A Day All About You.” The focus of the event was to show high school students the importance of their education, and how they can reach college. The sisters emphasized ways of learning what makes each student special through games and crafts that are inspirational.

“A Day All About You” aimed to show students how important it is they pay attention to their grades and school work. Many high school students do not realize the impact their grades have on their post-secondary education opportunities. The event taught students how they can avoid adding to the percentage of drop-out students and realize their academic potential.

Poughkeepsie Middle School students enrolled in LPP will give a panel presentation on gun control at the College on April 13. The Debate and Advocacy Society of Marist College has provided training and guidance to college students who mentor middle school students since September. Students have attended 15 sessions of argumentation training that teaches how to properly prepare and deliver a speech. The goal of the mentoring program is to enhance learning through public-speaking and expose them to college.

Argumentation training is proven to increase academic achievement for students who are also at risk of dropping out. The program has helped the students to think creatively, improve writing skills, and become more confident public speakers. During the training sessions, the students researched and discussed gun control - an issue that was important to them. To prepare, they are writing and reciting their speech in front of peers and family members.

Mentors are actively involved in the debate program. They have commented, “LPP are students are learning how to formulate their ideas instead of just shouting out their opinions.” Another mentor said, “It has been amazing to hear how the LPP students understand these issues and can articulate their thoughts on how stricter or looser gun control would affect society.”

In addition to benefiting the middle and high school students, Marist students also learn from the experience. The mentors, who are usually psychology or education majors, meet one-on-one with the students in order to help them with homework, teach study skills, and provide academic enrichment. One student commented, “I like that we got to go to Marist, have fun, and get our homework done at the same time.”

Marist faculty contributes to LPP as well. Marist staff members will meet with high school students to introduce them to a variety of careers at LPP’s annual Career Fair. It will be held on May 5 at the college and 40 students from the Poughkeepsie High School and Kingston High School are expected to attend. The goal of the event is to help young people make decisions about careers. Marist staff will represent careers in criminal justice, culinary, information technology, and counseling. Many professionals from the community will represent these careers. Staff will also present workshops on resume writing and interviewing skills.

Throughout the school year, Marist faculty and students also hold a variety of programs for LPP students. For example, the Admissions staff provides workshops on the college admissions process to help students grasp the college application process. College students serve as tutors, mentors, and interns for the program. Each year, there have been approximately 50 Marist students assisting LPP.

Marist faculty train mentors and provide guidance to the LPP staff. Education professors meet with high school students who are interested in teaching as a possible career to help them learn more about the profession. Along with helping LPP students, Marist staff plan parent seminars to discuss topics of interest. Contributions made by Marist faculty and students enhance the effectiveness of LPP. The middle and high school students get to interact with college students and professors on an individual level. They receive guidance and mentoring, which creates a learning atmosphere that is enjoyable for LPP students.