Incoming freshmen get a head start on their Penn State studies

Twelve incoming freshmen at Penn State Brandywine are spending their summer earning credits, making friends and getting the lay of the land through the campus' Be A Lion program. These summer session courses are designed to help students get acclimated and get a head start on their college careers in a more relaxed setting during the summer months.

The students are assigned to "prides," which consist of two three-credit general education courses taught by Instructor in History Max Guerin and Senior Instructor in English Patricia Hillen. The students work with these lively, enthusiastic faculty and become official members of a dynamic learning community.

Student Ryan Ousey, of Malvern, said he plans to pursue a degree in computer programming from the University and is pleased with the way the Be A Lion program is going so far. "It's fast, but it's going well," he said. The summer program "is going to make my semester transition easier. I'm getting to know the campus better and meeting some friends."

Ousey and his classmate, Calvin Lai, a Drexel Hill resident who hopes to earn a degree in engineering, said they're enjoying their pop culture classes and writing essays.

Ousey added, "One of the courses is a lot of writing and the other is public speaking, which is good because I could always use help with that."

Rebecca Good, a sophomore from Downingtown studying finance, has joined the program under special circumstances. After missing the end of the 2013 school year due to her duties for the United States Army, she is simply there to make up some work. However, she's making an impact on the incoming freshmen, too.

"She taught me how to work eLion to check my grades and told me not to stress out about certain things," Havertown resident Macy Nachman, who hopes to pursue accounting, said of Good. "She also showed me the shortcuts around the construction."

As for her thoughts on the program itself, Nachman added, "It's a good way to get acclimated. I feel more comfortable about going to school in the fall. I will know where my classes are and how things work. And I've made new friends."

To learn more about the Be A Lion program, visit online.