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OU 'Start Sooner' program to begin mid-July; aims to help incoming freshmen adapt to college environment

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A group of students from Start Sooner. 

OU will begin its month-long program “Start Sooner” July 11, allowing incoming freshmen to move in early and earn six credit hours before the fall semester.  

Start Sooner allows for students to "Become a Sooner, sooner," according to its website. The program is designed to help students get ahead in their coursework, get to know campus early and build a community going into their OU experience. 

The program is returning to campus with various activities hosted by OU student leaders and weekend field trips across Oklahoma. Chris Firch, a marketing and public and nonprofit administration sophomore and guide for Start Sooner, said  activities include visits to Heyday and Riversport Adventures in Oklahoma City.

After it transitioned to an online platform last summer, the program will be one of the university’s first big events to return under OU’s new COVID-19 guidelines.

"Honestly, I think everyone is just excited to be able to meet in person with less strict rules," Firch said. "Although a majority of classes will still be online for the students, we are still able to plan activities and "hangouts'' in person." 

The program plans to prioritize students’ safety and well-being and will adapt as needed based on the pandemic status, Firch said. It will also offer a mix of in-person and online classroom experiences while following the university’s social distancing guidelines.

While the program will host around 100 students, 20 will be virtual-only, Firch said.  

"I'm sure that Start Sooner would give us the right classes to take and give us special and tailored experience for a smaller group that wants to excel ahead of the rest of class of 2025." David Colindres, an incoming freshman industrial and systems engineering major, said. 

Start Sooner aims to help incoming freshmen adapt to a college environment. Students in the program are enrolled in foundation to college learning. This class teaches new students studying skills, financial planning and civic and personal responsibility.  

"Start Sooner helps incoming freshmen like me immerse into my early college work ethic and classes that help me transition into my new community smoothly," Colindres said.  

The program will last four weeks and end on Aug. 5. Registration for Start Sooner 2022 will open Nov. 1. 

junior news reporter

Mikaela DeLeon is a journalism junior and junior news reporter at The Daily.

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