Access and Success
When it comes to truly leveling the playing field for students of all backgrounds, tuition money only goes so far.
There are many overlooked barriers to success for students from low-income backgrounds or populations traditionally underrepresented in higher education. Access and Success programs at Westminster College provide a pathway to higher education for talented and high-achieving high school students who might otherwise encounter stumbling blocks. Once enrolled, these students receive ongoing support in the form of learning cohorts and diversity programming focused on social and academic integration.
"Being the first in my family to attempt to earn a BA is a big deal for us. I feel
more than capable of accomplishing it because of the way Westminster supports and
believes in its students. Westminster’s vision is one that I believe in. I want to
be part of that vision and help change our community and even the world."
—Ariel ('21), Legacy Scholar and Finance Major
Access and Success Programs
Walkways to Westminster is a college-access program for first-generation and underrepresented youth involved with Promise South Salt Lake. Current Westminster students mentor junior high and high school students in four diverse South Salt Lake schools, introducing them to a college-going culture and preparing them to achieve success after high school. The program introduces families to the value of higher education and highlights the many opportunities college offers.
The Legacy Scholars program helps first-generation and traditionally underrepresented students find support and stability throughout their higher education experience at Westminster. Students in the program receive extra help adjusting to college life from staff members, professors, and fellow students, as well as scholarships and book stipends to help them afford the cost of a quality higher education. Legacy Scholars access academic support through tutors, faculty mentors, study groups, and special research projects. They receive social support from a network of similar students who participate in activities together. As Legacy Scholars prepare for graduation, we provide graduate-school advising and career counseling to help them with their next life transition. Legacy Scholars participate in the week-long Legacy Summer Bridge program, where they bond with future classmates and learn strategies for academic success while camping, hiking, and river rafting in Southern Utah. The Legacy STEPS cohort is designed to support underrepresented students who transfer to Westminster from Salt Lake Community College.
We know that students are more successful in higher education when they feel the safety of a network of students like themselves, while also exploring new cultures and ideas. Westminster aims to cultivate a truly extended and diverse community of learners that fosters collaboration, personal growth, and academic development. To that end, diversity programs and experiences at Westminster encourage meaningful dialogue, provide education and awareness, encourage action, and develop community partnerships that promote inclusion and respect for differences. These programs and experiences include lectures, seminars, and workshops; campus projects and celebrations; the Student Diversity and Inclusion Center; the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Office; and diversity scholarships.
Westminster College hosts the first and only McNair Scholars Program in Utah, which serves students from Westminster, Salt Lake Community College, and the College of Southern Idaho. This federally funded program helps low-income, first-generation, and underrepresented college students find a path to graduate school nationwide. McNair scholars receive GRE test preparation, mentoring, peer support and group activities, and individualized support in selecting and applying to graduate schools. They also participate in an eight-week, faculty-mentored summer research experience and present their research at professional conferences. The program provides research stipends, vouchers for the GRE test, and on-campus housing during the summer research program.