If Gabrielle Kalinen hadn’t gone through the Guaranteed Admission Program at UVM, she may not have gone to school at all. She would have missed out on being the captain of the UVM Ice Cats skating team, an active member of the Figure Skating Club, discovering her love of communication science and disorders, becoming a teaching assistant, making the Dean’s list, and setting her sites on a career in health through the accelerated Masters of Public Health. The Guaranteed Admission Program gave Gabrielle the chance not only at college but at proving she had what it takes to be a successful student.
“I did pretty terrible in high school, I didn’t apply myself; I was so busy ice skating and I didn’t really like high school, it can be a difficult time going from adolescent to teen years,” Gabrielle remembered. “If I hadn’t had the GAP program, I wouldn’t have gone to school.”
Gabrielle credits the program with providing her the support she needed to learn how to be a better student. She says she was awful at studying but through the support of her advisor at UVM’s Continuing and Distance Education (CDE), she figured out what worked for her, the tools she needed to be successful and to speak up when she needed help.
“I would meet with the professors a lot,” Gabrielle said. “Every single professor I’ve had at UVM is super nice and friendly. They want you to truly learn and not be a robot; they really care and want to see you succeed. I found that making those connections made a big difference for me my first year.”
The Guaranteed Admissions Program offers Vermont high school graduates who need additional academic work prior to enrolling at UVM, the opportunity to demonstrate their academic readiness, earn college credit, and ultimately enroll in an undergraduate degree program at UVM. Students work with a CDE advisor to build a course plan and need to maintain a GPA of at least 3.0.
“Definitely do it.” Gabrielle wants high school grads who had their hearts set on UVM but didn’t get in, to consider the GAP program. She says that sometimes students just need to give themselves a chance to see if college is right for them and explore course options to figure out what they may want to do.
“Coming into UVM through the GAP program, I have the exact same result—and maybe even better—than people that got into UVM their first year.” She wants students to not be discouraged if that UVM acceptance letter didn’t come, because in her words “everyone has their own path, there is no shame in coming into UVM via this program, you can have the same experience as the other undergrads, and ultimately discover what you are passionate about.”
Schedule a time to chat with one of the CDE advisors and learn how Vermont high school grads like Gabrielle can get on the road to higher education.
Applications are being accepted for the Guaranteed Admission Program.