Anna Serio, For The Miami Student

Although Miami University is a school of students from across the nation, more locals may be seen around campus soon. By encouraging these future students from the Butler County area, the new Oxford Pathways Program aims to expand the demographic of students in Oxford to include a higher population of nearby Ohio natives.   

Interim Associate Provost Carolyn Haynes helped develop the proposal for the program in its early stages. According to her, beginning fall semester of 2013, the new Oxford Pathways Program (TOP) will accept students from Butler County and other surrounding counties into a regional campus for their first semester of college. The plan is to then bring these students to the Oxford campus the following semester.

Haynes addressed why integrating these students into regional campuses first is a standard part of the program.

“These students wish to enroll in the selective Oxford campus, but aren’t admitted immediately from high school,” Haynes said, remarking on struggling grades as the primary reason. “Some academic programs at the Oxford campus may have more selective entrance requirements [than the regional campuses].”

Approved at the April 8 University Senate meeting, the program has already invited about 600 students to participate. As to concerns over whether this will make classes more crowded, Haynes said it would not be an issue.

“We anticipate approximately 20 to 50 students will participate in the program,” she said. “Each year, about 100 to 200 first-year students don’t return to Miami after one semester, so the Oxford Pathways students will take the place of those students.”

This push to attract more local students to Miami may benefit them in many ways. Sophomore Lila Wengler is an Oxford resident and graduate of Talawanda High School (THS).

“About a third of my high school class came to Miami,” Wengler said. “A lot of people wanted to come here so that they could be close to home and get financial aid more easily.”

Wengler’s former THS classmate, first-year Lindsay Crist said she agrees it will be a beneficial transition into the Oxford campus.

“It sounds like a good way to transition local students into college after being so used to a high school atmosphere,” Crist said. “It’s good that they can have a semester of adjustment before moving to the Oxford campus.”

Wengler said she looks forward to the effects the program may have.

“And I can’t wait to see some of my old classmates back here in Oxford,” Wengler said.