The University of Nebraska-Lincoln’s First Year Experience and Transition Program has been renamed Center for Academic Success and Transition in order to emphasize its accessibility to students in all stages of their college career.
According to Director Lori Romano, the cause for the name change sprung from the fact that the First Year Experience and Transition Program was open to students from any grade, not just first-year students. She said non-first-year students who sought out academic help would often be confused when referred to the program, and a name change was the best option.
“If we were going to change a name and go through all the steps of changing it in all the million different places around campus, we wanted a name that we thought it was going to be it, a name that our office has room to grow into,” she said. “It’s a name that’s going to stick.”
Madison Miller, a junior chemical engineering major and CAST First Husker Peer Mentor said she agrees a name change was necessary and will benefit CAST by bringing a wider range of students from all grades.
“I feel the office name change is beneficial because it eliminates the confusion of what we do and how we can help,” Miller said in an email. “I think it will help spread the word more easily across campus about what our office does and who we help.”
Romano said discussion about the change began in 2016 when the First Year Experience and Transition Program realized the name was starting to cause problems, but the change wasn’t in the works until 2019.
Romano said all her ideas come to her in the shower, including the name CAST. When she pitched the idea to her colleagues, she said everyone loved it.
Romano said CAST is more than just an acronym, as it has substantial meaning behind it.
“I believe our office is a supporting cast for students,” she said. “If a student is a star in their own movie or star of their own story, we are the supporting cast for them.”
The new name was launched on Jan. 1, Romano said. However, news of the change will most likely be a slow process since First Year Experience logos, signs and websites across campus must be changed to now represent CAST.
Romano said she hopes the new name will encourage students from all grades to seek help so everyone’s needs can be met.
“We feel it’s the best possible name,” she said. “We are here to help students become academically successful ... and we are really here to help them transition not just from high school to college, which is a big one, but all the way throughout, as they transition from semester to semester, from year to year.”