Farmer School welcomes first Passport Program graduates
Four years ago, a new program aimed to provide more support for students in need. Now, those students are graduating.
(Top) Some of the graduating group of Passport students in 2023, along with staff. (Bottom) The first cohort of students in fall 2019.
Amid the celebrations, photo shoots, and preparations for graduation at the Farmer School of Business and Miami University was a small meetup in the FSB Commons for a group of students who were the first to take part in a new program when they came to Miami.
The FSB Passport Program is a high-touch student success program for first-year students on the Oxford campus who have been directly admitted to the Farmer School of Business. The program targets talented students who have strong academic credentials and will give them comprehensive academic support along with professional development and service learning opportunities throughout their time at Miami University.
“It was a great way, as a first-generation college student not knowing what to expect, to be surrounded by people similar to you with different backgrounds but all coming together,” Emily Martinez said.
The students at the party were among 26 who met for the first time in the summer of 2019 for a two-day boot camp, where they worked with FSB staff and students in a variety of areas, ranging from creating and defining a personal brand to finding ways of easing the transition from high school to college.
“We came here two weeks before school started and we know no one, so these were the very first people we met,” Brittney Kind said. “Now just seeing them all again when we're about to walk across the stage, that's pretty cool.”
“Coming in as a freshman it was a little nerve-wracking, so I made relationships that are going to be long life,” Brandon Stewart said. “My closest friends are in Passport, so I really enjoyed it.”
Over their time at Miami, the Passport students learned valuable skills related to personal development, time management, study skills, degree planning, internships, and career development for greater employment opportunities after college.
Noah Bishop couldn’t make it to the meetup, but his father Sam made a point of stopping by. “When we first started the process at looking at schools, we never even thought something like Passport would exist,” he said. “What it meant for Noah was having a good touchpoint, a good place to get started and make friends, learn how to navigate the school. Then touchpoints each and every year that he would have with the entire Passport Program helped him stay on track and do well.”
“That’s been a really good experience. There's a lot of kids in Farmer and a lot of different things that go on. Just having someone there to talk to, or just knowing that they're here and they're in your corner is a really good feeling,” Kind said.
“The community we built freshman year, I still talk to a lot of them. It's my senior year, and we will catch up once a semester and we'll get coffee,” Martinez said. “I think that's what I got the most out of the Passport program. I could always text them if I knew, if I saw them on the class roster, I would text them and ask them for help if I needed it and they would for me, too.”
“The support from Michelle Thomas and her team has been great. They're there for you any time, any day,” Stewart said. Whether its academics or life, they're there to support you, help answer your questions, put you in the right direction.”