The 2018 Learning Institute and Opportunities for New Students (LIONS) Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff offers incoming freshmen the chance to acclimate to college life and earn credits.

Those that complete the admissions process to UAPB and the LIONS Program by May 30 will receive a LIONS Program award for tuition, room, meals and books, according to a news release.

“The five week program (July 9–Aug. 9) assists freshmen students admitted to UAPB for the fall 2018 semester who want to get a jump-start on their college career,” according to the release. “Students receive academic tutoring, attend ‘College Knowledge’ academic and professional workshops, and ‘Navigating the Yard’ - personal and social success seminars for making a successful transition to college life.”

Zaria David is a 2017 participant from Forth Worth, Texas.

“The LIONS Program not only helps you become acclimated to college life, but it allows you to make connections you will need later in life,” David said.

Since 2008, the program has had 927 participants with a fall semester enrollment rate of 98 percent.

“The summer LIONS Program at UAPB provides students with a supportive and caring experience, as these new freshmen transition from high school and home to college,” said Linda L. Okiror, vice chancellor for enrollment management and student success. “As a result of this intense college preparatory program, LIONS Program participants are retained at a greater rate and graduate in fewer semesters than non-participating UAPB students.”

Kianda Weathers was a participant from Fordyce.

“I attended the LIONS Program in 2017,” Weathers said. “It’s a good start for freshmen attending UAPB. It gives you an idea of how classes are, how you need to study, and gives you an opportunity to meet your classmates.”

There are spaces available for 200 incoming freshmen, according to Carolyn Mills, director of the program. The project is sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Post-secondary Education, Strengthening Institutions, Title III, Part B, Historically Black Colleges and Universities Program.

Applications to the LIONS Program are available at and should be accompanied by admission to UAPB, campus housing and a completed FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) for the upcoming summer session.

Students who need more information or to verify their admissions status to UAPB and the LIONS Program, contact Mills at 870-575-8362.