Fireside Chat

President William LaForge takes the opportunity to talk about Delta State’s students and their success—and the faculty members and administrative support staff who serve as their guides in this week’s Fireside Chat.

“I applaud this past semester’s student performance in the classroom. A total of 241 students achieved a 3.8 GPA or higher, earning them a spot on the President’s List. We also had 275 Dean’s List scholars, earning a 3.5 – 3.79 grade point average,” said LaForge. “I commend the academy for your special efforts to help our students find their paths to academic success and to degree completion.”

Delta State’s student success initiatives through the Student Success Center and our First Year Seminar program seem to be paying off. LaForge indicates that specific information about retention numbers and student success outcomes should be available in the near future.

LaForge introduces the guest, Dr. Ethan Schmidt, Assistant Professor of History and Director of the First Year Seminar program.

Schmidt speaks about the program’s aid for students in the transition into college and their level of success. He expands on the areas of focus which include academics, social life and student to campus connection.

Schmidt reported that the feedback and success so far in the early stages of the program has been positive and encouraging.

In addition to the First Year Seminar, Delta State is launching the Okra Scholars Seminar that implements the program dollars that were awarded through the “First in the World” grant from the U.S. Department of Education in support of university retention efforts.

“Kickoff of the intense and rigorous one-hour class begins this month, and Christy Riddle and her team in the Student Success Center are off to a great start,” said LaForge. “The mantra is “A Commitment to Completion,” and eligible students include those who are first generation, Pell Grant eligible, or Delta area residents and have 17-21 ACT scores. The initial pool for consideration is the First Year Seminar group from last semester.”

LaForge salutes the football program which boasts 50 players with a 3.0 GPA or higher and a team average of 2.71 for the past semester.

“I especially commend Coach Todd Cooley and his staff for their strong stance on academics as a priority.”

Delta State’s nursing program was recently named number one on the list of best online RN to BSN programs in the United States. The program was recognized for offering a complete online education route with minimal on-site clinical practicums. What sets Delta State apart from others is the dedication and resources we put towards providing a first-class nursing education, and at a pace and location that works for the students. To add to that, Delta State has a 100% average pass rate on the state nursing board exam.

“Congratulations to Dean Libby Carlson and her faculty for this much deserved recognition.”

Delta State is on the rise as a regional university of national distinction, and it’s because of our wonderful students, faculty, and staff.

This week, the Bologna Performing Arts Center is showing the Tony Award-winning production titled Anything Goes. The show will begin Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. To get tickets, please call 662-846-4626. The Statesmen and Lady Statesmen Basketball teams play Union University in Walter Sillers Coliseum on Thursday at 4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. To keep up with all of the events on the calendar, please visit the website

“Thank you for joining me today. I will see you here next week for another addition of Fireside Chat.”

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