What is UTOP?
The University Transition Opportunities Program (UTOP) began in 1986 to facilitate the underrepresented student’s transition from high school to college. By involving incoming UNC Charlotte freshmen in a rigorous six-week summer collegiate experience, UTOP builds upon the scholastic abilities of the students through college courses and contact with University academic support services.
UTOP’s success came immediately and has continued for over 30 years through increased retention and graduation rates. UTOP students have taken leadership roles such as UTOP mentors, SAFE counselors, Student Alumni Ambassadors, orientation counselors, and student government and organization leaders.
THE UTOP EXPERIENCE
UTOP in the Classroom:
UTOP class schedules are designed by the UTOP staff to assist each student in establishing a solid academic foundation as they begin their college career. Upon completion of the program, UTOP students will have earned seven credits towards graduation.
Orientation to the University:
Knowing who to ask and what to ask is essential to university survival. On their way to becoming the best informed freshmen on the UNC Charlotte campus, UTOP students learn about the many resources available to them as university students. Each day during Universal Hour, students become aware of:
|Auxiliary Services (Dining, 49er Card, Bookstore, Campus Mail, Copy/Print, etc.)
|Campus Activities Board (CAB)
|Center for Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS)
|Center for Wellness Promotion
|Dean of Students Office
|Fraternity and Sorority Life
|Office of Identity, Equity and Engagement
|Leadership & Community Engagement
|Police and Public Safety
|Student Health Center
|Students Advising for Freshmen Excellence (SAFE)
|University Advising Center
|University Center for Academic Excellence (UCAE)
|University Career Center
|Writing Resource Center
Students live in a residence hall on campus during UTOP to gain a head start on adjusting to college life. They begin to develop good study skills and living habits. Interpersonal skills strengthen, and students form many lasting friendships which continue through and beyond their college careers.
UTOP mentors play a vital role throughout the UTOP experience. These carefully selected students share their experiences and help UTOP students become aware of university expectations for students. UTOP mentors live in the residence halls with UTOP students, attend classes with students to effectively assist students during study hall and aid in the development of skills needed to succeed in college and assist in the coordination of events.
UTOP students participate in weekend extra-curricular activities:
|Bowling and Laser Tag at SpareTime Entertainment
|Carowinds Amusement Park
|Charlotte Knights Baseball and Fourth of July Celebration
|Civil Rights Museum (Greensboro, NC)
|Skating Night at Kate’s Skating (Gastonia, NC)
|UTOP Talent Show
Through a mentoring relationship with an upper-class student, UTOP participants will:
- Ease their transitional experience from high school to college.
- Make connections academically, socially and co-curricularly.
- Receive direct support from another student at the university.
Benefits of UTOP Mentorship:
- Academic support
- Improved self-confidence and self-esteem
- Increased motivation
- Broadening horizons and experiences
- Raised achievements and aspirations
- Building relationships
- Increased awareness of campus resources and opportunities
UTOP IN THE NEWS
UTOP 2020 Spotlight-Charlotte 2023-2024 Golden Niner: Kenan Moore