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LINKS Program

LINKS Program

LINKS is a year-long transition, enrichment, and support program, committed to attracting and retaining high achieving students from diverse backgrounds, to maximize their academic, leadership, and service potential. For over 35 years, the LINKS program has been the cornerstone of support and assistance for first-year multicultural students at Ohio University. 

LINKS helps first-year students navigate the college experience by focusing on student success and retention, while promoting the educational benefits of diversity and inclusion at Ohio University. The LINKS program is highly successful, boasting a 91% fall to spring retention rate with an average 3.2GPA, and a 79% retention rate from year 1 to year 2 of enrollment. 

All students in the LINKS program receive free tutoring throughout the duration of their enrollment at Ohio University.

New students should complete the LINKS student profile form to select their peer mentor preference and shirt size for a free LINKS t-shirt:

LINKS Student Profile Form

What is Involved?

The LINKS program consists of:

  • Welcome Program
  • Academic Enrichment Opportunities
  • Academic Support (Peer Mentors and Advisors)
  • Leadership and Community Engagement Enrichment Programs
  • Social and Community Service outings

Who Participates?

All multicultural students are automatically enrolled in the LINKS program during their first year at Ohio University. The LINKS program is required for participants in the following scholarship programs:

  • John Newton Templeton Scholars 
  • Urban Scholars 
  • Appalachian Scholars 
  • Harry & Ruth Rankin Scholars
  • DC Cap Scholars 

    Welcome Program

    The LINKS Welcome Program is an intensive 1-day program that begins prior to the start of the fall semester. The LINKS welcome program allows students the opportunity to move into their assigned residence hall rooms, get to know their peers, familiarize themselves with the Ohio University campus; and engage in an assortment of academic, professional, social, and diversity-related enrichment activities, relating to successful adjustment and persistence in college. Students will formally meet OMSAR staff, LINKS peer mentors, faculty and campus administrators. The overall goal of the LINKS welcome program is to give students early access to OMSAR support and campus resources that support a successful transition to the first year of college.


    Peer Mentoring Support Program

    Each student in the LINKS program is assigned a peer mentor who is responsible for maintaining weekly contact with participants throughout the academic year through both individual contact, and small group activities. LINKS peer mentors are successful upper-class students, who serve as role models to first year students, and provide academic, personal, and social support, as they transition from high school to college. Peer mentors help students with their sense of belonging, helping to develop individual relationships with students while connecting them with a community. Peer mentors meet one-on-one with their assigned students on a biweekly basis throughout the academic year, conduct weekly study sessions and plan and facilitate group social and service outings. 


    Peer mentor selection is based on academic merit, leadership potential, service to campus and community, and commitment to diversity and inclusion at Ohio University. Peer mentors must also successfully complete an 8-week training course in the spring semester (INST 4930 – Peer Mentor) before employment begins.


    Academic Year Enrichment

    The academic year enrichment involves academic monitoring and tracking, academic and professional development workshops, leadership and workforce development, community service, and monthly enrichment sessions. Monthly enrichment session topics include time management, study skills, goal planning, academic achievement, career and leadership development, study abroad, service learning, multiculturalism, diversity, and more. 


    Academic Support & Leadership Advising

    Each student is also assigned an OMSAR advisor. The advisor meets individually with each student three times per semester. The OMSAR advisor works with students to make sure students are connected to campus, thriving in their areas of study, and aware of the multitude of resources available to ensure their academic success. The OMSAR advisor advises students holistically with an understanding of the difficulties students of color face at PWI's. Additionally, advisors encourage campus leadership and involvement, community engagement, and professional development in the student's chosen field. 


    All students in the LINKS program receive free tutoring throughout the duration of their enrollment at Ohio University.

What happens after LINKS?

LINKS supports success in a student's first year at Ohio University. OMSAR support continues well beyond the first year of enrollment. OMSAR provides academic mentoring, credit-bearing courses, and programs that support and enhance academic achievement, service, and career and leadership development for students in years 2, 3, and 4. Additionally, with an emphasis on high impact practices, OMSAR offers study abroad programs, conference opportunities, research and creativity awards, connection to two diversity-oriented academic certificates, campus partner services in the office, support in the the completion of Nationally Competitive Awards applications, peer mentoring, an in-house counselor, and presentation opportunities.