In today’s strong focus in community colleges on student retention, completion, and success, there are many initiatives being undertaken to try to help students succeed. Success for community college students is often defined as “getting the certificate.” For example, the students get a degree from a community college or transfer to a 4-year institution where they work toward their degree.
To address Student Success, many community colleges are creating Student Success Centers. Here are three examples:
- Hillsborough Community College’s Student Success Center (SSC) “houses tutorial services, a radio station and a G.E.D. program for those not yet enrolled in college. It also hosts seminars on subjects such as note taking and navigating college.”
- Central Piedmont Community College has an SSC that provides “guidance, goal clarification, answers to questions, tutorial assistance, advising and counseling, and access to all enrollment services.”
- The Florida Keys Community College’s SSC offers developmental math courses, a resource-connections service, tutoring, and academic workshops.
So the commonalities are tutoring, communication, getting developmental courses and skills addressed, ongoing advising, counseling, and navigation of school processes and systems. Essentially, make sure the starting point for Student Success involves foundation-building from 3 perspectives: 1) Core academic knowledge, 2) Direction on how to proceed through their program, and 3) Contacts and communications to address their needs and facilitate their movement through the program.
Look at these three perspectives for addressing new students (or for any business, new customers). How can you – from the start – ensure you begin building their knowledge of what you offer? How can you ensure they can understand how to navigate through the experience? How can you proactively stay in touch with them as they move through their journey and relationship with your organization?
To help your students (or customers) succeed, build that foundation of knowledge, comfort, and communications from the start.
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