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Adjustment to college life

Dual Degree Program

Elaine Maimon doesn’t mince words when she hears her fellow four-year university presidents complain about the quality of community college students who transfer to their school.

“Universities have not done anything to inspire students to have a coherent experience at the community colleges,” says Maimon, who heads up Governors State University in Illinois. “We at the universities have a responsibility to partner with the community colleges to make sure the students have the best possible chance of having a coherent, quality experience throughout their four years.”

3-Tiered Model of Advising

You can imagine the reaction when Miami Dade College, with its enrollment of 165,000, expanded its academic advising load to incoming students still in high school. That meant staff would need to advise an additional 14,000 students.

“I still remember one of the very first conversations with the student affairs deans,” says Lenore Rodicio, provost for academic and student affairs. “I thought we were going to need to do some emergency treatment on some of them.”

Insight App

For most high schoolers, it’s mom or dad nagging them to get to school on time, keep track of assignments and meet assignment deadlines.

For University of San Diego students, it’s their phone that keeps them focused.

Administrators saw an opportunity in the overwhelming prevalence of mobile devices on campus to help students become independent.

“We wanted to create something to help empower students to understand and help them with their daily lives,” says Avi Badwal, senior director of enterprise technologies.

Navigation Advising

Advising at State Fair Community College in Missouri begins not just when students enroll, but before they even apply.

State Fair sends staffers from its Navigation Advising program to high schools to discuss how to be a college student. These visits aren’t about recruitment, but a chance to explain the college application process, financial aid and advising, among other topics.

WellsLink Leadership Program

Syracuse University in New York has always had a number of state- and federally funded support programs that help students of color bridge the gap between high school and college, says Huey Hsiao, associate director in the Office of Multicultural Affairs.

The Higher Education Opportunity Program and Student Support Services, for example, offer academic support to underprepared students, who demonstrate potential to succeed in college.

Passport to Success

Despite a number of initiatives to improve retention rates at Culver-Stockton College, the Missouri school found itself underperforming in comparison to other institutions. Administrators, recognizing the need to try something new, focused specifically on freshman-to-sophomore retention.

Sam Houston Establishing Leadership In and Through Education

When Miguel Arellano Arriaga talks about Sam Houston’s Establishing Leadership In and Through Education program, his perspective is multifaceted. Arellano Arriaga, the coordinator of “SH ELITE” at the Texas university, also went through the program as an undergraduate at Sam Houston.

“It definitely was eye-opening,” he says. “They talk to you about college in high school and they tell you a little bit about what it’s going to be about, but you really don’t know until you get here.”

Coyote First STEP

With just 1,400 beds serving a student population of 19,000, California State University, San Bernardino, is the classic commuter campus. As part of a transition to a stronger on-campus student experience, officials have launched a residential-life initiative to provide math preparation and engage students in campus life before they even begin taking classes.

SIUE 1st

Officials at Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville recently turned their retention attention to persistence and graduation rates of specific groups of students. Students at greater risk of dropping out had some common characteristics, including greater financial need, being academically underprepared and being the first in their families to attend college.

African-American Male Student Success

The need to act was undeniable when officials at Central Piedmont Community College in North Carolina faced retention and graduation rates that were substantially lower for African-American males than for white males.

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