Objective:To help prepare students for a positive experience at this institution and for continued success after graduation.
Methods:The SSC has allowed for multiple departments to be housed under one umbrella in order to better support our student population. There are five components identified for student success: academic assistance (tutoring, supplemental instruction, study skills, make-up testing); personal counseling (individual, group, couples, and family); disability services (accommodations according to the Americans with Disabilities Act); career planning and placement (in conjunction with student life and web site job listings); and leadership and success (workshop series). This allows the SCC to assist students for various needs in one location. It has also permitted us to increase communication with the Dean’s Office, faculty, and administration regarding student’s progress so we can continually work together for the benefit of the student.
Results:Participation in supplemental instruction has increased from 163 students in Spring 2004 to 836 students in Spring 2005. This increase reflects the SSC’s commitment to exposing services to all students with all abilities. The same increase has been seen in tutoring, increasing from 125 students in Spring 2004 to 464 students in Spring 2005. There has been an increase in the number of participants for counseling and disability services appropriately according to our increase in population. We also have tracked students pass rates that participate and do not participate in supplemental instruction and tutoring to make sure these services are beneficial. According to statistics from Fall and Spring 2004, 60% to 100% pass using these support services. Student evaluation surveys are continuously being assessed to identify whether students have shown improvement and whether the services are meeting their needs (i.e. improved overall study habits and GPA, disability accommodations are fair and reasonable, students in counseling feel improved coping skills and more at ease and calm).
Discussion:The SCC provides students with a learning opportunity that develops competencies that enrich the individual’s educational experience and assist them to achieve excellence. Other major universities around the country are beginning to utilize this model. One example is Central Michigan University, which has realized a 33% drop in students placed on probation with an increase in retention rate from 69% to 74% percent in the last three years. Other universities that have also adopted a student success center model are University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee; University of Colorado; University of North Carolina, Greensboro; University of Missouri, Columbia; and James Madison University. No other chiropractic school is currently known to have brought all five components of student support services together. The SSC has only been in existence for one year. We continue to grow and learn as we pursue our goal of helping students with free support services that improve their academics and enrich their experience and as future chiropractors.
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