Lending new students a hand with New Student Success Program

Kelli Gilbert and Abbee Elwell, both WCC Student Ambassadors, give incoming students a curated tour of campus and student life at WCC during a tour on Tuesday, Aug. 22. See page A6 to see welcoming messages written to students by WCC faculty members on campus sidewalks. Immerse yourself in all WCC has to offer its students by attending Welcome Day 2017 on Wednesday, Sep. 13 to learn about WCC clubs, organizations, departments and more.

Kelli Gilbert and Abbee Elwell, both WCC Student Ambassadors, give incoming students a curated tour of campus and student life at WCC during a tour on Tuesday, Aug. 22. See page A6 to see welcoming messages written to students by WCC faculty members on campus sidewalks. Immerse yourself in all WCC has to offer its students by attending Welcome Day 2017 on Wednesday, Sep. 13 to learn about WCC clubs, organizations, departments and more.

By Ala Kaymaram
Staff Writer

The New Student Success 
Program’s mission is to ensure new students have a smooth transition to WCC by providing personalized support for them during their first year. Each student will be assigned to a “Success Coach,” who will work with the student independently. The program is in its second year at Washtenaw Community College.

Nate Boorsma and Akelah Burks, graduates from the University of Michigan and Eastern Michigan University respectively, are this year’s Success Coaches. Working as Success Coaches is counting as part of their master’s work in their education degrees.

Students will have monthly meetings with one of the coaches. The Success Coaches will help students with setting and meeting their short-term and long-term educational and career goals.

Success Coaches will also determine students’ strengths and weaknesses and help them develop the skills they need to meet their personal goals.

On the first meeting, the Success Coaches will discuss the expectations of a college class and some details about WCC classes and its environment. In addition to covering classroom expectations, they will work on “soft skills” with the students, such as contacting professors, email etiquette, stress-management, and time-management. The coaches will focus on helping students develop skills that can be used throughout their educational careers rather than helping them in a specific subject as a tutor.

Boorsma and Burks both noted that they will make sure that students are aware of the resources available to them on campus and will guide students in the right direction as needed.

Although any student can apply, the program is geared toward first-generation students. Everyone who participates and meets the requirements will be eligible for a book scholarship as well.

For students who have already been accepted to the program, the best preparation is to know what soft skills they need help improving.

The deadline to apply for the fall Student Success Program has passed,but students can apply for the winter semester.

For more information on the New Student Success Program, you can visit wccnet.edu/student-success/

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