Approved Practices for Student Support Services Programs

Newly Added to Directory:  Integrated Approach to the First Year Experience at College.  University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (Minneapolis, MN) (approved Validated Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  This FYE program builds on multiple, interrelated and multidisciplinary strategies that support a multicultural, diverse student body’s entrance into and successful movement through college to timely graduation.  Key FYE program components are described as conceived, assessed, and revised through an ongoing reflective process of program development which responds to student learning and development outcomes, classroom structure and practice, and development of faculty capacity to effectively support these in First Year college students.  Approximately 25 percent of the entering students into the College of Education and Human Development are also TRIO SSS participants.  The campus TRIO staff worked with the college and department leaders to codesign the FYE program to meet needs of their students.

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Newly Added to Directory:  Horizons Study Abroad Experience.  Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) (approved Validated Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  Purdue University’s Horizons in Spain experience is the third opportunity to expand global educational opportunities for traditionally underrepresented groups. Prior to the generous grant provided to Horizons by the Office of the Provost, Horizons staff supported and encouraged students to study abroad, however participation was negatively affected due to cost, a general lack of information, and low confidence in their abilities to travel abroad. In the study abroad excursions to South Africa and Costa Rica, student confidence levels were measured through pre and post evaluations which ultimately revealed that 100% of participants increased in confidence in the following areas: navigating through unfamiliar environments, cross-cultural communication, knowledge of their discipline in a global context, ability to perform a job in a global context, and ability to make a difference in the world, among others.

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Newly Added to Directory:  Evaluation Tools for a Study Abroad Program.  Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) (approved Administrative Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  This administrative best practice uses the learning experience in Spain during 2014 as the case study for the use of the evaluation tools described in this document.  In the study abroad excursions to South Africa and Costa Rica, student confidence levels were measured through pre and post evaluations which ultimately revealed that 100% of participants increased in confidence in the following areas: navigating through unfamiliar environments, cross-cultural communication, knowledge of their discipline in a global context, ability to perform a job in a global context, and ability to make a difference in the world, among others.  

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Newly Added to Directory:  Procedures for a Study Abroad Program.  Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN) (approved Administrative Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  This administrative best practice focuses on the logistics and procedures for conducting a travel abroad program.  The case study is from the recent three-week course in Valencia, Spain and other locations in-country.  The Horizons in Spain experience provides a framework for Purdue in increasing the number of first-generation, low income college students who are more knowledgeable about and are participating in study abroad experiences. Horizons is leading outreach efforts on Purdue’s campus to strengthen participants’ knowledge about the benefits of study abroad and the opportunities that exist, develop an awareness of study abroad scholarships that can subsidize their experience, and increase confidence in first-generation college-goers that they can study abroad and do so successfully.

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Newly Added to Directory: Advising Syllabus. Northeast Iowa Community College (Peosta, IA) (approved Administrative Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  An advising syllabus is a great two tool to use for two main purposes.  First, as a college advisor, it is important to have a strong understanding of one's personal philosophy in regards to advising your students.  By taking time to review the various models and methods of advising, one can hone in on a specific approach that caters not only to the needs of the students but also validates and solidifies one's own approach to helping students.  This advising syllabus is used with community college students attaining their Associate in Arts Degree. 

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Newly Added to DirectoryCreating Global Experiences for First-Generation and Limited Income College Students.  Metropolitan State University (St. Paul, MN) (approved Validated Practice 10/31/16)  Taken from the abstract:  As we live in a global-based economy, geopolitics and intercultural society – undergraduate students must gain experiential learning and navigating other cultures from a global perspective.  Additionional, many higher education institutions value, encourage and even make part of their mission to offer global opportunities to the students they serve.  Yet, college students across the nation including non-traditional and underrepresented are less likely to participate in long-term or short-term global experiences.  For most limited income and first generation college students, the barriers and obstacles are too great to overcome for participation in a global experience.  This best practice program provides faculty, support services and administrators both a research context on barriers and actual practical opportunities to overcome obstacles facing nontraditional and underrepresented college students. This promising practice of creating global opportunities illustrates significance of having a structured global opportunity which consists of: (1) other limited income and first generation students (creating a sense of community); (2) staff and faculty who are trusted by underrepresented students (creating a trusted and confident environment of support; and (3) integrated academic content and cultural knowledge (creating a meaningful growth experience).

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Integrated Learning Course for Entering SSS College Students.  University of Minnesota (approved Validated Practice 8/10/14)  Taken from the abstract:  In 1972, the TRIO program leaders at the University of Minnesota developed the Integrated Learning (IL) course to meet academic and transition needs of their Upward Bound (UB) students.  These courses were offered during the UB summer bridge program for its students who were concurrently enrolled in academically-challenging college courses following graduation from high school.  Later, use of IL courses shifted from the UB program to the college-level TRIO Student Support Services program.  Long before the widespread use of learning communities within higher education, the IL course is an example of a linked-course learning community.  A historically-challenging course like an introductory psychology is linked with an IL course.  The IL course is customized to use content of its companion class as context for mastering learning strategies and orienting students to the rigor of the college learning environment.  For the past four decades, the IL course approach has assisted TRIO students improve their academic success in the rigorous academic environment as well as acclimate to the social climate of the University of Minnesota (UMN), one of the largest universities in the United States.  UMN is a Research I Intensive public university with highly selective admissions and high expectations for students by the course professors.  Two quasi-experimental studies examined the possible benefits of the IL course.  One was in connection with a General Psychology course. The IL course students earned statistically significantly higher final course grades than nonparticipants.  Another study with a General Biology course replicated the results of higher final course grades for the IL course students.  The IL courses fostered not only higher final course grades, but also expanded positive study behaviors and their metacognitive skills necessary for academic success. 

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Tutoring for Students with Disabilities.  Wichita State University (KS)  (approved Promising Practice 10/15/13)  Taken from the abstract:  "TRIO DSS tutors are trained to work with students with disabilities, whether the disability is physical, psychological, neurological, or other.  Their training includes specific workshops on different types of disabilities and how to work with students with disabilities in individual situations.  Tutors are given the student’s learning styles (visual, auditory, kinesthetic, or a combination) and work with a student’s learning style, adapting their tutoring methods to match the student’s learning methods.  The tutoring program model of student academic support is designed to assist students with disabilities at the college level pass courses in which they face academic hardship due to their disabilities, and to help them move forward toward their goal of a four-year degree while experiencing new and innovative learning strategies." 

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Tutor Training and Professional Development.  Wichita State University (KS)  (approved Promising Practice 9/25/13)   Taken from the abstract:  "Peer tutoring has become a familiar tool that many schools utilize to reinforce classroom teaching and increase student success.   For this reason, the Student Support Services (SSS) Program at Wichita State University has implemented a tutor training and professional development program to assist new and returning tutors to develop strategies to support learning and enhance academic performance and improve the tutoring process to establish, implement, and maintain a comprehensive and quality tutor-training program." 

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