Student Success Institute pairs students with mentors

A new initiative called the Student Success Institute pairs students with mentors to guide and support them as they reach educational milestones is already showing positive results. The Student Success Institute (SSI) is open to everyone but was initially created to help close completion gaps with African American students and LSC is making progress. Data shows that African American student graduation numbers have increased for the fifth consecutive year and their success rates are increasing faster than the college average.

The mission of SSI is "to create academic, work ready and transfer pathway opportunities that will prepare students to persist, complete, and maximize their contributions to society." Students who join are matched with an academic advisor, a LSC employee mentor, and attend student success workshops. To date more than 400 mentors have worked with 800 students.

"The successes of the program are vast, but we are most proud of the trust that we have seen built between the students and the mentors. The students often come speak with their mentors about issues that can often be easily solved. In addition, while other issues are very complex, the mentors have been able to help students through many personal and college issues," said Dr. Quentin Wright, Special Assistant to the Chancellor.

Particularly for first time college students, having a mentor guide them through college is vital to their success. LSC-University Park student Kyley Hidalgo said, "As a first time college student, sometimes you do not know the right questions to ask. So having someone to talk to about different questions was important to me. The open communication I have with my mentor is very valuable."

In addition to advising sessions and weekly mentor check-ins, students in SSI attend a Student Leadership Conference that features interactive workshops and a keynote speaker, all promoting building character, setting goals, and developing their leadership potential.

Student Ambassadors help recruit new students into the program and several are Foundation scholarship recipients! Ambassador and scholarship recipient Seandrea Conly said, "Leadership is not about the position or even about the title, it is about action and example."

Another scholarship recipient, Jae Hubbard, joined after going through the program herself. "I chose to apply for the role of ambassador so that I could show my gratitude for the "GPS" guidance the mentors have provided me. It is because of the Student Success Institute, I don't feel like I'm travelling alone on this journey. I'm fortunate to have folks to turn to when I'm not sure if I'm headed in the right direction,"she said.

The Foundation is so proud of its student leaders! To learn more about the Student Success Institute, CLICK HERE.