Student Support Services Education Term Paper

Pages: 15 (4048 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: ≈ 15  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Teaching

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(Borkowski 1988) The author contends that to this end the mentorship program benefits the mentee and the mentor. (Borkowski 1988) The author writes,

When minority students are paired with white faculty members, another dimension enters. The race barrier is often dealt with on a personal level, rather than confronted in the impersonal environment of the classroom. Faculty and administrators are able, through mentoring, to impart relevant values that enhance a minority student's ability to succeed. It should also be understood that mentoring benefits both the mentor and the mentee, in that the mentor is provided with a better opportunity to understand the concerns of students who are often from different socioeconomic and/or ethnic backgrounds." (Borkowski 1988)

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An article entitled Big ten school in Cyberspace: a brief history of Penn State's World Campus, published in the T.H.E. Journal discusses the impact of SSS at Penn State. The article describes the various programs that the institution has found to be effective when addressing the needs of first generation students. These programs include a website that aids them in career development and eligibility for the Lion Link mentorship program. (Hons 2002) The article asserts that these programs have been beneficial to those that take full advantage of the opportunity. (Hons 2002) The institution is also attempting to make strides towards the future of the Student support services program. The college also intends to add the following services in the future, which include; "increasing automation of the processes, skills workshops, career counseling and job-search databases. The administration plans to build on the existing relationships with these units." (Hons 2002)

Another article entitled "Success Brings Funding to Student Support Services," also discusses the success of the SSS program at Penn State. The article explains,

TOPIC: Term Paper on Student Support Services Education Is Assignment

When low-income, first-generation college students enroll at Penn State and are admitted into the Student Support Services (SSS) program, they receive, counseling, tutoring, supplemental instruction in key area such as reading, writing, mathematics and study skills and other academic support services to help them graduate. Currently, we serve 203 SSS students, and the program has a retention rate of 81%," says Howard Wray, associate dean for undergraduate education who oversees the University's academic assistance programs...This retention rate is astounding, considering the fact that only eight percent of low-income students have a chance of graduating from college nationwide by the age of 24, compared to 80% of students in the top quartile of family income."(Success Brings Funding To Student Support Services 1997)

The institution believes that it must devote its resources and expertise to the SSS program to ensure its success. They are committed to helping students as they transition from high school to college. They also want them to succeed in their career fields after they graduate from college.

The mentor/mentee relationship seems to be extremely important in SSS programs at Historically Black colleges.

A book entitled, Success Factors of Young African-American Males at a Historically Black College, describes the importance of SSS programs and mentorship. The author discusses the Shepard's Watch mentorship Program that is available at one college. Ross (1998) writes,

The Shepherd's Watch Program emphasized the role of senior students, who also serve as mentors to the freshmen and sophomore students. In this way, the model for "students helping students" is set in motion, and the senior student also benefits, by gaining the positive feeling of "giving back." In this sense, the Shepherd's Watch Program has two dimensions: faculty/staff and proteges, and "students helping students." Although Shepherd's Watch is in its infant stage, student feedback has been positive, and future plans for the program include a reception at the beginning of the school year where mentors and proteges can meet, sponsored picnics, bowling trips, and other recreational activities to solidify the bond between mentor and protege." (Ross 1998)

Ross asserts that black college students are positively influenced by mentors in a college setting because it encourages them to continue with their educational endeavors. It is also important for them to have a point of contact on campus and someone that they can confide in. In addition, black students that are entering corporate America will need to have this type of support to be successful.

An article in Community College Review also discusses the impact of the Student Support Services Program. The article explains recent findings and trends at different community colleges. In similar fashion to the other article that we have discussed this article explains that student support services can be very effective when they are properly implemented. (Bryant 2001) On the other hand, this article reports that "mediocre" SSS programs can actually increase the amount of time that it takes a student to finish their post secondary education. (Bryant 2001)

An article found in the College Student Journal reveals a study of first generation college students. The article entitled "First-generation college students at a four-year university: background characteristics, reasons for pursuing higher education, and first-year experiences," is a comprehensive look at the impact of Student Support Services. The participants in this study were all in their third quarter of study at UCLA. When explaining the impact of SSS on these students the author asserts,

Campus support programs for these students can foster their success by services that specifically address the concerns for these students. For example, financial aid counselors can help them (and their parents) with the daunting array of financial aid applications (Kane, 1999). In addition, professional and peer counselors can help them handle the social-emotional issues related to attending college. For example, some first-generation college students may feel guilty about pursuing a higher education while their families are struggling financially to survive (Piorkowski, 1983; Levine, 1989). Given that the demands at a four-year university are usually rigorous, first-generation college students can use all the help that their university can give them to persist and graduate." (Bui 2002)

The author also asserts that first year college students usually have very different upbringing than those who have parents that graduated from college. Bui (2002) argues that many of these students begin their college careers at two-year colleges where SSS programs are not as developed as the programs at four-year programs. The ability to attend a four-year college that has a comprehensive SSS programs greatly increases the likelihood that the student will finish college.

In this particular study the author asserts that many of the first generation students at UCLA were successful in completing college because of the comprehensive student support services programs that the institution provides. The article reports that the graduation rates of first generation students were almost equivalent to those of the other students. Bui (2002) concedes that this phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that many first generation students at respected four-year colleges have many of the same values and study habits as their peers.

Controversial Impact of SSS programs

One of the most controversial impacts of Student Support Services has to do with the concept of segregation. Many experts believe that these programs can create segregation in academic settings. This segregation often occurs along the lines of race and socio economic status. This occurs because most first generation students are minorities from low income families. A scathing article in the Washington Times calls the programs racist. The article asserts,

Programs set up to help minority students are a form of racism and have led to segregation at many universities nationwide, concludes a new survey conducted by the New York Civil Rights Coalition. Ethnicity-themed dorms, multicultural offices and centers, minority-specific orientation programs, and courses and departments with a politically correct slant are "apartheid policies" that do nothing more than encourage separatist thinking among minority students, the survey of 50 public and private colleges and universities shows. Segregated housing, courses, and programs disseminate poisonous stereotypes and falsehoods about race and ethnicity," the 28-page report states. "They limit interaction between minority and non-minority students, and reward separatist thinking... They deny equal interaction on campus. Although they claim to have minorities' interests at heart, these colleges in fact take the civil-rights movement giant steps backward." (Sorokin 2002)

The article argues that some Student Support Services promote racism because they cause segregation. They give special attention to minorities that other students do not receive. In some cases this special attention can create resentment and fuel racist attitudes. The article also insists that the programs that are provided can be detrimental to minority students. The article asserts,

Colleges provide remedial services specifically geared toward minorities, stigmatizing minority populations. Wesleyan offers a program that pairs first-year minority students with upper-class minority students to help in their transition from high school to college. "Colleges and universities have a mania with group identity," said Thor Halvorssen, executive director of the Philadelphia-based Foundation for Individual Rights in Education. "Colleges are underlining the differences between students instead of building bridges. What they are doing is promoting Balkanization, not a humane environment." (Sorokin 2002)

In their defense many of the Colleges and Universities named in the article assert that their SSS… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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