CENTER FOR STUDENT SUCCESS (CSS)
Counseling and advising programs at Southern University at Shreveport LA (SUSLA) have been merged to form the functions of the Student Success Coach. The newly created Student Success Coach function is housed in the Center for Student Success, reports to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Success, and has an integral role in designing the First-Year-Experience (FYE) at SUSLA. The overall goal of the Center for Student Success (CSS) is to design an FYE that teaches first-time entering freshmen to successfully navigate the appropriate courses of study for the attainment of academic and vocational goals.
The Role of the Student Success Coach
The Success Coach offers a structured, collaborative approach to support academic progress. Success Coaches provide individualized guidance and ongoing feedback to students. Success Coaches support students in honing time management skills to better utilize time, prioritize commitments and meet goals. Success Coaches also help expose students to smarter learning, a wide assortment of active reading, test-taking, and task analysis strategies, utilizing assessments, exercises and assignments. The Success Coach’s overall goal is to aid in the achievement and performance of a student toward degree completion. As for the attainment of vocational goals, the Success Coach collaborates with the career service and service-learning personnel to ensure that student’s academic plan is aligned with their vocational plan.
The services provided to students by their Success Coach focus entirely on those conditions, academic behavior, and related issues that put the student at risk of not having success. The risk of all entering freshmen is assessed through the use of several tools, including the Intake Form, which collects non-cognitive information, i.e. social behavior, employment status, student habits, mindsets regarding academic subject matter, perceived strengths, and weaknesses. This information together with the demographic and cognitive data collected by Admissions are used to formulate the student’s level of risk. Accordingly, it is this level of risk and the factors found to produce it that becomes the primary focus of the student and coach--- hence the development of the Academic Action Plan.
The Commitments and Beliefs of the Center
As it relates to the equality of the services provided by the Center for Student Success, which houses the counseling and advising programs, the Center has adopted an approach to social justice that affords all students access to an equal opportunity to achieve student success. We believe that all students should have the opportunity to succeed and complete their college education in ways that are respectful of their individual backgrounds and circumstances. In this way, by focusing on the risks of each student, our services and programs are designed to mitigate their impact and accommodate those conditions that create them. More recently, the Center has expanded its SUSLA Intrusive Advisement (SIA) to encompass a multifaceted approach of the SSIPP advising approach. SSIPP refers to sustain, strategic, integrated, proactive, and personalized. This approach affords the staff of the Center ample opportunity to ensure that all services are needed to attain success.
Student Retention Services
The primary focus of the Retention Program at Southern University at Shreveport is to increase the retention, persistence, degree attainment, and graduation rate of students admitted to the college either as first-time freshmen or transfer students. Program personnel works collaboratively with the campus community to ensure that this objective is met. Major services provided by the Retention Office include: working with faculty members and academic advisors to implement an “early alert” notification system as a means of monitoring student attendance and progress in classes; intervening appropriately with students who have been identified as having frequent absences and monitoring the midterm progress of students who have been placed on probation or readmitted following an appeal. In conjunction with the Office of Financial Aid, scholarship recipients are monitored and tracked to ensure that they retain their scholarship eligibility.