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Student Support Specialist for High School Students in Early College Programs
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What is it?


A Student Support Specialist is dedicated to providing personalized interest and support to help high school students’ transition successfully into the college environment.  The K-12 Student Support Specialist delivers a constant support system at the college for high school students (current college students) academically and emotionally while tracking student activities beyond the community college.  

How is it done?

  • Relies on a full time dedicated K-12 Student Support Specialist

  • Specialist stays in constant communication and develops relationships with college faculty and staff

  • Takes care of all students’ academic needs

    1. If they need a computer - finds one
    2. If they need help getting home - helps student work with public transportation
    3. If they are overwhelmed - provides emotional support and how to develop problem solving skills, often referring students to academic and career counseling
    4. Makes sure students have books for their classes
  • Initially guides parents and students through the registration process with personalized assistance in acquiring college student number, admissions procedures

  • During the initial registration, Specialist makes appointment for Accuplacer testing and discusses with parents and students their options for authorizing students’ release of information.  Doing so allows the college to contact parents regarding their student’s college coursework and attendance.  

  • The Specialist is better able to assist students and parents when the report their Accuplacer test scores

  • Specialist communicates with instructors weekly, verifying that students are attending class and notifying parents if not.

  • Tracks students who go through the program even for one semester to verify their university track, degree programs, and their educational successes

  • Budget: Full-time salary for Student Support Specialist and any program related expenses

What are the results?

  • More students stay in the Early College Academy program

  • Parents appreciate the personal attention

  • Faculty appreciates having someone to track down students or report to for intervention

  • More seamless transition with all departments

  • With tracking, results can be verified of the program’s success

What have we learned?

  • When a student is overwhelmed, working with them to develop their problem solving skills and encouraging them to wait two weeks before dropping is invaluable
  • Early Intervention is a key component to student retention and success
  • Maintaining good relationships with instructors and the college staff is imperative
  • Keeping parents involved with their students education is important
  • Students appreciate the feedback on their college academic performance

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