This fall, winter and spring we are implementing a workshop pilot series reflecting the Before College Student Survey of Engagement (BCSSE) results of our first year students. Students were most concerned about: Balance, Affordability and Mental Health and Wellness. They were most excited about: Academic and Student Support, Diverse Relationships and Meaningful Involvement. Our workshops will revolve around 3 topics:
- Health and Wellness
- Self-Awareness: Career Exploration and Academic Coaching
- Intergroup Relationship Building
We are piloting the program with 4 cohorts:
- 1st generation students (1GenU)
- Transfer Student Living Community
- Excelling Leaders Institute
- Students who opt-in
Our primary goal is to decrease tensions on campus by providing students with opportunities to engage in honest conversations around differences and improve the campus climate for optimal learning. This will be a non-threatening way to teach them basic skills in civility and respect.
Our secondary goal is to provide our students with the dialogue skills needed to facilitate difficult conversations, skills that will serve them well in leadership positions across industries. The content of the dialogues will focus on the skill development and self-awareness goals.
We are also working in partnership with faculty, staff, administrators and graduate students to develop a 30 week leadership, conflict resolution, intergroup, health and wellness curriculum for first year students in order to provide a holistic transition into the university.
This winter we will also host a Design the First Year Ideation Session with people from across campus and led by a national leader in first year and transition experience.
Case Management: Caring for the Whole Student
We are developing a holistic approach to case management to support students (undergraduate and graduate) and their families in navigating challenging times, a complex world, and natural disasters. We now have a framework to case manage students, their families and communicate with faculty that can be done within a 24-hour time period.
We are also working with students on precipitous decline, which is an academic standing in which a student is in good academic standing overall yet had a quarter of a 1.5 or lower demonstrating the need for immediate intervention. Students are assigned a SOS Case Manager in order to develop an individual support plan. Students are engaged in a team approach with SOS, academic advising, and other campus resources to help the student resume studies and recover from a challenging quarter.
Academic Coaching and Empowerment Academic Development Module:
Academic advisors work with students to administer a pre-intake process and post-test through the Learning and Study Strategies Inventory. From their results, academic advisors work with the student to identify skill-building goals. In September, we facilitated a one-day academic coaching training for 40 DU faculty and staff who are engaged in academic coaching. Together, they learned how to engage students in a growth mindset, story-telling, resilience, and problem-solving to take ownership of their own experience. Staff and faculty learned how to let students know that they are coaching them so that the student can actively engage in their goal setting and action planning. This will help us move from transactional advising to transformational advising.
2 graduate students have been hired as part-time academic coaches located within the centralized CLIE academic advising. The coaches can work with all students-graduate and undergraduate to support additional skill-building with time management, organization, goal-setting, and planning.
Nationwide mental health concerns and suicidal ideation/attempts are spiking which calls for the need of proactive education and reactive comprehensive student support. Research suggests that when students are healthy– mentally, physically, and emotionally and they experience a welcoming and affirming campus climate—their academic performance will reflect it. Each person at the University has a role in this Culture of Care.
We have developed a postvention debrief and toolkit so that we can support the entire campus in healing from suicide. This proactive planning with the entire campus community to develop education, awareness and importance of reaching out for help is crucial. Therefore, we have also started offering trainings and professional development sessions for the campus community in order to better understand how to support and refer students, and create awareness, education and hope for suicide prevention.
We have redesigned the red folder in order to help us recognize the indicators of students in distress and be able to intervene early. If you are interested in a professional development session to learn more about working with students in distress, please contact the SOS staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last Updated: 11/16/17