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Ensuring students succeed starts well before they take a class

Home » News » Friends » 2023 » January
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Students are the core of the College’s mission. Finding ways to help more students succeed in their academic journey takes innovative strategies and individually tailored approaches. At NWTC, we believe the process of ensuring student success starts well before someone sets foot on campus or takes a class.

During the orientation process, students complete a Welcome Survey that helps the College identify any potential barriers to academic success. Based on the responses to individual questions, individually tailored referrals to appropriate service areas are raised within the College’s early alert system, Starfish. Staff from the identified service reach out to referred students to provide a welcome to the college and build awareness of, and comfort in accessing, services that will help them succeed. For example, a student who indicates they have a low certainty in their choice of career path would receive a referral to Career Services, where they could talk with a career advisor about their interests, goals, and strategies to turn academic success into career experiences through work study or internships. 

“We are here to help our students succeed,” said John Grant, dean of Student Services. “Through innovative strategies like the Welcome Survey and Starfish, we can better support students and help them stay on track as they pursue their goals.”

To analyze the effectiveness of the Welcome Survey, over 6,000 responses from the last five years were studied. Analysis results showed students who receive a referral and and take advantage of the provided resources take more classes, persist at higher rates, and have a higher first semester GPA.