Clark State Community College will host the Ohio Association of Community College’s Student Success Leadership Institute (SSLI) next week at the Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield. Representatives from 23 colleges are expected to attend.
“We are currently evaluating our current advising model,” said Dr. Theresa Felder, Clark State’s vice president of student affairs and Greene Center operations. “The information we receive as a part of this conference will help inform the work of the faculty and staff working on the redesign.”
The OACC’s Student Success Leadership Institute is a cohort-based network of community college leaders engaged in structured pathways reforms aligned with the Completion by Design (CbD) framework and a performance based funding environment. Attendees will learn from state and national student success leaders and be prepared to tackle the transformational change needed to further the success of their colleges.
Ron Gordon, dean of enrollment services for Clark State, will take part in a panel on "Strategies for Supporting Underserved Student Populations."
“Clark State students, like many others, find themselves in situations where life issues sometimes get in the way of reaching their goal of earning a degree and providing a better life for themselves and their family,” said Gordon. “We work with a variety of external resource providers to assist students in addressing some of the barriers they encounter on the way to achieving academic and career success. The SSLI Integrated Advising and Student Support workshops will provide us an opportunity to present the various options Clark State is using to address these challenges for our students.”
Gordon said Clark State has applied for and received grant assistance for students who are struggling with day-to-day expenses. The Dash and Dreamkeepers programs provide emergency funds to students at risk of dropping out of college due to unexpected emergency expenses. The Great Lakes of Higher Education Completion Grant assists students who are 75 percent complete in their degree program of Registered Nursing or Informational Technology but are also at risk of dropping out due to unexpected financial emergencies along with academic challenges as they reach higher levels of their program.
“These grants also provides free supplemental instruction to students who may need assistance academically,” said Gordon. “The goal of these grants and the college’s pursuit of external funds is to support our students as much as possible, give them the tools to meet those unforeseen life challenges, and get them to the finish line of graduation.”
Additional programming planned for the SSLI event includes the Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) on Monday, March 26. COPE training offers participants a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families living in the community. It addresses the obstacles faced, the decisions made and the consequences that impact these families every day. COPE training equips educators with insights regarding how they can design programs to better assist these students and increase retention and completion rates.
The SSLI is a project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Great Lakes Higher Education Guaranty Corporation that brings together teams of eight to ten members from all 23 participating community colleges.
The OACC and the colleges are assisted in these efforts by a large team of state and national partners, including the Community College Research Center, Jobs for the Future, Public Agenda, the National Center for Inquiry & Improvement, the Ohio Department of Higher Education and the Ohio Completion by Design (CbD) cadre.
The SSLI event will begin with the COPE session at 1 p.m. on Monday, March 26 and continue with the Integrated Advising and Student Support workshops on Tuesday, March 27 beginning at 9 a.m. at the Clark State Hollenbeck Bayley Creative Arts and Conference Center in downtown Springfield.