Effective Resources to Support Student Success
“Students feel connected and part of a group.”
Every Wednesday, a learning community composed of freshmen from the Saint Peter’s University’s summer and fall Academic Success Program (ASP) meets in Pope Hall. Some weeks, they review course requirements or learn about community service opportunities. Other times, they engage in activities such as a British style debate to develop presentation skills.
Tushar Trivedi, MSW, coordinator of ASP, describes the program as intense and collaborative. Incoming students pre-selected for ASP take seminar classes, develop math and writing skills and participate in workshops on time management and effective study skills. More importantly, Trivedi noted, “Students feel connected and part of a group.” This has bolstered individual GPAs, increased the persistence of first year students and helped participants set and achieve goals.
Students say the program also builds a foundation for success. “I felt really anxious about college,” said summer session attendee Kaity Cruz ’19. “Once I went through the program, I felt more comfortable and excited.”
Pathways to Distinction contains comprehensive initiatives designed to help more students advance in college. The U.S. Department of Education awarded a $1.1 million TRIO Student Support Services (SSS) grant to the University in July. The funds, distributed in increments of $220,000 annually for up to five years, will establish a SSS program for approximately 140 participants at Saint Peter’s.
According to Virginia Bender, Ph.D. ’78, special assistant to the president for institutional planning, the federal grant will extend current support services by addressing the entire student experience. This includes new learning communities, enhanced advising and dedicated coaches for personal and career development.
“Pathways to Distinction is student-focused and is intended to prepare students as effectively as possible for their future lives,” Dr. Bender said. With programs and services established with the TRIO grant, “students will be setting goals and developing strategies to achieve those goals beginning in their first year at Saint Peter’s. The program integrates academic, personal and career planning so students can envision their own paths to success.”
The $2.8 million Title V grant
The $2.8 million Title V grant attained during VISION 2015 established the Center for English Language Acquisition and Culture and other programs to support student success. These initiatives positively impacted student performance and identified strategies to enhance students’ development and better prepare them for future challenges and opportunities.
Saint Peter’s is now better positioned to support students in their pursuit of excellence—whether by growing the honors program, improving facilities for student-athletes or funding initiatives that help first generation students prepare for college.
The University must continue its path of fiscal resiliency to sustain its mission. Key financial initiatives will aim to::
- Build brand and market share by communicating the value of Jesuit higher education and graduate outcomes so enrollment remains stable and strong.
- Support the growth of non-tuition revenue sources such as facility rentals and entrepreneurial activities.
- Make a green campus even greener by increasing environmental sustainability while also making campus operations more cost-efficient.
- Expand the donor base in preparation for the next transformational capital campaign.