Staff members prepare for student arrival

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Session highlights campus accessibility, graduation project and new grant to prevent teen pregnancies, HIV and STDs.

By Michelle Delgado

Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success, discusses how she wants to improve some projects at this college Wednesday during the student success kickoff session that gave faculty and staff a chance to listen to the open resources available for students. Two of the many projects Alcorta wants to focus on are improving safety and accessibility at buildings and having faculty and staff wear their name tags more visibly. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

The Student Success Kickoff was one of many sessions held this week for faculty and staff to get the ball rolling for the spring semester.

More than 50 staff members attended the session Wednesday on the fourth floor of Moody Learning Center, where 13 representatives from different departments and programs presented their resources.

“It’s a chance for the departments to let people know what we are doing, who we are, so everybody is familiar with the services that are available,” counselor David Rodriguez said.

A new accessibility and safety group will obtain information from students, faculty and staff on how this college can improve accessibility and services, said Lisa Alcorta, vice president of student success.

The services include signage in buildings for people with disabilities to guide them toward exit ramps and well-lit parking lots and campus areas.

Staff training will begin in February, and will take place the second Friday of every month. Some training sessions will be mandatory.

“Some of the key things we are going to be targeting are customer service, for one, and process and procedures,” Alcorta said.

Email invitations will be sent out to staff for dates and times.

Alcorta said faculty and staff must wear visible name tags starting this semester.

“I want everyone to be wearing their name tag,” she said. “The reason for this is because we get complaints from the offices. Sometimes people don’t know who said what.”

Referral forms are another push for spring 2017. These forms are used when a student shows up in one office but must be sent to another building for more help. The form travels with the students to let the next person know how to help the student.

New programs presented their resources to staff for awareness and assistance.

BAE-B-SAFE is a new grant to promote awareness of unplanned teen pregnancy, HIV and STDs.

“It’s really important that we start to get the word out about it,” said coordinator Lucy Guana.

Counselor Melissa Sutherland throws green stress balls to the faculty and staff who sat at the student success kickoff session Wednesday. Counselor David Rodriguez and Sutherland described the counseling that is open to students along with group counseling such as parenting, veterans, LGBT and poetry. Photo by Brianna Rodrigue

Counseling services talked about the metal heath counseling that is available for students.

Counseling groups in the past have focused on LGBTQ, poetry therapy and parents.

Counseling services are located on the first floor of Moody.

One of the final presentations was the graduation project program.

A reverse transfer initiative was used last semester that found former students from this college who earned their associate degree but hadn’t received or applied for it.

The program helps students veer toward the correct path for graduation and searches for students who may be close to graduating but may not know yet.

“Every time you talk to a student, ask them about graduation,” said Erik Naslund, data analyst for the graduation project.

To learn more about the steps toward graduation, visit


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