UNDERSTANDING STUDENTS' AND OTHER STAKEHOLDERS' NEEDS, CATEGORY THREE
3P2. How do you build and maintain a relationship with your students?
Relationship building with students often begins in the recruitment process. College recruiters begin relationships with students at high school visits, career fairs, college exploration events and through other venues. These relationships are strengthened through recruitment and marketing materials, as well as letters from the college president, program coordinators, and student services offices and programs. After students are accepted, they are required to meet with a trained ARC core adviser. Though the ultimate purpose of this meeting is to get the student enrolled, this process is designed to further establish relationships with students. Strong relationships are often formed between faculty and students in the classroom once students are enrolled. Relationships are built through active learning, faculty support and mentoring, and other interpersonal techniques and opportunities. After core advisement, students are assigned a faculty adviser which strengthens relationships and improves student retention.
Relationships also are formed in extracurricular and cocurricular activities and organizations. As previously mentioned, every career and technical program has a cocurricular student organization. Other organizations not tied specifically to a discipline, such as Student Government Association (SGA), Emerging Leaders, Student Ambassadors, and Phi Theta Kappa (PTK) Honorary Society provide additional opportunities for student involvement and engagement. The college also sponsors student appreciation events, such as Roadrunner Roasts, where students are served free barbecue (usually chicken, not Roadrunner) by college faculty and staff and offered a variety of entertainment venues.
Additionally, the college utilizes state and federal work-study funds to employ students in most departments including the Business Office, Educational Technology Services, bookstore, Student Services, Institutional Effectiveness and CQI Office, and the library. Work-study employment helps students gain valuable experience in and understanding of various departmental functions, often in their areas of study. It also cultivates positive relationships between students and staff.
MySTAR, a Web portal communication tool, was implemented in 2007 for students and employees to strengthen communication, which in turn builds strong relationships that support the “personal touch.” Through mySTAR, the college communicates with students via e-mail and announcements. MySTAR also has a “groups” tool that provides opportunities for social networking within specific academic, cultural or social areas. Every student is given a permanent SFCC e-mail address which helps to maintain relationships after graduation.
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