Cuyahoga Community College’s (Tri-C) held Success Week February 6-10 to keep students informed of the resources that will make them successful. Each campus selected a day to host their own event and show students what the campus offers. This year’s event included a Student Summit, workshops on developing the skills needed to deal with test taking anxiety, time management, how to resolve conflict with other students and instructional staff, and how to advocate for yourself in the right manner.
Metro held its event on February 9 in the student center from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Nache Jones, Interim Director of Student Engagement at the Metro and Eastern campuses said Success Week is an opportunity to “show all of us” to students by letting them know the services and departments that are available and provide time for students to make connections with staff.
“We are always trying to connect students to our services and resources, get them involved, and let them know we have so many awesome things at the college,” Jones said. “We want students to succeed so we meet them in the middle and let them know they don’t have to compromise their education.”
Jones is responsible for coordinating student activities, events, clubs, and organizations. She also acts as a guide to assist club advisors with ensuring that policies are followed and that clubs are acting in a fair manner that makes it enjoyable for all students.
Students Khailand Kirkland, Erica Cherry, and Izabela Zoga participated in the Student Summit and answered a wide range of questions on their experience at Tri-C. “I participated because I wanted to share my experience of how Tri-C has shaped me and my success,” Kirkland said. “I am in student government and wanted to be a resource and influence to students on campus,” said Cherry on why she participated in the Summit. “I participated because I have a lot of experience that I wanted to share with students,” Zoga told The Voice.
Mary Grega, Project Manager and Natalie Warren, Financial Aid Adviser with Student Financial Aid and Scholarships were present and offered students a quick check of their financial aid status. They also provide students assistance with making sure they have everything needed to pay tuition and fees for this semester and encourage them to get things set up for summer and fall registration. Their offices are located on the ground floor of the Student Services.
Christina Sugar, Customer Service Assistant with the Library Commons says she “does it all” by assisting students and faculty members with searching for books to using computers. Sugar was at Success Week to introduce students to the various services the Learning Commons offers which includes testing and tutoring, for primarily math and english. Sugar participated in Success Week for years at Western Campus where she worked for 21 years.
HerBrina Shepherd works in the Transfer Center which helps students transfer from Tri-C to a four year college or university by identifying their major and goals. “We talk to students as soon as they start taking classes at Tri-C,” Shepherd said. “We highlight partnerships Tri-C has with more than 30 institutions and the different pathways that we have with them. Depending on the student’s major they may do two years at Tri-C then finish at another school. Students are encouraged to have a GPA of 2.0 or above for admissions to a four year college and 2.5 to 3.0 to qualify for scholarships.”
Evelyn Anderson was attending her first Success Week as an administrative assistant with Student Accessibility Services (SAS) which provides assistance and accommodations to students with disabilities so that they can succeed. Once a student begins to take classes, they should let SAS know who their instructors are so that the student’s advisor knows who to send the letter of accommodation to.
Deborah Drane is a counselor and assistant professor with SAS who teaches courses such as personal development, student success seminars, career exploration, and strategies for success. “We know that students are not just a schedule in a bookbag, and have things going on, so we are here as a support service,” Drane said. “Students can receive services as often as they like and if they are experiencing a mental health issue, we connect them to outside services.”
Rosemary, Science Tutor with TRIO works with students to make sure they understand science related courses such as chemistry, biology, earth science classes. “I really enjoy science, so it is a pleasure for me to work with the students when they come in,” //// said. Dyonne Smith, Program Assistant for TRIO assists students with classes, tutoring, doing cultural activities, and finding grants and scholarships. “We focus on students who are first generation, first in their family to work towards a college degree,” Smith said.
Ralonda Ellis-Hill, Dean of Student Affairs is responsible for connecting students to services such as student engagement, counseling, and student advocates. Jeanetta Roby-Autrey, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs oversees the student code of conduct and also advocates for students. “We are recruiters, we go out into the community and bring students in,” Ellis-Hill said. “We say we are student advocates, because we do all things students.”
Jessica Cartagena, is a program manager for the Hispanic Counsel which helps Hispanic students. “All of your services are bilingual, so we help them enroll, serve as an advisor and mentor, and we offer scholarships,” Cartagena said. Although the Counsel is officially located at the western campus, it has space at Metro Campus’s Multi-cultural Center.
Nick Giammarco is the student president of LAMBDA Gender Sexualilty Alliance which works with LGBTQ+ students and allies on campus to promote diversity and inclusion on campus. The organization holds weekly student meetings and partners with other departments to provide volunteer opportunities, special events, and student enrichment.
Jones said this year’s Success Week was extra special because it included a Student Summit to hear from students. “We think we know what students want but the best people to tell us what students want are the students,” said Jones. “We want to know what services are lacking, what students like the most, what we should keep doing because we are doing it right, and how we can improve the student experience so they can continue to move forward. We want to give our students a voice, really listen, take notes because we don’t have all the answers.”
Jones: Today we had some really outstanding suggestions about forming an art club, choir. We were able to connect with those students, get their information and reach back out to them and say this is how you can make this happen. That’s what it’s really all about.
We want to make sure that we are supporting what’s happening in the classroom, so that we can show students how to stand out, build their brand, and be the best you as a leader,” Jones said. We provide opportunities to develop those skills and be a good team player so they know how to identify good leadership qualities in others. We also want students to acquire a deeper understanding of our differences so we can understand our diversities and appreciate all of the differences each of us brings to the table. We have a Student Leadership Certificate Program where students go through a series of events in which they hone in on their leadership skills and develop those further. We select our “student of the year”; we are responsible for the board student scholar process.