SXU's Student Success Program Renewed
Saint Xavier University's (SXU) Student Success Program (SSP) has recently been renewed through the U.S. Department of Education's Student Support Services Program. SSP, a federally-funded TRIO program, is one of 900 student support services programs on college campuses across the nation, and the program provides support services for students who are first-generation, low-income and/or students with disabilities. This renewal and its accompanying grant funding allow at least five more years of promoting the persistence, good academic standing and graduation rates of more than 200 students each year.
The grant funding will provide opportunities for new and current SSP students to attend workshops and conferences, receive financial support and network with current students and mentors. Kristel Flynn, director of SSP, said, "Our new students will be able to benefit from the support and guidance from a staff who genuinely cares about their successes and will be there for them from the first day of class all the way to graduation."
With over 80 percent of incoming students classified as first-generation students, SSP is a critical program for providing support services for vulnerable populations. The program provides holistic support and helps students to not only stay in college but have a full and meaningful experience while at SXU.
"TRIO has been my home away from home during my time at SXU. It has helped me tremendously throughout my college career, and I am so excited that more students will be able to benefit from the services and support that TRIO provides," said Rosie Alaraj, a finance major.
"SSP has assisted me to stay organized each semester and has helped me form connections with other students on campus," added Samantha Alvarado, a media and communication major.
The TRIO funding that supports SSP will be used to provide individualized support to each of the program's 204 students. The program provides opportunities for grant aid for students to attend off-campus cultural events and service projects, and funding is provided for student leadership opportunities, like TRIO-sponsored Men of Excellence and Women in STEM conferences.
"Being able to provide holistic support is what makes this program a success. With program space limited to 204 participants, we can get to know each student, understand their background and what makes them unique and help to personalize their experience as much as possible. The students trust the staff to help them create a plan for their success here at SXU. We are like a big family and love to support one another," said Flynn.
Though COVID-19 has impacted some of SSP's planned activities, the program continues to offer virtual events. Mentors connect with students in one-on-one sessions and through group meetings using Zoom. With a hopeful look to the future, program members plan to attend various cultural experiences throughout the city and participate in the annual TRIO Day, where program members get together with other TRIO programs in the region for educational sessions, motivational talks and community fellowship.