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The aim of this small-scale study is to explore the effectiveness of the support available to
students registered for programmes of study in the colleges. This paper presents a review of
literature on the provision of student support for the increasingly diverse body of students in
higher education. This research paper sets out findings from qualitative research with a range
of higher education institutions in Indore to explore the impact of the new student support
arrangements on the policies, planning and behaviour of universities and higher education
colleges. It brings together findings from an initial investigation, prior to the introduction of
the arrangements, with experiences.
The provision of student support services including personal and financial counselling,
careers guidance and support for students with disabilities is an established part of the support
available to students in all higher education institutions (HEIs) The Student Support Services
Program (SSSP) is a federally funded comprehensive support service designed to provide
academic assistance and advising, personal counselling, and cultural enrichment
opportunities for eligible students at the Colleges. The goals of SSS are students are to
maintain good academic standing, persist in college, and graduate with a baccalaureate
degree. As an SSSP, student will have the opportunity to use group and individual tutoring
services, work with a peer mentor, participate in workshops, and travel to attend regional and
local cultural events. SSSP is a program that will help Students to achieve academically
while encouraging to grow personally. The mission is to create a supportive that will make
College experience a positive one.
When students enter a new learning environment, they must successfully adapt to their new
surroundings to effectively learn. For some students, adaptation is as simple as becoming
accustomed to a new physical environment. For others, such as those with language-learning
needs, physical handicaps, or developmental delays, adaptation is a much more complicated
process. To ensure that the education you provide to your pupils is optimal, you must help
them adapt to the learning setting as quickly as possible.
Role of SSSP
Assess student needs, both mental and physical. Use observation and formal
assessments such as diagnostic tests to determine what your students may need. Make
note of any student that appears to require special adaptation assistance, such as those
with physical disabilities or learning difficulties.
Select group or individual accommodations to allow for the overcoming of obstacles.
Create a plan for helping students overcome their struggles. If the entire class has the
same difficulty, create a group accommodation. If individual students need assistance,
plan educational modifications specifically for them.

Observe the effectiveness of accommodations. If the students appear to be acclimating

well, continue with the accommodation. If they continue to struggle, devise a different
plan as this struggle indicates that the accommodation is ineffective.
Discuss difficulties with students. If you notice a student struggling more than his
peers, discuss his difficulties with him candidly. He can likely tell you what he finds
difficult, enabling you to better assist him in overcoming these struggles.
Make changes to the instructional plan as necessary to support student needs. Revisit
your adaptation plan throughout the year, modifying it as necessary. Once students
have fully adapted, gradually remove your accommodations and allow students to
continue through the year unassisted.

Skills or attributes are needed to work in student support services?

The skills necessary to be outstanding when working in student support services are a great
love and respect for students, effective interpersonal skills when working with administrators,
faculties, parents, and students. In addition, a support worker must be a team player and be
proficient in the specific area of undertaking.
The Student Support Services Program is designed to equip students with the skills and
support necessary to succeed in college.

Academic counseling and advising

Personal counseling
Peer mentoring
Free individual and group tutoring
Assistance in applying for financial aid
Educational workshops
Free social and cultural events
Innovative co-curriculum activities

This literature review is structured around a number of key questions in relation to the
provision of student support in HEIs which has been shaped by the development of a mass
higher education system that needs to support students with differing needs on more flexible
programmes of learning. This includes, for example, part-time as well as full-time students,
home and international students, students with disabilities (Avramidis & Skidmore, 2004),
students with caring responsibilities as parents and as carers for elderly relatives and those on
distance learning courses (Rahman, 2002; Stewart, 1993). In addition to these differences the
need for support on more conventional campus-based teaching and learning programmes is
increasing in order to improve retention rates (Gutteridge, 2001) and the quality of higher
education. While the body of research on student support is vast, this literature review
particularly focused on findings from two types of existing research: (1) studies on supports

that lead to increases in students success, particularly for underrepresented student

populations, and (2) research on how to determine the cost-effectiveness of student supports.
Defining Factors that Support Student Success
Based on the Community College Research Centers (CCRC) 2011 Assessment of Evidence
Series (AES) (Bailey, Jaggars & Jenkins, 2011) and a review of hundreds of studies on
strategies designed to increase student success, two key findings emerged. Student support
activities must be:
Integrated into students daily experience
Included in the overall curriculum
According to the literature, effective support must address the whole student by focusing
on both academic and non-academic obstacles to student success: learning [is] a
comprehensive, holistic, transformative activity that integrates academic learning and student
development, processes that have often been considered separate, and even independent of
each other (Keeling, 2004). Research suggests that, wherever possible, student support
structures should be integrated and intrusive in students daily experience so that they
encounter them inside and outside the classroom, in the curriculum and in their assignments
(Bailey, Jaggars & Jenkins, 2011; Karp, 2011; Kuh, Buckley, Bridges & Hayek, 2006; Tinto,
1987). This integrated and comprehensive approach is supported by several studies which
suggest that, in addition to students classroom activities, out-of-class experiences can have
an important effect on their development (Cooper, 2010; Kuh, 1995; Terenzini, Pascarella &
Blimling, 1996).
Six Factors for Success
When reviewed collectively, this research also indicates that students are more likely to
succeed when: (1) they have a goal and a path leading to this goal, (2) they stay motivated to
achieve this outcome, (3) they are engaged in the classroom, (4) they feel connected to the
college community, (5) they believe that their success matters to others and (6) they feel they
are contributing positively to the college culture and community. The RP Group summarized
these factors as directed, focused, engaged, connected, nurtured and valued. We
define these factorsfrom the students perspectiveas:
Directed: students have a goal and know how to achieve it
Focused: students stay on trackkeeping their eyes on the prize
Engaged: students actively participate in class and extracurricular activities
Connected: students feel connected to the college
Nurtured: students feel somebody wants them to succeed and helps them to do so
Valued: students feel what they have to contribute to the college is valued
An examination of promising practices and approaches, coupled with insights gathered in
interviews with practitioners and researchers, highlighted how these six factors for success
contribute to an institutional culture where all community college students can thrive. These

factors can create a positive environmentboth inside and outside the classroomthat offers
the support students may need to realize their educational goals. The following section
provides a brief summary of research themes by success factor, including both information on
how students experience these factors and what colleges can do to promote them in their
learners experience.
Objectives of Student Support Services:

Strengthen relationships.
Provide mentoring from staff and peers to help students find the potential that exists
in each of them.
Equip students with tools to successfully navigate college and successfully support
them to achieve their academic goals.
Provide unique experiences and leadership opportunities which will expand their
vision and view of the world as well as enhance cultural awareness and competence.

Inclusive Student Services Process Model










SWOT Analysis Student Support Services

Strengths (highlight these)

Trained and dedicated staff

Adequate resources (computers, software, supplies, tutorial lab, etc)
Effective instructional programs (Summer Bridge, study skills seminars, tutoring)
Counselling and advising services
Student leadership development
Good database /record keeping
Access to resources
Located in centralized area; easily accessible to other student service departments
Meeting annual performance goals

Weaknesses (mitigate these)

Lack of space for tutorial and counselling services

Lack of College funding to support existing tutorial program and other retention
Lack of consistency as it pertains to maintaining qualified tutors in high risk courses
(i.e. nursing, math, sciences)

Opportunities (exploit these)

Workshops throughout the year
Cultural activities
Computer Aided Instruction
College/University Visitation
Lap top Loan Program
Grant Aid
Book/Video Loan Program
Career Planning/Resume Writing
Financial literacy/financial aid planning resource referrals
Professional development
Threats (defend against these)
Viruses entering the database
Loss of federal funding

Because so many college students spend limited time on campus, they have fewer
opportunities to make use of all of these services. Colleges can address this challenge by
taking steps to integrate support services, using technology where appropriate, into other
activities and experiences that students have on campus. Additionally, attempts are being
made to offer support services through a more centralized approach, rather than in the
decentralized fashion that is customary at many institutions. In a study of effective strategies
for student service programs at colleges, it was recommended that institutions offer more
enhanced student services.Such programs would then be linked to other services, but also
integrated into existing campus-wide reform strategies, thereby allowing student services to
be offered, in a coordinated fashion and over an extended period of time. Since many students
encounter ongoing challenges throughout their academic career related to academic, social,
and financial needs it is imperative to offer students linked and sustained services in all
areas of the college. SSS is an educational program that provides first-generation students
with opportunities that help them successfully complete their degrees/credentials, offering
academic development, counselling, financial guidance, and career development
opportunities. Colleges have also experimented with the one-stop approach to student
This paper has highlighted some efforts and strategies related to student success, particularly
in the area of student support services. Due to space limitations, the paper does not provide an
exhaustive list of examples, but highlights promising practices that support key areas of
research. However, the examples highlighted here as well as those not included confirm
that what we think should help college students in fact, does. However, these institutions
are resource constrained and often have to make tough decisions and trade-offs simply to stay
afloat. For additional information or resources, please feel free to contact the staff at the
Institute for Higher Education Policy.
Students also indicate that they are making use of drop-in study skills support and this is a
useful consideration as some colleges move towards embedded study skills in the
curriculum. The other findings concern the disparity in the provision of student support
services on the different campuses of the colleges and the issues this raises in relation to
accessibility of these services to all students as well as the quality of these services in meeting
the needs of the students. Finally, students offer some suggestions for improving the nature of
induction to the college, including making it more of a process than an event.

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