The Continuing Student Initiative began last academic year with a partnership between the Counseling Departments at Alexandria and Annandale Campuses to (1) promote earlier advising, planning and registration of continuing students; (2) connect continuing students to their faculty advisors; and (3) assist students in using their information literacy and critical thinking skills in this process. With the understanding that the College will have students who will use the latter part of the summer to finalize their academic plans, two activities were piloted to provide assistance to continuing students and reduce the wait time in Student Services before the start of classes.
The Alexandria Campus provided Open Advising and Registration Labs which allowed continuing students to visit a computer lab to access their academic planner and receive advisement/assistance with registration. Students who failed to meet Satisfactory Academic Progress for Financial Aid were also able to use the lab to complete their appeals and plan for the upcoming semesters. The goal of the Open Advising and Registration Lab was to guide students in using the self-service resources provided by the College in their academic preparation. The lab was open for seven days before classes started from 12:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. in the Bisdorf Building.
The Annandale Campus initiated the Express Counseling table in the lobby of the CA building which allowed students with quick advising questions and administrative matters the opportunity to avoid waiting in the center. Students were identified by the front desk staff as candidates for this service and were provided with passes to see the Express Counselor on duty. This service allowed 553 students who needed less face-to-face time with a counselor to be seen more quickly from July 22 to August 22.
The CSI Initiative will continue by communicating future programming initiatives to students prior to the spring 2014 registration period with the goal of early registration. For example, the newly re-designed SDV 100-College Success Skills course gives the instructors the option to give extra credit to students who register before the end of the semester. If you are interested in collaborations to provide early outreach to continuing students and/or have any suggestions, you may contact either Dr. Sherri Anna Brown at Alexandria or Raymond Jones at Annandale.