Student Support Services
The federally funded Student Support Services (SSS) Program provides comprehensive services to 200 low-income and/or first generation college students. Through its services the program provides opportunities for academic development, assists students with college requirements and serves to motivate students toward the successful completion of their postsecondary education. The focus of the learning community is the individual student and we are committed to supporting students throughout their college career through the following: academic and personal advising, priority tutoring, freshman mentoring program, technology assessment, as well as courses specifically designed to enhance college success. Additional services include cultural programming, help with financial aid and financial management, career development, and a scholarship program for freshmen and sophomores who qualify for the federal Pell Grant.
Eligible students are referred to the program from a variety of sources such as admissions, high school counselors, a community college advisor, or an Appalachian faculty member. Enrolled students can also refer themselves to the program. The goal of the SSS program is to increase the college retention and graduation rates of its participants.
Support for Student Support Services is provided by Appalachian State University and the U.S. Department of Education.
About SSS in the words of our participants (streaming video link):
(produced by SSS Student Nakia Hewitt)
Services provided by the program include:
- Student Support Services Scholarship – Recipients of the Federal Pell Grant are eligible for this scholarship during their first 2 years if they complete program requirements. In addition SSS generally secures between $40-50,000 in additional scholarships for our students.
- Academic Advising and personal support from Orientation to Graduation – SSS participants are are assigned an SSS Advisor to assist them with academic, career, and personal growth needs throughout their college career to ensure graduation.
- Priority Registration – Once SSS participants have met with their Advisor for early registration advising and have completed program requirements they are issued a priority permit which allows them to register before their peers every semester through graduation.
- Priority Tutoring – Guaranteed individual and group tutoring in any subject through graduation.
- strong>Academic Workshops for Freshmen and Continuing students– Academic Workshops are offered on a variety of topics such as: Extracurricular Involvement, Career Development, Financial Management and Budgeting, Study Abroad, Graduate School, FAFSA, and Final Exams.
- A Supportive Mentor Program in the First Year – A caring, accomplished graduate student who engages in ongoing training and who meets with their assigned freshmen weekly to provide ongoing orientation and academic and personal support.
- Learning Skills Services/ Courses – (Time Management and Effective Study Skills, Transitions to College, Power Reading ) 1 or 2 hour credit courses designed to build community among SSS students, enhance academic and management skills, and discuss life outside the classroom.
- General Education Required First Year Seminar and First Year Writing Course – Both courses are taught by the SSS English Instructor. Both courses have a special focus on writing, research, and interdisciplinary studies.
- Cultural Events – During the Freshmen year events are provided that tie into academic goals such as film nights, field trips, service learning projects, cultural performances on campus, and an interdisciplinary cultural/graduation celebration at the end of the year.
- Technology Support – During their first year participants will take the SSS Technology Assessment to assess and address participants’ need for technology training and support initially and throughout their college career.
- Lending Library – Students enrolled in the SSS First Year Seminar and English 1000 courses have access to novels required in the courses.
SSS Participants are required to participate in the following program components throughout their college career:
- Early Advising Meeting with their SSS Advisor each semester
- Academic Advising and Preregistration with their SSS Advisor each semester
- Freshman Mentor Program – meet with their assigned mentor for 30 minutes each week
- Freshman Academic Lab – attend one academic lab per week (quiet study time)
- Freshman Academic Workshops – Attend all required workshops during their Freshman Year (4-6 workshops in the Fall; 2-3 workshops in the Spring)
- Continuing Student Academic Workshops – Attend the Workshop Fair during the Fall Semester