Colleges have already considered these challenges and are using some interventions to help new students such as, informational orientation sessions or first year experience programs (e.g., advising sessions, service learning opportunities, and seminars). These programs provide students a chance to interact with faculty in a more informal way. The students also receive much needed social support from these programs, which is a factor known to enhance student success during their first year (Mattanah et al., 2010, pp. 94). Despite this conscious effort to provide programs of a helpful nature to first year students, many colleges are dealing with high attrition rates.
High school graduates in the United States are attending college in higher numbers. In 2005, 68% of high school graduates entered college within four months of their graduation. And, 40% of these high school graduates failed to complete college due to attrition (e.g., the “wearing down” that occurs during student’s first year). It has also been found that more than half of all students who leave college do so in the first six weeks of classes. Students who are new to the higher learning process need support to understand what th...
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...and perhaps create more jobs for faculty members. This weekly intervention could be facilitated by graduate honors students who have already completed advanced studies in their field. Each facilitator could also have experience in leading groups and faculty could supervise their sessions, which could be cost-effective for the school.
This particular intervention may not be appropriate outside of an educational system. However, it seems like a good fit for anyone who is essentially struggling within a newer, bigger system (e.g., transitioning from on-campus to online community). Overall, support groups are a great way to provide a helpful service to people in various agencies. It is a way to reach out to others and keep people engaged in their community. They make significant impact on incoming students and they can be financially prudent in terms of service delivery.
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