F L O R I DA AT L A by jaredazuma


									 F L O R I DA AT L A N T I C U N I V E R S I T Y                                                                                        IS S U E # 1 4 S P R I NG 2 0 0 7

     O F F I C E F O R S T U D E N T R E T E N T I O N N E W S L E T T E R • U N D E R G R A D U AT E S T U D I E S
                                                                                               “PASSPORT TO FAU” program to
                                                                                               continue for new students
                                                                                                The Student Success Committee           transfers. Workshops will focus on
                                                                                                is planning our second annual           setting goals for success,
                                                                                                Passport to FAU                         exploring learning and teaching
                                                                                                Conference—A Travel Guide                         styles, time management,
                                                                                                to Academic Success.                                   stress management,
                                                                                                Students, faculty and staff                           money management,
                                                                                                are collaborating to                                  choosing a major, note-
                                                                                                develop this program to                              taking skills and test-
                                                                                                support first-year and                              taking skills—and will be
                                                                                                transfer students in their                          geared toward meeting
                                                                                                academic journey at                                the needs of both first-
   Learning Community Liaisons coordinate the Freshman graduationGuarav Gondotra                FAU. Students will                                year and transfer students.
   (LC Liaison Assistant), Yaelys Lazcano, Erica Narozny, Malikah Pitts (Assistant Director,    spend one-half day on                            Additional topics on career
   Retention), Collene O’ Reilly, Judith Bettridge (LC Liaison Assistant), Elizabeth Cole;      Saturday, Aug. 25,                               pathways (internships and
   back row: Aldemar (AJ) Londono, Alex Pillow (not pictured: Cara Cepeda, Ruth Janvier,        learning about the                             more) and balancing family
   Thien Nguyen, Margo Torzsa)                                                                  transition into their                         life with work and academics
                                                                                                “new world” at FAU: the new                   will be targeted for transfer
  Learning Community Liaisons Lend a Hand to                                                    “language” new cultures and             students.
  Incoming First-Year Students                                                                  norms, and new expectations, as
                                                                                                well as tips on how to navigate in      For more information about the
                                                                                                their new world.                        Passport to FAU conference or
  The Office for Student Retention               students have been working very
                                                                                                                                        to serve as a presenter, please
  kicked-off its new Learning                    hard to promote the program by                 Separate keynote faculty                contact Malikah Pitts at
  Community (LC) Liaison program                 participating in such events as the            addresses will cover the transition     mpitts3@fau.edu or 561-297-2243.
  this spring. The program is an                 Third Annual Carnival of Majors                to FAU for both freshmen and
  extension of the FAU Peer Mentor               Fair, admission open houses and
  Program developed in Spring                    the Fifth Annual Florida Future               Freshmen to Get a Great Academic
  2005. This new initiative is                   Educators of America (FFEA)
  comprised of learning community                Conference and Teacher                         Start in 2007
  “alumni” who will serve as                     Education Day sponsored by FAU                                       For the first     the meaning and significance of
  mentors and/or tutors to those                 and Palm Beach Community                                             time, FAU         the book as well as gain valuable
  students who are participating in              College.                                                             will offer a      information about the FAU
  the program for the upcoming                                                                                        Freshman          community, how to develop critical
  school year.                                   Our student leaders take pride in                                   PEER MENTORS EXTEND A
                                                                                                                      Reading           reading skills, and to “chat” with
                                                 providing a support system for                                       program—          other incoming students and
  LC Liaisons provide assistance to              our incoming freshmen and
                                                                                                                     HELPING HAND TO LEARNING
                                                                                                                      as students       current FAU students—to gather
  learning community students                    showcasing all the wonderful                                         (and faculty      the important facts every freshman
                                                                                                                     COMMUNITIES AS “LC LIAISONS”
  throughout their first year as these           opportunities here at FAU. They                                      and staff) read   needs to know.
                                                 are excited about sharing their                                      The Orchid        The highlight of the program will
  new students work to meet their
                                                 experiences and are truly looking                                    Thief by          be on Sunday, Aug. 26, when
  educational goals. The LC                                                                                           Susan Orlean.
  Liaisons truly want to make sure               forward to an exciting 2007-08                                                         Susan Orlean is our featured
                                                                                               The freshman reading program is          speaker during the first annual
  these first-year students make a               school year. We are happy to
                                                                                               designed to introduce the incoming       Freshman Convocation at 1 p.m.
  smooth transition from high                    have them on board. For more
                                                                                               freshman to the spirit of inquiry and    in the Carole and Barry Kaye
  school to college.                             information about the LC Liaison              dialogue that is integral to
                                                 program, contact Malikah Pitts at                                                      Performing Arts Auditorium.
                                                                                               becoming a learned person.
  This spring, the students attended             ext. 561-297-2243.                            Current students will engage             For more information about the
  training sessions to develop as a                                                            incoming freshmen in online              freshman reading program, contact
                                                 The Office for Student Retention              discussions about the book               Debbie Raines at draines@fau.edu
  team while learning more about
                                                 would like to send special                    through blackboard groups. In the        or visit www.fau.edu/deanugstudies/
  the various FAU departments and
                                                 congratulations to the 2007-08                virtual community participants will      FreshmanReadingProgram.php.
  services and ways to effectively
                                                 Learning Community Liaisons!                  be able to explore and reflect on
  assist their peers. In addition, the

www.fau.edu/retention                            Call us at (561) 297-2243, e-mail stay@fau.edu or visit us in the University Center, Room 156-A.
  O F F I C E F O R S T U D E N T R E T E N T I O N N E W S L E T T E R • U N D E R G R A D U AT E S T U D I E S
 Living Learning Communities:                                 IEA Study Shows in Student
                                                          Involving Parents Learning
 Growing Stronger Each Year                               Retention Programs Work
                                                                                   A big thanks to the Office for          They gave high marks to their
                                                                                   Institutional Effectiveness and         professors and appreciated the
                                                                                   Analysis who recently undertook         advantages of being in the
                                                                                   a study of freshman learning            same classes with a cohort of
                                                                                   communities to see whether              students. The study used a
                                                                                   participation in an FLC is related      methodology that statistically
                                                                                   to student success. The study           controlled for variables like
                                                                                   found that participation in FLCs        academic preparation, home
                                                                                   is positively associated with           county, gender, race/ethnicity,
                                                                                   retention to the second year            socioeconomic status, major
                                                                                   and to first-year FAU GPA.              and financial aid. For more
                                                                                   Students credit the FLCs with           information on this study,
                                                                                   helping them transition to              contact Yanhua Chen in IEA
Engineering & Computer Science LLC
                                                                                   college and connect with FAU.           at 561-297-2665.
                                                                Women in
                                                                Leadership LLC

 The Living Learning Community (LLC) program has taken off! Since Fall           LLC students prepare Thanksgiving cards and care packages
 2005, the LLC program has expanded from one community of 18                     during a “common hour” service project.
 students to six communities for Fall 2007—with an enrollment of up to
 250 students. With the continuation of the Women’s Leadership, Explore
                                                                                 a second year (“Returners”), our incoming students will gain an honest
 and Engineering LLCs, the following new communities will be joining us:
                                                                                 perspective of college life from “LLC alumni.” These “returners” will
 • Global Connections LLC – Sponsored by the Department of Languages             participate in the “U-Hall move-in” as the residence halls open on Aug.
   and Linguistics, this LLC will be open to students with an interest in        23, assist with organizing individual LLC related programs and activities,
   immersing themselves in culture and language other than English               and serve as mentors and/or tutors to the first-year students.
 • Music LLC – With an emphasis on listening, this LLC will be open to all
                                                                                 We would like to send special congratulations to our 2007-08 Returners:
   students admitted to the music major through audition
 • Healthy Owls (Wellness) LLC – This community is open to all first-year        Engineering & Computer Science LLC: Juergen Henry and
   students who want to learn more about and live a healthy life                 Kevin Williams.
 The LLCs will encompass nearly an entire wing in the Heritage Park              Women’s Leadership LLC: Lauren DeVegh, Avril Porresa Emmamuel,
 Towers residence hall. In addition to students taking classes together,         Jessica Godard, Daniella Gonzalez, Sasha Christine Graham, Erica
 the students will continue to participate in weekly common hour                 Narozny, Erin O’Grady, Rebecca Sam.
 activities. With the assistance of students continuing with the LLC for
                                                                                 What a wonderful
                                                                                 opportunity and the
                                                                                 beginning of such a great
                                                                                 tradition at FAU. For
                                                                                 more information about
                                                                                 the LLC program, contact
                                                                                 Malikah Pitts at
                                                                                 561-297-2243 or

                                                                                                                               (Left) Jill Eckardt (Director of
                                                                                                                               Housing and chair of the Women
                                                                                                                               in Leadership LLC program)
                                                                                                                               celebrates the end of a great
                                     Members of the “Explore and Engineering                                                   semester with two of her
                                     LLCs” read to local children and complete                                                 students.
                                     projects with them during a “common hour”
                                     service project.
Student Success Series Calendar                                                         Edwardo Santiago Joins
                                                        Faculty and
                                                        staff who are
                                                                                        Retention Staff
                                                        planning fall events
                                                        and programs
                                                        are urged to
                                                        submit them to
                                                        the Office for
                                                        Student Retention
                                                        for inclusion in the
                                                        Student Success
                                                        Series calendar
                                                        of events. This
                                                        online calendar
                                                        is designed to
                                                        give students
                                                        information about
                                                        lectures, programs
                                                        and other events
                                                        of interest taking
place on all campuses. Categories include Academic Engagement
and Exploration, Finances and Budgeting, Alcohol and Other Drug
Awareness, Health and Wellness, Career Development and
Exploration, Leadership, Current Issues, Personal Enhancement,                           We are pleased to welcome Edwardo “Eddie” Santiago as the new
Diversity and Activities and Events. Please submit information (event                    office assistant in the Office for Student Retention. Eddie is a current
title, date, time, location, contact information and 1-2 sentence                        student in Florida Atlantic University majoring in Business
description) to Jennifer Bebergal at bebergal@fau.edu. For more                          Management. His hobbies are playing bass guitar and basketball,
information, call her at 561-297-2432. This year’s calendar can be                       shooting pool and watching movies with his close friends. In addition
viewed at wise.fau.edu/success/. While events listed will be open to all                 to his new responsibilities as the office assistant he will be working
FAU students on all campuses, freshmen enrolled in SLS 1503 will be                      closely with the Learning Community students. Eddie can be reached
especially encouraged to attend. Please note that these students have                    at esantia5@fau.edu or 561-297-0906.
built-in free time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon and
on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m.

 A frequent question we hear in the Office for Student Retention is: “What can I
do as a member of the FAU community to enhance student satisfaction and
retention?” To address this question, each Stay@FAU newsletter contains “how
can I help” tips for faculty and staff — things that you can do to help to retain
students and promote student success.

How You Can Help Students
in Distress
borrowed with permission from the University of Texas at Austin Counseling and
Mental Health Center
 Students encounter stress for a                expression of interest and
 variety of reasons. Academics,                 concern by a faculty or
 family problems, social                        staff member may be a
 situations, work and financial                 critical factor in helping a
 problems are just some of the                  struggling student re-
 sources of stress. While most                  establish the emotional
 students cope successfully with                equilibrium necessary for
 the demands of college life, for               success in a university
 some the pressures become                      environment.                          students mature, both                 the type of interactions you
 overwhelming and                                                                     emotionally and intellectually.       have. It's important to be realistic
 unmanageable.                                  Your willingness to respond to        Some students may be more             about what you can offer when
                                                students in distress will             open to assistance than others.       making a decision about how
 The inability to cope effectively              undoubtedly be influenced by          In addition, factors such as class    you can help a student.
 with emotional stress poses a                  your personal style and your          size or the depth of your
 serious threat to a student's                  particular beliefs about the limits   relationship with the student may     To help a student in distress, you
 overall functioning. The                       of responsibility for helping         also have a substantial effect on     must first figure out if the student

                                                                                                                                              continued on page 4
   O F F I C E F O R S T U D E N T R E T E N T I O N N E W S L E T T E R • U N D E R G R A D U AT E S T U D I E S
  How You Can Help Students in Distress cont’d from page 4

  is in crisis or stress. There is a difference      If you need help in assessing the situation,
  between students who are in a serious              call the counseling center at the numbers
  mental health crisis and those who are             below. You may also consider walking the
  suffering from lower levels of stress.             student to the counseling center during
  Understanding the difference will help you         office hours since this is often an excellent
  respond appropriately to the situation.            way of showing support.

  A crisis is a situation in which an individual's   At one time or another, everyone feels
  usual style of coping is no longer effective,      depressed or upset. However, there are
  and the emotional or physiological response        warning signs for stress, which, when
  begins to escalate. As emotions intensify,         present over time, suggest that the
  coping becomes less effective, until the           problems a person is dealing with may be a
  person may become disoriented, non-                cause for concern. In these circumstances,
  functional or attempt harm. If a student is in a   you might see or hear the following:
  serious mental health crisis, you might see or
                                                     • Uncharacteristic changes in academic
  hear the following:
  • Suicidal statements or suicide attempts
                                                     • Uncharacteristic changes in attendance         • Be direct and non-judgmental.
  • Homicidal threats, written or verbal, or           at class or meetings                             Express your concern in behavioral,
    attempted homicide or assault                                                                       nonjudgmental terms. Be direct and
                                                     • Depressed or lethargic mood                      specific. For example, say something like
  • Destruction of property or other
    criminal acts                                    • Hyperactivity and/or rapid speech                "I've noticed you've been absent from
                                                                                                        class lately, and I'm concerned," rather
  • Extreme anxiety resulting in panic reactions     • Social withdrawal                                than "Why have you missed so much
                                                     • Marked change in personal dress,                 class lately?”
  • Inability to communicate (e.g., garbled or
    slurred speech, disjointed thoughts)               hygiene, eating and/or sleeping routines       • Listen sensitively. Listen to thoughts and
                                                     • Repeatedly falling asleep in class               feelings in a sensitive, non-threatening way.
  • Loss of contact with reality (e.g.,                                                                 Communicate understanding by repeating
    expressing beliefs or actions at odds with       • Requests for special consideration,              back the essence of what the student has
    reality)                                           especially if the student is uncomfortable       told you. Try to include both the content
  • Highly disruptive behavior (e.g., hostility,       talking about the circumstances                  and feelings. For example, "It sounds like
    aggression, violence)                              prompting the request                            you're not accustomed to such a big
                                                                                                        campus and you're feeling left out of
                                                     • New or recurrent behavior that pushes the
                                                                                                        things." Remember to let the student talk.
  If you believe there may be imminent danger          limits of decorum and that interferes with
  of harm to a student or someone else, as             the effective management of your class,        • Refer. Point out that help is available and
  evidenced by several of these crisis                 work team, etc.                                  seeking help is a sign of strength. Make
  symptoms, immediately call the FAU Police                                                             some suggestions about places to go for
                                                     • Unusual or exaggerated emotional                 help. (An advisor, the Counseling Center,
  or dial 911.                                         response to events                               Today and Beyond Wellness are just
                                                     If you choose to approach a student you            some examples.)
                                                     are concerned about or if a student seeks        • Follow up. Following up is an important
                                                     you out, here are some suggestions which           part of the process. Check with the student
                                                     might be helpful:                                  later to find out how he or she is doing.
                                                                  • Talk to the student in private      Provide support as appropriate.
                                                                    when both of you have time
                                                                    and are not rushed or             CONTACT THE FAU COUNSELING CENTER:
                                                                    preoccupied. Give the             Boca Raton Campus: (561) 297-3540;
                                                                    student your undivided            Student Services Bldg (8), rm. 229
                                                                    attention. It is possible that
                                                                    just a few minutes of effective   Davie Campus: (954) 236-1216;
                                                                    listening on your part may be     Modular 38-I
                                                                    enough to help the student        Jupiter Campus: (561) 799-8621
                                                                    feel comfortable about what
                                                                    to do next.

                                                         the University’s Retention newsletter is published bi-annually. Please

                                                         look for future issues that will go in-depth with some of the key
                                                         services that enhance student persistence and how YOU can help
                                                         increase student excellence and graduation rates of our students.

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