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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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 Community 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 members 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 email@example.com (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 workshops, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com or 561-297-0906. built-in free time on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at noon and on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 4 p.m. HOW CAN I HELP 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. STUDENTS IN A SERIOUS MENTAL HEALTH CRISIS STUDENTS IN STRESS 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: performance • 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. www.fau.edu/counseling the University’s Retention newsletter is published bi-annually. Please STAY@FAU www.fau.edu/retention 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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