Student Support Services success affirmed by grant
Sidney Childs (right) works with Alayna Bickerstaff, a secondary math education major
The success stories are numerous: the BGSU alumna who is now a high school principal in Maryland, the second-year law student specializing in Constitutional law at the University of Akron.
Although many at first doubted themselves, a common factor in their achievement is that all received advising, academic support and career guidance through the Student Support Services program (SSS) in the TRIO Programs office. Now the office has received its largest grant ever—nearly $3 million over five years—to continue its outreach to first-generation, low-income students and to students with disabilities.
The amount was also the biggest program award in the state. “The competition was very stiff,” said Sidney Childs, TRIO Programs executive director.
“We’ve been successful for over 35 years,” he said. “Our goal is to increase the retention and graduation rate of the program’s participants and, as a pipeline program, to help prepare them for graduate school. It’s very holistic; we prepare them both academically and socially.”
While the grant is intended to serve 350 students, SSS staff members annually provide multiple services for even more, and “with the increase in class size this year, we will probably see a proportionate increase in the number of student applicants for program services,” Childs said.
The program is the focal point for students’ needs, from financial aid to co-curricular activities. In addition to academic and career development advising, participants in SSS receive free tutoring in most courses and individualized assistance in math, writing and reading and study skills. One of the freshman courses they take is linked with a sociology class as part of the first-year experience. “Financial literacy is a huge piece,” Childs said. In addition, the program delivers a specific set of core services each of a student’s four years. The junior year, for example, includes guidance in the graduate school application process and job/co-op experience.
“I see SSS as a microcosm of the University,” Childs said. “We’re here to enhance and supplement the University experience in a very intentional way. We’re fully integrated into the University administrative structure, and BGSU has always given us strong institutional support.
“We don’t label. We tell students, ‘We’re going to meet you where you are and help take you where you need to be (and where we think you need to be, because they don’t always know) for you to be successful.’”
Faculty training series for online teaching begins
A new, on-campus faculty training series on achieving excellence online begins Thursday (Sept. 16). The Center for Online and Blended Learning will host the sessions from 10-11 a.m. on the third Thursday of each month this semester in 104 University Hall.
The sessions and topics are:
Sept. 16: A Blueprint for Quality in Online Course Design
Oct. 21: Game-Changing Technologies that Enhance Learning
Nov. 18: Designing Dynamic Online Group Work Experiences
Dec. 16: Setting Students up for
For more information on the sessions and on how to reserve a seat, visit their website.
Comments invited at Speech & Hearing Clinic forum
The master's degree program in Communication Sciences and Disorders is accredited by the Council on Academic Accreditation (CAA) in Audiology and Speech-Language Pathology of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. A team of three site visitors will be visiting BSGU’s program on Oct. 4 and 5. As part of the process, members of the community are invited to a public meeting from 5-6 p.m. Oct. 4 in 252 Health Center.
The site visitors will be interested in perceptions of our academic program and/or the services of our Speech and Hearing Clinic. A copy of the Standards and/or the CAA's policy on public comments may be obtained by contacting the CAA Office, American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, 2200 Research Blvd., Rockville, MD 20850. Individuals may also call ASHA's Action Center at 1-800-498-2071. In addition, access to this information will be available on
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