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August 28, 2019 8:45 AM

New program helps students navigate success

A new program through Student Success Services at Conestoga will help provide early intervention and support to students before challenges related to academics and wellness become overwhelming.

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Student Success Advisors are available to all Conestoga students to help effectively navigate the college’s service areas. Erin Downs is one of two SSAs at the Doon campus, located in the Learning Commons.

Student Success Advisors (SSAs) are available to all Conestoga students and act as a first step to navigating college life. 

“Student Success Advisors help students problem solve whatever obstacles they encounter on their path to success at Conestoga,” said Bonnie Lipton-Bos, director of Student Success Services“They offer early support to help tackle small issues before they grow into overwhelming problems. They can help guide students to break down challenging processes into manageable steps, learning to effectively navigate the college’s service areas.”

Meant to act as experts in Conestoga, SSAs can assist students in anything from finding the gender-neutral washrooms on campus to understanding college policies and processes to connecting with on-and-off-campus services and supports. 

Piloted over the last year, Student Success Services said SSAs have already served over 1,700 students with challenges related to topics such as switching programs, managing stress, studying, financials, as well as transitioning to Conestoga and to Canada. 

Students can request support using an online self-referral form, and advising can be done through in-person appointments, over the phone or digitally via email, depending on student preference. SSAs are also available for drop-in appointments during regular office hours. There is at least one full-time SSA at each of the Doon, Cambridge, Guelph, Waterloo and Brantford campuses. 

In addition to self-referrals, faculty can also refer students to SSAs. According to Student Success Services, some students face additional difficulties that faculty may be the first to recognize. Issues related to academic performance, career goals, and general health and well-being could signal a cause for concern. Student Success Services provides tools for faculty to help recognize and respond to student challenges that may benefit from early referral and intervention. 

Conestoga’s Student Success Services is comprised of wellness and learning supports to help students develop skills and gain success. Services include tutoring and academic support, accessible learning, career advising, mental health support and medical care. 

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