Student Services and Student Success
Student Services and Student Success
The literature review tackles on the research problem: “School Services: Its Role in and Contribution to College Student Success”. It includes researches done on school services and student success. The organization of this review is on the order of answering the research questions. A SUCCESSFUL STUDENT The first research question is: What are the indicators of college student success? The review will look into (a) the definition of student success, and (2) how schools particularly in higher educational institutions measure student success. What does it take to be successful?
As what students would always ask as soon as they enter college life. But how do we describe a successful student? According to Zepke, Leach, and Butler (2011) student success is “variously understood as engagement, persistence, completion, graduation and entry to employment” (p. 227). But not merely limited to achieving high scores in an exam but to put in a deeper sense, success covers a wider aspect in a student’s life. In the article, The Thriving Quotient by Shreiner (2010) common notion equates student success with academic performance and persistence to graduation.
She further emphasizes that for those “who have worked extensively with students know that there is more to a successful college experience than grades and graduation” (p. 3). There is an empirical factor that drives students to succeed. There is the existence of a thriving quotient, where thriving is “describing the experiences of college students who are fully engaged intellectually, socially, and emotionally” (p. 4). These thriving students will have a deeper sense of fulfillment that extends beyond academics but with other aspects of learning as well.
This will allow them to gain more than mere conceptual ideas but experiential learning too. And in order to help institutions measure their effectiveness in providing students with worthwhile college experiences, she developed an instrument that measures thriving. Analyses indicated that thriving is “indeed a distinct construct comprised of: (1) engaged learning, (2) academic determination, (3) positive perspective, (4) diverse citizenship, and (5) social connectedness” (p. 5).
Institutions, therefore, play an important role in ensuring that students perspective in life is positive, “students with a positive perspective keep trying; even when progress is slow or difficult, they remain confident of their ability to achieve the final outcome and therefore persist in the face of challenges” (p. 7). Moreover, the students should be given an opportunity to “envision a bright future for themselves, and this image serves to motivate them to persevere when the going gets tough” (p. 8).
Therefore, higher institutions should focus on how students thrive, more than just surviving college life since it connotes a deeper understanding of student success. On the other hand, in Fostering Student Success in the Campus Community, Kramer and Assoc. (2007) explain, student success “takes on a variety of forms and is related to a multitude of characteristics, conditions, indicators, outcomes, and institution-specific factors” (p. 433). It takes on different variations depending on the circumstances of the student. Each student has different needs and they face various types of deterrents for success.
This implies that different approaches should be laid down and prepared to address these various needs. Another point, higher educational institution should not only look into graduation as their sole basis for student success but rather look into other indicators as well. Bailey (2006, as cited in Kramer, 2007) enumerates the following indicators: (a) student’s skills for work; (b) employment for the purpose of serving the society; (c) getting hired after completing coursework; (d) being financially literate; (e) engagement in civic works; (f) achieving basic general information; (g) licenses and certifications, and (g) continuing learning.
These indicators will facilitate in assessing student success. Another important matter that needs to be factored in when we talk about student success is the role of assessment and evaluation of programs and services. This will help gauge the amount of learning that students receive from their academics and non-academic experience. Likewise, the institution will be able to tailor fit their service offerings based on these assessments. Certainly, there should be a drive to foster student success at all times. STUDENT SERVICES Every institution must provide for the needs of its students.
They shall aspire to meet the demands of the changing times as well as the evolving kind of students that we have now. In order to do so, each institution is called to provide services to address these demands. This brings me to my second research question that is: What student services are expected to be provided by higher educational institutions? According to Arbuckle (1953), the need for student services is inevitable. He says, “Most college students are adolescents, and, even in an environment where they are understood and accepted, for almost every student there will be occasions when he will be in need of assistance” (p.1).
This entails that each student is expecting help from any authority as soon as they step into the school. Furthermore, “every institution of higher learning needs a program of student services that is dedicated to the welfare of the individual student” (p. 2). The institution then has the responsibility to ensure that they provide services that will address the concern of all students. Needless to say, the programs and services of the institution should cater to the holistic development of the student –physically, socially, emotionally, and spiritually, as well as intellectually.
Those services mentioned in the book are the following: “(a) admissions, (b) orientation, (c) counseling, (d) occupations, (e) health, (f) student aid, (g) religion, (h) housing and dining, (i) student activities, and (j) teaching” (p. 22). With each of these services addresses specific concerns that each student experience in school. For Kramer and Assoc. (2003), there are those services which are intended for the purpose of providing students with opportunities to enrich themselves through programs intended for personal development and learning.
It is also intended to assist the student in their academic deficiencies, as well as to prevent future academic and personal difficulties. Finally, services will facilitate the students stay in the university as comfortably as possible. It is also important to note that an effective program and service engages the student both in the learning and assessment process. This involvement will provide the student an opportunity to reflect on its own performance and allows them to realize ways on how to deal with barriers that hamper their own success.
The student should be given the chance to fully optimize the learning that is available both inside and outside of the classroom. In The role of student affairs and services in higher education: a practical manual for developing, implementing and assessing student affairs programmes and services the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO, 2002) clearly states that in an institution the office of student affairs is among one of those who provide critical programs and services to students.
They have the task of providing highly effective and efficient services that enhances student learning likewise increase student retention and graduation rates. The student affairs practitioners are supposed to be knowledgeable with regard to dealing with students. They should have an in-depth knowledge of the uniqueness of each student, generally in all aspects as well as their behavior and motivation which are all critical factors that uphold student success.
The manual “focuses on ways to build an effective student affairs and services operation that puts the student at the center of all efforts by supporting students in their academic endeavors and enhancing their personal, social, cultural, and cognitive development” (p. 2). Moreover, the manual presented different programs and services used in other countries as well. In light of the emerging student type, there came a need to establish programs and services which encompasses “recreation, cultural activities, sports, testing, orientation, career assistance, job placement, financial assistance, and disability services” (p.22).
This later on were enhanced and made in collaboration with the academic units in order to produce an integrated student-centered programs and services. Hence, providing programs and services to students is an unending process. It continuously evolves as the students evolve themselves differently year in year out. Therefore, it is a necessity to constantly conduct assessment and evaluation of programs and services to check its applicability to the current set of students.
In the Philippines, according to Memorandum Order no. 21, also known as “Guidelines on Student Affairs and Student Services,” of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED, 2006), states that in any university or school, the student affairs and services “are concerned with non-academic experiences of students to attain total student development” (p. 2). Just the same, the holistic development of a student should and always be the guiding principle in an institution.
And in order to facilitate student development towards student success, an institution should provide the following services to its students: (A) Student welfare programs and services, include (1) information and orientation, (2) scholarships and financial assistance, (3) health, (4) guidance and counseling, (5) food, (6) career and placement, (7) safety and security, (8) student discipline, (9) student housing, (10) services for students with special needs, (11) international students services, (12) admission, (13) research, monitoring, and evaluation of student affairs and services.
Then, (B) Student development programs and services, include (1) student organizations and activities, (2) student council/ government, (3) leadership training program, (4) student publication, (5) sports development programs, (6) cultural programs, (7) social and community involvement, and (8) multi-faith services. (pp. 5-10) All these programs and services are multi-faceted that are geared towards creating an institutional environment wherein each students’ experience are worthwhile.
STUDENT SERVICES and STUDENT SUCCESS It is apparent that student services should be assessed or evaluated whether it contribute and pose a positive impact on the lives of the students most specifically in the attainment of success. For Morante (2003), assessment of academic and student services is essential. Assessment will enable the institution to identify whether their programs are effective and if it provides a positive impact on students.
The function of which is: “(a) to focus on student learning outcomes (SLO’s),which includes processes, especially in seeking ongoing improvement, (b) to demonstrate and improve student learning and student success, and (c) to facilitate accreditation, accountability and institutional effectiveness ” (p. 3). The third research question is: Which of these student services have been shown to positively contribute to student success? In what ways did it contribute?
In the article of Chaney, Muraskin, Cahalan, and Goodwin (1998), they found that with the use of “Student Support Services (SSS)” (p.197), there were significant changes in the progress of disadvantaged student in higher education in the United States (U. S. ).
They conducted a longitudinal study of the effect of SSS on retention. Clearly the “results confirm that retention programs should address both academic and social integration on campus” (p. 197). The SSS is one of the largest programs provided by the U. S. Department of Education to the following groups of people: “(a) low income, (b) first-generation college students, and (c) physically handicapped” (p. 198).
The SSS is comprised of services which are specifically selected to cater to a certain group of people. It include, “ counseling, tutoring, workshops, labs, cultural events, special services to handicapped students, and instructional courses” (p. 198) Some other important points tackled were participation, student integration and the amount of services provided as factors contributing to the positive effect of SSS to retention. Keep in mind that retention is likewise is attributed to student success; therefore, it can be qualified that the SSS program will have a positive impact on student success.
The SSS program facilitated students’ capacity to stay in college by providing sufficient amount of help needed to succeed. To cite a specific example showing a significant and positive impact on student’s success is the study conducted by Lanasa, Olson, and Alleman (2007). They examined whether providing a resident hall within the campus would increase student engagement that will eventually lead to student success. Relatively, the on-campus residence hall may have helped students to have more time for outside of the classroom engagements.
Nonetheless, the institution will still need to focus on other programs and services for the students that will form part the entire learning process of the student. On the other hand, institutions should also address the needs of all types of students. It is a reality that in every institution there are students who are “special”, those who are challenged in various ways. Capper, Frattura, and Keyes (2000), connotes that all people even those with special needs, have an equal opportunity in an institution to learn and succeed.
They believe that these students “have a continuum of needs—physical, social, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual—that fluctuate and vary over time, depending on circumstances” (p 1). Then in order for these types of students to succeed, the institution should learn the fundamentals in addressing the students need and eventually unlocking all of his or her potential and capacity to learn. They taught students with special abilities by looking deeply into the specific need that needed attention. Programs were tailored-fit depending on a specific need the student has.
Continuous monitoring and evaluation is done in order to ensure that students are able to follow and eventually learn. RELEVANCE OF THE REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE After going through all that was mentioned on student services and its role in and contribution to student success, I am convinced that indeed student services play an important, more so, critical role in promoting student success in higher education. Moreover, Drake (2005) in his article mentioned about the collaboration of academic and student affairs to boost student learning and success in the school.
Basically, everybody in the institution has a role to play in assuring the success of a student both inside and outside the classroom. Furthermore, the institution should support programs and services that promote student learning and success. REFERENCES: Arbuckle, D. (1953). Student personnel services in higher education. US: McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. Capper, C. , Frattura, E. , & Keyes, M. (2000). Meeting the needs of students of all abilities: How leaders go beyond inclusion. US: Corwin Press, Inc. Chaney, B. , Muraskin, L. , Cahalan, M. , & Goodwin, D.
(1998). Helping the progress of disadvantaged students in higher education: The federal student support services program. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Vol. 20 No. 3, 197-215. CHED. (2006). Guidelines on Student Affairs and Services Program. Retrieved August 10, 2011 from http://www. ched. gov. ph/chedwww/index. php/eng/Information/CHED-Memorandum-Orders/2006-CHED-Memorandum-Orders. Dale, P. and Drake, T. (2005) Connecting Academic and Student Affairs to Enhance Student Learning and Success. New Directions for Community Colleges, No. 131, 51-64.
Kramer and Assoc. (2003) Student Academic Services. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Kramer and Assoc. (2007) Fostering student success in the campus community. San Francisco, CA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Lanasa, S. , Olson, E. & Alleman, N. (2007). The impact of on-campus student growth on first-year student engagement and success. Research in Higher Education, Vol. 48, No. 8. doi: 10. 1007/s11162-007-9056-5. Morante, E. (2003). Assessing student services and academic support services. iJournal: Insight Into Student Services, Issue No. 4, 2-8. Schreiner, L.
(2010). The “thriving quotient”: A new vision for student success. About Campus , 2-10. doi: 10. 1002. abc. 20016 UNESCO. (2002). The role of student affairs and services in higher education: a practical manual for developing, implementing and assessing student affairs programmes and services. Retrieved August 10, 2011 from http://unesdoc. unesco. org/images/0012/001281/128118e. pdf. Zepke, Nick, Leach, Linda, & Butler, Philippa (2011). Non-institutional influences and student perceptions of success Studies in Higher Education, Vol. 36 Issue 2, 227-242.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 21 October 2016
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