By Lexus Yamashiro | Staff Writer
KCC’s Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs, Brenda Ivelisse, has allotted $50,000 to the Student Success Council (SSC) in means to provide financial assistance for second-year students.
This is being distributed to second-year students who will be granted up to $2,000 as a scholarship to help pay for second-year students tuition ($1,000 toward Fall 2016 and $1,000 toward Spring 2016). The council is looking for students who demonstrate outstanding academic work, leadership, and service to the campus and community. If chosen, the student will not only receive the $2,000 scholarship but will also serve on the Student Success Council.
Applications can be submitted online at http://go.hawaii.edu/jOV. The deadline to apply is Sept. 30.
This scholarship is being offered to only second-year students due to the fact that there is a First-Year Experience Program. Therefore, the Second-Year Experience Program barely receives much in terms of scholarships, according to the SSC, and the students don’t get the attention that they deserve to help them be successful, which in some cases has led to dropouts.
“We want to encourage everyone who qualifies to apply because we feel that this is a priority for, you know, us to provide support to help them finish and earn their degrees,” said Kelli Goya, who is a Pathways Coordinator and member of the three-person team of the Student Success Council. “… So we want to encourage them to apply and even if they’re not sure.”
The eligibility requirements are:
- Currently be enrolled in at least 6 credits
- Declare their home campus as KCC
- Be a classified student in a degree/certificate program
- Earn at least 30 credits or more KCC
- Have a cumulative GPA of 2.75 or higher at KCC
A letter of recommendation is not required, but rather a few references and an essay is asked from those who apply. The council expects that the students who receive this scholarship will potentially graduate the same year and that this will help the student to extend their semester rather than dropping out halfway through.
“One of the reasons I would like students to apply and show is that there’s a great number of students that are in need and it shows our college that this is an area that we should be focusing on,” said Veronica (Vern) Ogata, who is the SSC Coordinator and Chair. “… We truly believe in student success … so I think it tells our college that this is where resources need to be placed for students because we see a dropoff, and we need them to be successful.”
The benefit that second-year students receive from earning this scholarship is not only for the money that will help cover the student’s tuition, but to also serve on the SSC itself, and take leadership in what they do as they will interact with faculty and students on campus. The council will also help to provide counseling, and track each student during receiving their award. Students who apply for the scholarship should be notified within 1-2 weeks of the deadline whether they have been selected or not.
The Student Success Council is a committee that was founded by the faculty senate directive to help advance student success due to many faculty and students discussing that student success should be paid more attention too. The council first began forming back in 2013 when recommendations were made to help advance and acknowledge student success; after writing a 50-page report the committee was able to achieve about 88%-90% of the recommendations that were generated amongst students faculty on campus.
Since the SSC has been put together, it has been focusing to help those in their second-year to provide assistance in bridging over from their first year into their second and be reassured that there are resources on campus that they can go to and apply for to have a successful second year.
These tasks have helped the council to create a “Student Success Campus Culture” for everybody and have found ways on how to improve on student success within KCC. Since August 1, Ogata, Goya, and Cory Ando have worked together toward a new membership and new purpose for themselves and the students.
The process of establishing the council was fairly quick. Within the course of 2 months, funds were provided from college achievement grants for the committee before even knowing what to do with it. During the summer, the three got together to determine what they would do in terms of giving away these funded grants, to which they came to the decision of making them scholarships for students attending KCC.
“I would just say don’t hesitate and apply,” said Ando, the Second-Year Experience Program Coordinator. “And if you have questions, let me know … but don’t let that stop you from applying.”