Lakeland Community College's Student Success Navigator program was awarded two grants to help support a newly-created role to keep students focused on success. Electrical and industrial power management corporation Eaton provided $10,000 and the S. Livingston Mather Charitable Trust provided an additional $5,000 toward this initiative in support of education. Funds will be distributed through The Lakeland Foundation.
The grants will fund the part-time salary of a dedicated success navigator to work with students who are struggling and in danger of not completing their education. This comes in light of the college's focus on training and educating more students and incumbent workers to meet the needs of local manufacturers.
The student success navigator will work with faculty and staff to provide students with the tools necessary for academic achievement and to graduate with a certificate or associate degree.
"We applaud Lakeland's commitment to workforce development," said Chris Hess, vice president of public affairs at Eaton. "And because many students are faced with challenges that could blur the path to their education, we are happy to contribute to this initiative. Our local economy thrives when these individuals succeed, so we support efforts that contribute to helping them keep success within sight."
The success navigator's focus will center on four main areas:
Early Alert System Services - connecting students to campus resources, including direct follow-up with students in the early-alert queue.
Academic Tutoring - providing academic readiness skill tutoring to at-risk cohorts, including—but not exclusive to—nursing students, developmental English students, English as a Second Language (ESL) course students and student athletes.
Academic Study Skills Coaching - helping to improve overall college study skills. The navigator will also offer subject-specific tutoring, as determined by skills, in subjects such as math, writing and ESL.
College Success Outreach Presentations - conducting outreach aimed at addressing issues common to many struggling students including topics such as academic motivation and goal setting, and how to be successful in an online class, among others.
"The role of a student success navigator is critical to improving the skills of our future workforce and increasing college graduation rates," said Jennifer Collis, Ph.D., associate provost for strategic educational programs and retention initiatives. "This emphasis on the success of students in manufacturing-facing programs especially, is strategic to Lakeland's mission of serving all students through quality learning opportunities to meet the social and economic needs of the community. We are extremely grateful for these grants to be able to continue on toward that goal."