A journey to a degree is difficult to navigate, and many students fail to get help when they struggle.

Take Flight workshops are geared towards group success alongside individual academic assistance.
Photo provided by Pixabay.

To assist students in this struggle, UCC has designed a series of workshops aimed at assisting students. Take Flight is a collection of workshops, specifically designed for student retention, said Missy Olson, vice president of student and enrollment services. 

Twenty-one Take Flight workshops, many broken down into individual classes, are geared toward students’ successful navigation of academics, work environments, life and educational experiences. The wide scope of Take Flight classes includes degree partnerships, organization and study skills, connecting to UCC resources, healthy relationships and financial planning.  All workshops are geared to help students achieve their graduation goals.

In a term with no pandemic restrictions, a full-time student could spend up to 225 hours with faculty in the course of a term.  Classroom interactions provide context for learning as well as an opportunity for faculty to identify and support students at risk for disengagement. While academic advising and other resources are important to student success, students often spend less than one or two hours per term with their designated advisors.

Arguably one of the most important student learning experiences is connecting with faculty members.  A major focus of the program is to help students develop relationships with faculty. 

A businesswoman leads a speech during a conference.
Photo Provided by Pixabay.

Students who establish a meaningful connection to campus in their first year are more likely to excel as they enter the workforce or university.

Developing a rapport with faculty also allows students to engage in the process of identifying innovative concepts, supporting their own efforts. The college benefits by establishing a culture of faculty-student relations, channeling those practices toward department and institutional priorities.

Without faculty/student interaction, most top-down student success initiatives fail due to communication barriers, according to the National Postsecondary Education Cooperative.  This can create outright opposition or limited reach. Critical reforms pertaining to curriculum requirements, academic policies, advising practices, and transfer all rely on the willingness of faculty to redesign the institutional approach and carry out a new set of procedures while considering student needs.

UCC’s enrollment and student services division worked in collaboration to spearhead the fall term workshop series on very short notice. The money for the student retention project was made available through the federal COVID-19 relief funding, the American Rescue Plan.  Some of the institutional portion of the relief funding was allocated to this program. The grant was written to promote student involvement and evolution during the pandemic.

The workshops offer an excellent incentive program.  Students who attend 3 workshops in the fall term can earn $250.  Students must be on time for the classes and cannot be more than 15 min late to be counted for the workshops.  

A code for each workshop will be given to students at the end of the class.  Codes can be entered into the â€œlog my attendance” section of the UCC Take Flight Workshop page.  Any remaining funds from the fall term workshops will be rolled over to the upcoming winter workshop series.

For more information contact the admission office at 541-440-7743 or admissions@umpqua.edu.

Contact me at:
UCCMainstream@yahoo.com

For more articles by J.R. Williams please click here.