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Department Spotlight: UWL Student Support Services

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Department Spotlight: UWL Student Support Services

retrieved from uwlax.edu

retrieved from uwlax.edu

retrieved from uwlax.edu

retrieved from uwlax.edu

Chantal Zimmermann, Features Reporter

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The University of Wisconsin-La Crosse provides Student Support Services to students with disabilities, low income or to those who are first generation students. College can be difficult for anyone, but UWL implements services to help these students as best they can.

“The main goal for Student Support Services is to get students, that are first generation, low- income, have disabilities or any combination, to graduate,” said the Interim Director of Student Support Nate Emerson.

Emerson oversees the advisors in the Student Support Services, while they advise roughly 150 students each throughout the year. Once a student is accepted into the program, they are assigned an advisor that they are required to meet twice during the semester. According to Emerson, they report on 350 students, but service 450. At Student Support Services they offer tutoring and work study opportunities.

“They have an academic advisor, but we also do academic advising in concert with their academic advisor. We also provide writing specialists. We have a writing specialist in here. We also have a math specialist in here. Those two are used heavily in this program,” said Emerson.

The organization runs on a federal grant, which requires an annual performance report. Student Support Services is part of a federal TRIO program. The program itself has been around for 50 years, however, UWL has been part of the program for 40 years, according to Emerson.

“We have six years, as the federal grant says we have, to get them to graduate. Last year our retention was incredible. We had a 95 percent persistent rate, which means they either graduated or they returned to our program,” explained Emerson.

Student Support Services, on top of academic advising, aims to provide food and non-perishable items. Emerson said, “Food is expensive. Living expenses are expensive. One thing we aim to provide is that little bridge.”

UWL focuses on first year students the most, because there is a higher percentage of first year students that drop out compared to upperclassman, explained Director of Student Success Jo Arney.

In the past two years, first generation students have been enrolled in UWL 100. Those students have continued their education further than those that were not in the class.

“We are creating a new first year seminar that all freshman is required to take starting in Fall 2020,” said Arney.

There are also new scholarship opportunities, one of which is called The UWL First Scholars. This scholarship helps provide funds to first generation and low income students.

According to Arney, UWL gives out 25 of these scholarships annually. Students are eligible for this scholarship for two years and there is additional programming that accompanies the scholarship.

In order to set up an appointment with Student Support Services in order to learn more click here.

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Department Spotlight: UWL Student Support Services