From: Lynette Cook-Francis
Date: January 31, 2023
Subject: Introducing Student Success and Student Life!

Student Success & Student Life Jan 2023
3SL Letterhead
Ms. Lynette Cook-Francis

Message from Interim VP Lynette Cook-Francis

As the semester begins, I want to share with you a personal story that always reminds me of the power of faculty. I once took a class from a particularly brilliant professor – he was world-renowned in his field, a notoriously unforgiving grader, and we students were terrified and awed by him. Toward the end of the semester, my grandmother passed away, and I needed to let the professor know that I would miss a class. I was terrified that he would disbelieve me – we all know that students are notorious for killing off grandmas when times get tough at school. But when I went to his office hours, he invited me to sit down and took the time to process my Nana’s death with me. He shared his own story with me about his grandmother’s death while he was in college. Many decades later, I still recall the impact of that short time he took with me at a milestone in my development as a young adult. In fact, I became an educator in the same discipline.
As you go about the important work of teaching your subject matter to students, we appreciate that you will also, when you can, take a few minutes to touch the human beyond the student. You may never know what it means to that student, but I promise, they will never forget you.

Meet 3SL

Student Success and Student Life (3SL) is UHD's newest division. We bring together units from the former Student Affairs and University College to create a holistic approach to student success. The following will give you an update on services and programs that are here to support students and the faculty who care about them.  

FTIC Facts
Gator Success Center

Academic Recovery Program

We have all become increasingly aware of the pandemic ripple effects on student success that will last for years to come. For example, here at UHD, 37% of our first-year freshmen went on probation after their Fall 2023 grades posted. That is 451 out of 1,209 full-time first-time students who now have a major student success setback, that could potentially delay or prevent their graduation altogether. For us to graduate 58% of these first-year students within six years, we will need to all work together to ensure these students are successful. Indeed, collaboration is a key strategy in our Academic Recovery Program. Students on probation are registered in an academic success course and supported by a cadre of professionals, the course instructor, an academic success coordinator, an academic success coach, and a peer mentor. Contact Dr. Jemma Sylvester-Caesar, Director of Gator Success Center, to learn more.

Naomi Berger-Perez

UHD Counseling Services is Ready for Students

In case you had not heard, our Student Counseling Services just celebrated its first birthday as a UHD-based service and now employs 5 full-time professional counselors. In collaboration with Disability Services, they continue to offer regular Mental Health First Aid training on the last Friday of each month. Students, faculty, and staff can sign-up for the workshop or contact Naomi Berger-Perez, Director of Student Counseling Services for more information.

Naomi Berger-Perez

Eugene Bernard

Not Letting Basic Needs Get in the Way of Success

To aid students with food, housing, transportation, and other basic needs insecurities, we recently launched our Basic Needs portal. We now have $1.3 million in grants to address a variety of student needs. Specifically, these funds will be used to supplement our Food Market and provide access to emergency hot meals from UHD’s Food Service as well as to provide public transportation prepaid cards and emergency transportation, books, technology, housing, and dependent-care grants. Our Determined Gator Fund was launched recently and has provided a steady supply of emergency funds for students in crisis. Contact Eugene Bernard, Director of Student Life to learn more.

Eugene Bernard

Encouraging Student and Faculty Engagement Outside of the Classroom

This spring, 3SL is funding 10 freshman seminars and 6 Academic Success courses with up to $500 each for Student/Faculty Engagement grants. Faculty propose an out-of-the-class activity with their class –for instance, it could be dinner, a museum, or a performance. Studies show that students and faculty engaging outside of the classroom leads to greater student engagement inside the classroom, and for many students, better performance. In addition, faculty who participate in such programs report higher levels of satisfaction with teaching. Stay tuned to learn about the creative activities that faculty come up with and the positive outcomes we know will follow.

3SL Logo

3SL Contact Information

ÔÇïÔÇïÔÇïÔÇïÔÇïÔÇïStudent Success and Student Life
OMB S655
(713) 221-8007

Lynette ÔÇïCook-FrancisÔÇï 
Interim Vice President
ÔÇïStudent Success and Student Life
 ÔÇï(713) 221-5804ÔÇï

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