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TREK: Hillsborough Community College, Brandon Campus Student Services Programs

Road Trip, DRIVE & Crossroads, make  up TREK, three crucial mile markers down the academic journey. TREK is based in the Brandon Campus philosophy of Teaching and providing students with Resources through student Engagement and acquisition of Knowledge. The family of programs addresses critical issues facing community colleges: retention, accurate program coding and low graduation rates. Developed and implemented by the Student Services team, all programs address concerns cited in institutional and CSSSE student satisfaction surveys where students indicated a less than satisfactory relationship with Academic Advising. Every student completes a learning outcomes survey. The Institutional Research department processes results and students are linked as cohorts in the database system tracking enrollment and academic performance.

RoadTrip (RT) is a modified form of the New Student Orientation. Throughout the senior spring  semester, 100 at-risk high school graduates are chosen through the collaboration of high school counselors and Enrollment Development Coordinators. RT reaches out to a millennial generation by encouraging parent attendance so they gain a better understanding of student expectations and their role in the process. Topics include student government, clubs & organizations, library services, academic services, financial aid, academic advising, registration, online resources, student testimonials on college life and adjustment, campus tours, and Q & A panel for parents. Designed to reach students at the initial college experience, RT engages the audience in a full day orientation format, leaving a positive first impression of HCC and laying the groundwork for strong relationships between students and the student services department.

DRIVE is a mid-term academic advising session aimed at preparatory students through partnerships with faculty of selected courses early in the academic journey, crucial timing for retention. After transitioning into the college experience, students move down the trek and realize the need of goal setting, accurate program selectionand completion. DRIVE begins with an interactive and motivational general session where these issues are discussed. Then students select a breakout session focusing on three paths: AA,AS/AAS/CCC/PSAV, or Undecided. In the AA and AS breakouts, students are coached in the development of an individualized educational plan through the use of web resources, collegecatalog and advising guides. In the Undecided session, students are connected to the Career Center’s resources that narrow down interest areas and skills assessment, linking them toacademic program choice, including a follow-up appointment for further planning. DRIVE becomes the pinnacle mark down the trek, cultivating the student/student services relationship in the framework of student success.

Crossroads was developed to facilitate students applying for graduation and transitioning to four-year institutions, marking the end of the trek at the community college. Upon completion of this workshop targeted at AA Capstone courses, students are prepared to print and interpret a degree audit, identify outstanding requirements, determine if and when they need to register for the CLAST, locate/complete the application for degree on online, find commencement information on the college website, locate and navigate the admissions website for the institution they plan to attend, understand the financial aid transfer process, are linked to resume, job search and interviewing resources available in the Career Center, and encouraged to join the Alumni Association.