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ERIC Number: EJ1084236
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 14
ISSN: ISSN-1066-8926
The Role of the Student Support Specialist: The Possibilities and Challenges of a Long-Term, Proactive, and Scaffolded Relationship
Grutzik, Cynthia; Ramos, Sandra
Community College Journal of Research and Practice, v40 n2 p113-132 2016
In the Urban Teacher Fellows (UTF) program, Student Support Specialists are responsible for recruiting, advising, and supporting students on the teacher pathway, beginning at the community college and continuing through the four-year university degree and credential programs. This is a program designed specifically to address serious concerns about the success of community college students in transferring to universities and completing teaching credential programs. The California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office (2013) reports that only 25.4% of the 2007-2008 statewide cohort transferred to a university after four years. This qualitative study, conducted by us as participant-observers of the UTF program, describes one of the strategies currently in use that may increase opportunities for community college students to successfully navigate this challenging transition. In particular, it presents findings on the role of the UTF Support Specialist based on interviews with the first two Support Specialists in the UTF program and a survey of the first cohort of students to work with them. Our study shows that this long-term scaffolded relationship evolved throughout the pathway program in response to students' needs. Starting as a mostly technical role, it became a family-like role; and finally, it became a smaller role as students themselves took on those support activities for each other. Based on these findings, our recommendations are to identify and select Support Specialists who are reflective and caring and to carefully plan for the challenges of long-term, cross-institutional student support.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California